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Keane's September/October 2011, "Now, For Something Completely Different" Trip Report (Part 5)


American Adventure
The Voices of Liberty in American Adventure.
General Info:
Who: Me, Keane. Author, planner, survivor...
     Mom, aka "Miss Marie". Mobility impaired. First time WDW guest. Sorta.
     Jenny. No BYPT this time. 5K participant and fellow survivor.
     Karen. My GPS. (A Garmin nuvi 1390)
What: A trip to Disney World with Mom
Where: Walt Disney World, Saratoga Springs Resort
Why: Because all the stars aligned, and it's something I thought would be nice to do before the world ends on December 21, 2012
When: September 27 to October 3, 2011

All Disclaimers from Part 1 still apply.
Thank you.

Day 4. September 30. Epcot, Wide World of Sports.

Part of the food trade that occurred on the way down to WDW, was to pick up some breakfast stuff from Jenny. So long as we have a full kitchen, Jenny's going to cook one day.

I'm up a little early and make some coffee. We get into some discussion about WDW, and how foreigners get around the parks. I explain the different guide maps in different languages, and how Guest Relations has a lot of foreign language speakers, just for those guests from non-English speaking countries.

Jenny sleeps late (again), and starts cooking at 9am, the same time mousekeeping drops by to change the towels. It's busy for a little while.

Breakfast is delicious, eggs could have used some butter, but we didn't plan that far ahead. :-)

Today is an Epcot day. Our first hard reservation is an 11:15am Behind the Seeds Tour.

We're out the door at 10am. Another lesson learned, which we'll need today, is I'm more adept at backing up the scooter than mom. So when exiting an elevator, for example, it's easier for me to back the scooter out by standing in front of it and walking it out and then turn her around. Otherwise, she is blindly backing up the scooter. Very unsafe.

There's an Epcot bus at the stop, but since we have an ECV, we can't even do the fake Russo jog to hold the bus. Oh well. It takes about 15 minutes for another bus, and we get bus driver Richard and are at Epcot about 10:25, Jenny does the bag check and we go into the park.

Epcot, Bus lot
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While we're waiting, I get mom a park map in Japanese, to show her the different language maps. She does a poor job of translation. We are at the Land at 10:40.

We can get down one level, but to get to the ground floor, we have to get on an elevator. The elevator on the second floor is next to the bathrooms, and there's usually a line for the elevator on the ground floor, so it's good we can get in and out quickly. Check in at the Soarin' counter and we're told to come back at 11:10. We have 25 minutes, so we go over to Living with the Land and get on the normal guest attraction before the Seeds tour.

Epcot, The Land / Living with the Land
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After the ride, we get off, and it's 11:05, and we pick up our name tags.

I've been on this tour before, and the greenhouses did interest mom. She was at the Land when she was here before, but said the greenhouses were empty. I wonder if it was around the time the water recycling system got that virus and killed everything in the pavilion? So she does have some selective memory of Disney World, but for the most part, everything's brand new.

Anyway, the entire tour begins in a small airlock between Soarin' and backstage. It's mostly used for storage, but hey, we backstage. There are 17 guests on the tour (a lot) and we're kinda crammed into a very small area before we go outside. The turn is tight, so I help Mom with the steering, but her hand slips off the steering wheel and thus pulls on the movement lever, and runs over my foot, and can't stop fast enough before taking a nickel's worth of hamburger off my leg. I turn down her top speed.

The entire tour is supposed to be handicap accessible, but there are some corners by the fish farming tanks that are a little tight. Mom does have some problems negotiating some of the turns. Jenny, far more patient than I am, takes over giving Miss Marie driving instructions.

Epcot, The Land / Behind the Seeds
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The tour over, we exit, we're hungry and we have reservations at Tokyo Dining for 2pm. We head for the elevator to take us up to the second floor, and there's a line. The elevator door pops open, and some 10-15 people from the same family, with a wheelchair, comes out of the elevator like some clown car at a circus. I guess having most go down the escalator and meet by the elevator wasn't an option.

We take a slow walk around World showcase, from Canada to Japan. It's crowded. It's the first day of Food and Wine, and some of the booths are swamped.

Millennium Village is being used again, this time for the Marathon party. I play good guest and explain this to another family that hasn't seen MV open since 2000.

