Home Button Places Button Theme Park Button Other Stuff Button Video Button Wallpaper Button

Keane and PiC's December 2009 Florida Trip Report, Part 3

Index

Bah!
I didn't even have to say it...
Who: Me (Keane). PiC (Partner In Crime). And a cast of thousands.
What: 2009 Winter Vacation.
Where: Florida. Kidani Village, Disney World; and Inn at the Beach, Venice Island.
When: Dec 2 through Dec 13.
Why: Because we *like* you. Em. Oh. You. Ess. Eee.

<disclaimer>
All disclaimers in Part 1 still applies...
</disclaimer>

Dec 5. Skooled.

Open my eyes, and it's 5:00am. There's a sale at World of Disney for Annual Pass holders. And DVC'rs, it turns out. Do I want to go to the AP sale at DD? I'm told it's mobbed, and it'd be stupid to go. Sure, I'll be stupid. I was born to be stupid. Get dressed, and out the door.

Look at all the cars for this time of the morning. There's a line of cars a block long to get into Entrance 1, so I use Entrance 2. Yikes, look at all the people. They go from the entrance to WoD (from the Basin side) all the way past T-Rex, and further into Pleasure Island. Okay, lesson learned. Turned around, came back to Jambo House and took some Christmas tree lobby pics. Then went to the Mara, and had breakfast. I was going to drive to Jambo for breakfast anyway. I just took the long way through Downtown Disney...

Early morning, Downtown Disney, Jambo House
200912FL_0146P05053 200912FL_0153P05055 200912FL_0154P05055 200912FL_0158P05055 200912FL_0161P05055 200912FL_0165P05060 200912FL_0167P05060 200912FL_0172P05060 200912FL_01750185P05061 200912FL_01860199P05061 200912FL_0201P05061
Back to Top

Went back to my room, informed housekeeping I didn't need service today, and tried to get some sleep...And failed miserably. So I posted to Usenet, instead. Whattalife. Or not, depending on your point of view.

I am happy to report that the Pur Water Filter I took with me worked. It took the smell out of the water, and made it more neutral tasting. We refilled water bottles, and I made coffee with it. It fit within the fridge in the Studio just fine. However, it seems other's reports are correct, and Orlando's water has improved. Maybe it's just the cooler weather. I think it's still going to be standard equipment at WDW...

At about 12:15pm, I vacate my room for the Big Meet and Greet at the International Gateway. I find my way to the bus stop, and the first bus there is to the Studios. Just where I wanted to go.

As we arrive at the Studios, I can see a boat leaving, and there's a boat at the dock. By the time I get to the dock, the boat has left. I have to wait about 20 minutes for the next one.

On the way to Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_1182P10085 200912FL_0221P05112 200912FL_0222P05114 200912FL_0223P05114 200912FL_02240229P05114
Back to Top

It finally comes, and I take the slow boat to Epcot. It's a roundabout way to get there, but at least I didn't have to walk the mile across Epcot.

Get to the IG at 1:30 exactly (how's that for timing), and the first person I recognize is Steve Russo, from the photo on his book. He's a lot taller in person.

He introduces me to the couple sitting next to him, Bashful and Rocky. Well, how about that. The first thing I have to do is take a picture, proof, in case they slink away. For as much fun as I've made of Bashful, she doesn't slug me, so I guess I'm safe.

Also there was 12-year lurker Dreslaine, who has since come out of the closet, as it were...

Jack then appears, with a warning to everyone on just who I am. Thanks, Jack. I don't think anyone believed you. I can fake 'em out with the best of 'em. Good to see you, though.

Meerkat is also there, another familiar poster matched up to a face. The Queen and King of Adventureland show up. No fanfare. Wrong park, I guess.

Anyway, it's another whirlwind of faces and names, and the brain cells that are supposed to associate the two fails their mission. Again. I end up calling Dreslaine "A long time lurker", and Rocky "Mr. Kitty", and probably forget more names than I remember.

RADP 14, Big meet and Greet, International Gateway, Epcot
200912FL_0231P05123 200912FL_0232P05123 200912FL_0234P05125 200912FL_0235P05125 200912FL_0236P05125 200912FL_0237P05125 200912FL_0240P05130 200912FL_0241P05130 200912FL_0242P05130 200912FL_0245P05130 200912FL_0246P05130 200912FL_0247P05130 200912FL_0249P05130 200912FL_0250P05130 200912FL_0253P05130 200912FL_0257P05131 200912FL_0258P05131 200912FL_0259P05131 200912FL_0261P05131 200912FL_0262P05131 200912FL_0263P05131 200912FL_0264P05131 200912FL_0265P05131 200912FL_0266P05134
Back to Top

After the meet, Bashful, Rocky, Paragon and I go to Morocco. Paragon uses her silver pass, and we all get to gawk at it. She wouldn't let me touch it, though. It's not like I'm going to steal it. I don't have the ID to use it. HAhahahah... Disney still recognizes my AP and finger, and I'm allowed entrance to Epcot. I have to get something to eat, everyone else get's something to drink and/or a snack.

