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Keane and PiC's And Keane and Jenny's May 2011 WDW Disney Up North, Not A December Trip Report -- Part 3 (Days 3 & 4)


Destination D
Lady and the Tramp was voted best topiary by PiC and me.
Who: Me, Keane. The person who actually writes this drivel.
     PiC, Partner in Crime. Travelling companion and hanger on.
     BYPT Jenny. A substitute PiC, only shorter.
What: Not a December vacation
Where: Walt Disney World; Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary Resort
Why: D23 Event - Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th
When: May 9-16, 2011

1) Much of what is here is fact, mostly fact, or complete figments of my imagination remembered as fact. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
2) Yeah, this is mostly innuendo and sarcasm. Anything else is a bonus.
3) If you take something in this report seriously and get offended, I will laugh at you. I am not Disney. You will not get free park tickets, food, fastpasses or guest assistance cards.
4) Please remember to take all your personal belongings, and have a magical Disney Day!

Thank you.

Day 3, May 11:
PiC's last full day, and it's an Epcot day.

Up somewhat early, and it's an Epcot day. It's gonna be another hot one, 94 degrees; UV Index:10+, extreme.

PiC gets the paper, and there's an envelope on my door. (Flashback to yesterday: PiC was sure I said I was checking out of Wilderness lodge Thursday (today). I tell her no, I'm checking out Friday. I was just going to make sure I had some things packed on Thursday, so she could help me haul stuff to the car before she left.

So the envelope gives me a momentary flash of panic that she may have actually been right. (It is up to the reader to decide if the panic was for losing my room, or that PiC could have been actually right.) It turns out it's a note from Disney on how to deal with Magical Express. So it's doesn't even deal with me. I wonder why we got it. I made sure Disney knew it would be an inbound only. And we didn't even use that.

Get breakfast again at Roaring Fall (another meal on the Disney Rewards card), then down to the bus stop, only to find an Epcot bus waiting. There isn't enough room for us to get on, until we find there's standing room only, and the people in front of us don't want to stand. Well, heck, I can still stand, so PiC and I get on the bus, no waiting, off to Epcot.

Roaring Fork Food Court at Wilderness Lodge
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There's a very cool Pirates 4 ad. You know, up where they advertise all things Disney above the windows of the busses. I wonder if they'd mind if I took one...

We get to Epcot, and the place is *crowded* with students. The bus stop to AK is full of guests that want to get out. And not only are the school kids here, but so (we find out later) are the Brazilians.

The entrance is a throng of people, from security to the gates to the queue at Spaceship Earth. Nope, now is not the time to ride SE.

Entrance Topiaries
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Cut through Innoventions to the Land, and ride Living with the Land. Hadn't ridden it since it went fully automated. It's a walk on. Literally.

Living With the Land
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From there we cut across to Test Track and got fast passes, passing (and using) the bathrooms in Odyssey, then walked around WS taking pics of all the topiaries. When we got to China, there was a rope, but it was dropped within a minute of us being there with no fanfare.

The horticulturists really outdid themselves this year, some of the topiaries are amazing. Even the teeny-tiny ones in scale at the train station. Repunzel's tower sits in Germany, and you know she's in the tower, her hair is hanging down.

We vote Lady and the Tramp our favorites.

Walk all the way around WS taking pics, run in to Aurora on her way on-stage in France, proving you can still get a job if you're hot lookin'. (Please see disclaimer #3.) The Pan topiaries inhabit the UK. I guess Poppins as a real face character is enough.

These images aren't in the order taken, rather they're in the order you'd encounter them if you walked from Future World, then turned left around World Showcase...

Topiaries around World Showcase
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Near Mouse Gear, there's a line that comes halfway to the center of Future World, and it's a line to meet a fairy. Now, I know a boy fairy is or will be introduced into Disney's fairy universe, but a male fairy has just a different connotation to me. It causes me to make what is probably a non-politically correct remark about when this section should be open.

Fairy Garden
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We then redeem the Fast Pass to Test Track. After TT, we decide to get something to eat, so it's once again across Epcot to Sunshine Seasons in The Land. I had the sweet and sour chicken. I think PiC had a salad of some sort. Another very good meal. I continue to be impressed with this place. That it was paid for with those Reward Dollars made it even better.

We then hit spaceship earth on the way out, and are stuck in the star room for a few minutes. At least it's air conditioned.