We arrive in Japan by 1:20, and wander through the store. We go from one end to the other, fighting crowds all the way. I make sure Tokyo Dining is actually on the second floor, and take the elevator up. Anyway, one door opens when you get in the elevator, and the door on the opposite side of the elevator opens on the other floor, eliminating he need to turn around. Smart design, they should do more elevators like that. :-)

We arrive at 1:40pm at Tokyo Dining and we are seated immediately. I have eaten here once before. The view is great if you get a window table (and of the two times I've been here, I've had window views twice) but I think the food lacks something. The tempura is too oily. The tempura I make is less greasy. The quality is very good, it's just the execution I don't care for. My opinion doesn't change. I would have rather have had the lamb shank next door in Morocco. But this is Mom's trip, isn't it?

Epcot, Japan
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Our next stop is American Adventure, where we arrive 10 minutes before a Voices of Liberty performance. We initially aren't going to see American Adventure, only the VoL, but as soon as were in the door, we're ushered into an elevator, and are taken to the second floor. I back her out of the elevator. I've never seen the VoL from up here, and they do an excellent job. Got a video on my camera of God Bless America. (Video is 58MB. A smaller version, 20MB is available.) This camera continues to collect accolades from me, since it can double as a semi-decent 720p camcorder in a pinch.

After the performance, we are taken in to the main theater, where I can take a couple of pics without people in it. Once again, we can transfer Mom to a seat, and I go park the scooter. We're getting pretty good at this.

Epcot, American Adventure
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By the time were out of the theater, it's about 2:30pm, and World Showcase is *crowded*. We continue around WS, and they're bringing the Illumination barges out from backstage.

Epcot, World Showcase
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We continue our way around, and stop in front that gray area between Future World and World Showcase, and have a photopass photographer take a couple of pictures. We should have been doing this all along, but didn't think of it until today. Maybe it's because Mom's more rested and there are fewer scooter learning issues than the previous two days. At first, Jenny doesn't want to get into the picture, but she is eventually coerced. She *is* part of this trip, after all.

Epcot, Future World
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Club Cool is right there, so we travel inside, and it's crowded too. Maybe not more than I usually see, but with a scooter, it's difficult to move around. We sample a few drinks (I don't think we fed the Beverly to Mom), and make our way out. Mom wants to look over the pins, so we stop at the pin place in the Innoventions Plaza. She buys around a half-dozen pins. sigh. She's mostly looking for patriotic pins.

We're going to do Spaceship Earth before we go, and I find out the handicap entrance is the exit. So we backtrack to the exit, where we find we have to transfer Mom, and walk her up the exit to the waiting vehicles. They corral us until there are several of us waiting to board, and board us all at once. Mom has a little trouble, and they stop the ride. Oh well, so much for being transparent. I help Miss Marie into a car with Jenny (she helps from the inside, I help from outside the time vehicle) and ride alone. Something goes wrong, and Jenny is not facially recognized. But then too, this is Jenny we're talking about.

We're going to get out of here for today, we still have to register Jenny for the 5K tomorrow morning.

We get to SSR, and several people come up to the bus at different stops. Seems a MK bus hasn't arrive in ages, and everyone wants to get to the Halloween Party tonight. Get off bus, I take mom back to the room while Jenny goes to the food court and get's a couple of Mickey bars. Mom and Jenny have ice cream for dinner.

Mom's going to stay at SSR while I get Jenny to Disney's Wide World of Sports, so I gather up the car keys, Karen, and we're off! I've never been to WWoS. Neither has Jenny. Karen gets us there, but we have no idea where to go, and traffic directions are abysmal. We miss the parking area the first time and have to turn around. We finally find a volunteer, who can tell us where to park.

It's quite a walk from parking to WWoS. We blindly follow other people like sheep, and make our way to the HP field house, where Jenny picks up her race packet. I take pictures.

ESPN Wide World of Sports
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Registration done, we're going to take a quick run to Downtown Disney. I don't often go to DtD during the evenings, and the last time I was here at night, it was amazingly crowded. And it's amazingly crowded today, too. Lot 1 is closed, and like always (once an SG, always an SG), I ignore the sign and turn into lot 1. We find a parking space immediately, on the farthest side of the lot from World of Disney.

I'm looking to pick up some Catnip for Figaro (if you recall I lost the last batch), see if there's any American Flag pins for Mom at the pin store (not a one, believe it or not), look for a particular t-shirt for Mom at World Of Disney (didn't find it), grab some chocolate at Ghirardelli for PiC (and me), get a Wetzel dog (since everyone else ate ice cream for dinner) and get outta there.

Downtown Disney
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On way out, we are accosted by a guest asking if we're leaving. They've been driving around for an hour (so they say) and are desperate for a parking space, so she walks with us to my car, and physically holds the spot when we leave for her family. I should have sold her my parking space.

On way out, we notice lot 2 is closed as well...

We're in bed early. We have to get up early.
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End September 2011 Trip Report - Part 5.

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

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