Epcot
200912FL_0267P05134 200912FL_0268P05142 200912FL_0271P05142
Back to Top

We wander over to the AA, and the Drum and Fife core comes out and does their show. We stop in the gift shop, and there's a book I want to read, and I wrote the name down on a receipt, and I can't find it among the hundreds of receipts you collect at WDW. I have it someplace...

We make our way under the dome for VoL, and I sit on the floor. I realize that this may be a mistake. The Voices of Liberty are amazing as always, doing their Holiday show. I took a picture, but it came out scary. I stopped taking pictures. When it's over, I don't have a right foot. I can see it, but it doesn't obey any commands, and I feel nothing below the ankle. Ugh. I need a walker...

Epcot
200912FL_0273P05143 200912FL_0275P05143 200912FL_0276P05144 200912FL_0278P05150 200912FL_0283P05151
Back to Top

We make our way up to American Adventure, and we take over the second and third rows. It's still a moving show, and it's interesting to see the animatronics up close.

Paragon wants to buy some stuff for Christmas over at Test Track, so I take a walk with her that way. I'm going back to Kidani, and get the video camera and tripod for the night at MK. We part our ways at Test Track, and I walk to the bus stops.

The lighting on Spaceship Earth is perfect, so I stop to take some pictures of the Christmas topiaries at the entrance.

Epcot
200912FL_0286P05163 200912FL_0287P05163 200912FL_0293P05163
Back to Top

AKL is the closest bus stop! What a difference from Port Orleans, last year.

Okay, time to complain about the buses. It's not really the service I'm complaining about, which is generally pretty good. At least that's what I've found. I have been pretty much convinced that wheelchairs and ecv's are the main cause of slowdowns. They either need a better way of doing a load or unload, or they should have separate busses that are called on-demand. I think it would drastically improve the service for all parties involved.

That said, here's my favorite story of the trip.

I make my way to Magic Kingdom. It's below 50 degrees, somewhat cold. Iiii'mmm disappointed!

I'm waiting for Wishes, and some guy come up to me and asks me if I'm taking pictures. Let's see. I have my camera on my tripod, and I'm taking pictures of the castle, a couple at each exposure, my camera happily beeping away. I look at him odd, and reply yes. He then tries to hand me a card. I take a look at it, and it's a photopass card. I have to explain to him I'm not a Disney photographer. I'm in my floppy green hat, a zip up Coronado Springs sweatshirt, sweat pants (hey, it was cold, and they're thick and warm) and New Balance walking shoes. I couldn't possibly have looked like a CM. Unless 'Slob' is a costume at one of the nearby Disney venues. But I think I was successful at not laughing at the guy.

Not 10 minutes later, another guy comes up and wants to know how to use his camera. What am I, an answer man? He wants to know how to take pictures of the fireworks. I lose him at the phrase 'aperture priority'. I just tell him to just take pictures, and he'd be surprised how good some of them look during the bright shells.

You know, if I look that much like a Disney CM, they should hire me...

Magic Kingdom
200912FL_0331P05203 200912FL_0332P05204 200912FL_0340P05204 200912FL_0348P05204
Back to Top

Video of Wishes can be found here.


Dec 6. PiC Arrives.

I get to do an attraction today that I've only done once before. It's called the Cell Phone lot at MCO. (Well, no, I don't get to do it, but I'm getting ahead of myself.)

PiC's flight doesn't come in until 11:20. Waste time on internet until 10:50, and leave for the airport.

I'm still a couple miles from the airport, and I get a call from PiC. She's here, 20 minutes early. That's not supposed to happen. She's already through the A-Ticket tram ride, and at Arrivals. I don't even have to stop, go right to arrivals, and she gets in the car. *That's* the way I like to pick people up from the airport.

Had lunch at the Mara, and went back to the room. I proudly show off my Christmas decorations. She knows I don't even decorate at home, and asks "Why?". I can hardly wait until she uses the bathroom. HAHahahahaha... PiC settles in for a bit, then we decide to go into the parks. It's the studios tonight for the Lights. We have to stop at Guest Relations to see how many nights she still has on her MYW ticket. Five days! I didn't even have to get her a new MYW ticket! Oh well, it's a hedge against inflation, right? Right?

Enter the park, and start to make our way over to Toy Story for laughs, just in case a miracle happens like a short wait time. It doesn't happen. On the way, PiC get's sidetracked to American Idol, and we're 10 minutes away from Show Time, so we stop in. I'm surprise at how high the level of talent is, and wonder if it's that way all the time. We're one show short of the day's finale. They put the words up in the back of the theater for the contestants, so if you want to sing along, just turn around...

One of the contestants is a ringer. You can tell she's been on stage before. She's the obvious winner.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_0372P06110 200912FL_0373P06110 200912FL_0399P06153 200912FL_0402P06154 200912FL_0404P06154 200912FL_04050409P06160 200912FL_0411P06160 200912FL_0413P06160 200912FL_0418P06162 200912FL_0419P06162 200912FL_0422P06163
Back to Top

There's two Fantasmic!'s tonight, so we go to the first one. We walk right into the Amphitheater, and it's crowded, and getting more crowded. It's full by the time the show starts, and unfortunately there's some wind that somewhat spoils the movies, and Mickey's obscured by the fireworks smoke at the end.