Leaving Epcot
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We're going to go back to WL and hang around the pool for a while. At the bus stop, I remark "Please let WL be 4 or 5," which are the closest bus stops. It's number 4. I then say to no one in particular, "Please let the bus come soon." The Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness bus is the first to arrive. Am I good or what?

We wander down to the pool, find a table, and about 30 minutes later, in bright sunshine, it starts to rain. Lightly at first, then harder, and it ends up raining pretty hard. (I ask Jenny and Jill later, and no, it didn't rain on them. Only on me.)

We make some reservations at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot, so it's off to Morocco for Dinner. No AP discount for dinner? Only for lunch? Bummer. Had the lamb shank couscous (which was *excellent*), PiC had the shish kabob. The band is playing when we arrive, and the music is initially pretty loud. They then go on a break, and never come back. The place was pretty crowded when we got there, but cleared out nicely, and the restaurant is only half full when we leave.

A wagon outside of Morocco is serving up frozen alcoholic drinks, so we stop for a Strawberry Daiquiri and a Colada. Nothing like walking across World Showcase with an adult beverage.

There's a bus to Wilderness Lodge waiting for us when we get to the bus stop. We had to jog (needlessly), and make bus easily.

We finish watching Tangled back in the room. 4 of 5 stars. I think they could have done much worse, but the story was predictable from about 10 minutes into the movie. It had it's laugh-out-loud moments, though. It's the best cartoon dog I've seen in a while.

End of Day 3
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Day 4, May 12
Announcer: "And where will you be on your Mom's birthday, Mr. Arase?"
Me: "I'm gonna be at Disneyworld!"

I take pictures of the towel animals our maid has made. Leave a couple of bucks, a towel animal appears. It's like having elves that leave goods in place of a shilling or two.

Towel Animals
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PiC is leaving today. So we're going to do Downtown Disney and pick a couple things up, like chocolate. :-)

We get a pretty close parking spot, arriving just around 9:30am, and get to World of Disney as they start to prop the doors open. It's going to be hot today, with a UV index of 10+, extreme. Actually, it's becoming par for the course. Hot with intense sun. (sigh)

It's mom's birthday, and I know she's looking for a watch. Hmmm... She has some specifics in a watch, so I go take a look. Nothing fits the bill. Damn. Well, it's not like WoD is the end-all in Disney merchandise...

We wander down to Days Of Christmas, and nothing excites me, then into Art of Disney then Goofy's candy store. We need food, so it's off to Wetzel's Pretzels.

Pass the pin store, and Donald is pissed again. Well, if Daisy made me buy pins, I'd be pissed too.

The giant Lego dinosaurs are still gone, but there are new Lego models in front of the store, from Sleeping Beauty to Toy Story to Snow White. They're very cool, but the railing to keep people away from the models sorta ruin some of the views.

Words of Wetzel: Moderation has a time and place. This isn't it.

Get a Wetzel dog, and if you remember that memorabilia shop on the corner in West Side, it's being turned into the new Harley Davidson store. At that point, HD will close in Hyperion Wharf (nee Pleasure Island).

We walk back to Ghirardelli, and buy some chocolate, and once again, don't give me a AP discount because the chocolate is already on sale, and you can only get one discount. Not sure I buy that argument, but when you need your chocolate, there you are.

Downtown Disney
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Stop at a 7-11 on the way to the airport to pick up some more bottled water, and drop PiC off at the airport, at the same spot in departures where I picked her up 4 days ago. She goes into coughing fits that sounds much like I did when I contracted pneumonia while on chemo. I tell her I feel for her, since so much hate is going to be piled on her on the plane ride home. She thanks me for my concern. I don't think her thank you was sincere.

Her butt gets kicked out the door, and I'm heading back to Walt Disney World to start the second half of my vacation with a healthy blond.

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Back to the room, attempt to take a nap, and work on this stupid trip report, before I forget all the high and low points. I'm meeting BYPT Jenny and her SiL tonight for the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. I go down to the lobby of Wilderness Lodge, and wander around the lobby and take pictures, this time without a Christmas tree in the way. A quick burger from Roaring Forks, and I'm out to the boat dock. Should be there in plenty of time.