The late Fantasmic! show's line has already formed, and it backs up from where we're herded off (behind Tower of Terror) to Sunset Blvd.

We make our way over to Osborne, and it's wall-to-wall people. I shoot a couple of sets, but don't even try to get down New York Street... We vacate, and take some pics of the hat and Christmas tree at night...

Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_0423P06164 200912FL_0424P06164 200912FL_0428P06164 200912FL_0436P06165 200912FL_0438P06165 200912FL_0444P06165 200912FL_0455P06182 200912FL_0460P06182 200912FL_0466P06190 200912FL_0467P06190 200912FL_0469P06191 200912FL_0478P06192 200912FL_0482P06192 200912FL_0488P06192
Back to Top

(More pictures of The Osborne Family Spectacle Of Dancing Lights can be found here. Video of the Lights can be found here.)

Once again, much to my surprise, AKL's bus stop is close. Back to Kidani. We get a bus driver that wants to sing Christmas Carols, and stops at Jambo first instead of Kidani. I wonder if she had had any Christmas Cheer that night...
Back to Top


Dec 7. Toy Story Midway Mania, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Toy Story Midway Mania.

It's a DHS morning. Well, a Toy Story morning, anyway. Rain forecasted, but 65 at 6:45am with a high of 78 forecasted.

Third time of four that a bus I want pulls up right as I get to the bus area.

Arrived at DHS at 9:30am. Went straight to TSMM, got fastpasses with a return time of 12:20pm. Got in standby line. I still like this queue, though it's getting longer every time I'm in it. Potato Head is missing his ear, and before we get to him, a CM comes out and puts it in. PiC is going to take a picture of me and Potato Head, but instead turns the camera off instead of taking a picture. She gets grief about it for a few minutes... Beat PiC 137,200 to 103,900. Nothing to do with her not ever being on the ride, could it? It might be my imagination, but I don't think the cars spin you around as hard as they used to. I also notice there are two distinct tracks you can take through the ride.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_0495P07082 200912FL_0496P07082 200912FL_0498P07082 200912FL_0499P07083 200912FL_0500P07083 200912FL_0502P07083 200912FL_0503P07084 200912FL_0504P07084 200912FL_0506P07084 200912FL_0510P07085 200912FL_0511P07090 200912FL_0514P07090 200912FL_0516P07090
Back to Top

Went to Starring Rolls for food. None of that ABC Commissary crap. Had a ham sandwich, PiC had a bagel and a strawberry parfait.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_0517P07091 200912FL_0518P07091 200912FL_0520P07091 200912FL_0521P07091 200912FL_0522P07091 200912FL_0525P07091 200912FL_05280529P07094 200912FL_0530P07094
Back to Top

Went back to Pixar Place, went though the character meet. First time I was intentionally on my knees at WDW. Well, that I can remember, anyway. The sets they've set up for pictures are inventive, but they reflect the camera flash, and it's too dark inside to do natural light. I take a picture with my pal the anti-bacterial gel dispenser. (No, I never used one.)

Pixar Place, Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_05310539P07094 200912FL_0540P07094 200912FL_05410543P07094 200912FL_0546P07095 200912FL_0547P07095 200912FL_0549P07095 200912FL_0550P07095 200912FL_0551P07095 200912FL_0554P07100 200912FL_0555P07100 200912FL_0556P07100 200912FL_0557P07100 200912FL_0560P07100 200912FL_0561P07100 200912FL_0562P07100
Back to Top

Still had an hour, so we got back in the standby line, and did TSMM again. I once again win 151,200 to 105,200. PiC needed something to drink, so we walk down to the Coke Station in front of Backlot Tours, and play with the giant Christmas Carol card. I am disappointed Luxo, Jr. hasn't come out, but I see no mention of him in any of the DHS stuff I have. Maybe it's the lawsuit. 10 minutes until FP time, and I point out to PiC that the FastPasses are already sold out for the day. And we did TSMM again. I much prefer the FastPass line... And once again, I win 146,500 to 129,500.

Toy Story Midway Mania, Disney's Hollywood Studios
200912FL_0563P07104 200912FL_0565P07104 200912FL_0570P07110 200912FL_0573P07110 200912FL_0574P07110 200912FL_0575P07110 200912FL_0576P07111 200912FL_0577P07111 200912FL_0579P07111 200912FL_0578P07111 200912FL_0580P07112 200912FL_0582P07112 200912FL_0583P07113 200912FL_0584P07113 200912FL_0586P07113 200912FL_0587P07114 200912FL_0588P07114 200912FL_0589P07114 200912FL_0590P07114 200912FL_0592P07114
Back to Top

Enough interactive video games. We vacated DHS, and caught a bus back to the hotel.
Back to Top

End December 2009 Trip Report - Part 3.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 3a Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Revisions:
  • 08/24/2012 - Updated to v3
  • 12/30/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2