Wilderness Lodge
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Until I find a line waiting for the boat, and find the boats are going from Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness, then to MK. Figures. Last December PiC and I were at Grand Floridian to see the Christmas decorations, and were meeting Jenny and Cathy for a MVMCP, and was late because the boat first had to go to the Poly. So I guess the moral of the story is, if you're going to meet Jenny, the boat you want to take is going to make an extra stop someplace.

Get into the park, and Jenny and Jill (i.e. SiL) needs food (I thought they were eating before we met) and the choice? Pecos Bills. Okay. I'm not eating there. :-)

On the way, Disney puts up this strange atmospheric event over Adventureland. Tell me this doesn't look like the profile of some guy with a bulbous nose with his hair standing straight up. It's probably a Tiki god...

We get to Pecos Bill's, and I find a seat while Jenny and Jill get food. I text Jenny where I am, and of course, she ignores her phone. They find me on the second pass through Pecos Bills. Jenny asks about my stop at the Lisa's, and the conversation soon turns to 'shine. Does everyone South of say...the Illinois border have relatives who made 'shine? I wonder what SiL thinks of the two Disney Idiots.

We the wander over to small world, and yes, we get on it. I remark to Jenny that we're actually going to see the guy who wrote the song Sunday night. It is (as far as I'm concerned) the signature event of the weekend, and am looking forward to it.

We wander back to the parade route, and it's gone from being close to empty at 8:00, to the most crowded I've seen MK, perhaps ever. We find a space behind a parent that's holding about 6 or 8 spots. The kids soon show up and sit down, so our little niche (in front of Horseshoe) turns out to be pretty good. Tink starts it all off (she's not jumping around to stay warm this time), and my absolute favorite nighttime parade wanders/motors/dances past. I photograph the parade.

Magic Kingdom, Main Street Electrical Parade
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We cut through the bathroom area between Frontierland and Adventureland. There are so many people that we stop in front of the Crystal Palace for about 2 or 3 minutes, and because MSEP started about 15 minutes late, "Magic, Memories and You" starts. For all the hype I've heard, it's not that impressive. Wishes turns out to be a bust too, since the wind is blowing, and we're offset from the castle far enough that most of the low fireworks are behind a tree. (sigh) Still, it's Wishes, and it's a great show. No one does fireworks like Disney.

All during this time, guests are still filing past the Crystal Palace to the exit. It's the first time I've seen CM's directing traffic through this area. Most of the way through Wishes, Jill leaves to go back to ASMu. Well, she's leaving *really* early tomorrow morning, and her daughter's sick, so I'll cut her some slack. (She really didn't have to leave, Jenny and I would have given her some peace talking to her boyfriend, had we known about the boyfriend at the time... :-))

After Wishes, the second wave of guests leaving comes by, so we sit and wait for the deluge to flush out to the exit. When it empties a bit, we walk toward main street, and there are still thousands leaving. So we wait in front of Casey's. While we're waiting, Disney broadcasts a 10 minute announcement that a Magic, Memories & You show will be held. When it starts, Jenny and I move to the middle of main street to watch it, and boy, the show is waaay better from Main Street than from in front of the Crystal Palace. The show receives an A+ from me here, a C- from me in front of the Crystal Palace. The effects are absolutely stunning, and we laugh and oooo and aaah through the show. We are just about the only guests watching the show, everyone else is filing out of the park, and never even turn around. Do they not know what they're missing?

I have to stress again, this show should be seen on Main Street. When you're offset from the castle, sometimes things don't line up the way they should, and the angles on the castle cause the projections to become oblique.

We slowly make our way down Main Street, and we pass by the jewelry store. Did I mention today is my Mom's Birthday? We actually find a watch that meets her criteria. Our helpful CM is from the Chicago area, and we talk for a while as she rings me up. I even get a discount because I bought it with my Disney Visa. Go figure. Whattadeal.

As we pass through the gates, I decide to walk Jenny most of the way to her bus stop, and we split at A&B, the bus to wilderness lodge is down A, and her bus is over in the cheap seats, the B stops. WL's bus stop is the furthest bus stop, but as soon as I get there, a WL bus appears, and we're moving off to WL in minutes. The bus is faster than the boat, if not a little more inconvenient. (The boat stops *right* in front of MK.)

They're working on the monorail at night, installing a new switch. You can see it from Timberland Drive. I wonder if this is that short spur I've read about.

Back in the room, I download the pictures, and call it a night. I'm going to have a long day tomorrow.
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End May 2011 Trip Report - Part 3.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9

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