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Keane's September/October 2011, "Now, For Something Completely Different" Trip Report (Part 6)


Keane,Mickey,Miss Marie,Jenny
Me, Sorcerer Mickey, Miss Marie, Jenny at The Magic of Animation, Disney's Hollywood Studios.
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 5. October 1. Race Day, Disney Hollywood Studios, Jenny breaks stuff.

I'm forced awake by the stupid iAlarmclock at 5:15am, we're out the door 20 minutes later. A dragonfly is motionless by the elevator. I can't tell if it's alive or dead, but take a picture anyway. Sure looks dead. Where do dragonflies go to die anyway? We get in the car and I blindly follow Karen's directions, and we're at AK by 6am. She's supposed to be there by 6:15 for a 7am start.

Wow, is it crowded. There are more people here for the 5K, then I've *ever* seen at any AK opening. (Which admittedly, isn't a lot.) It's dark, so I can't tell where we are in relation to the park. Rather than filling the parking lot normally, contestants have to cross the line of traffic, making for stop and go parking problems. There are at least 4000 runners here, probably more with family members. Insanity.

I was initially going to park and just stay in the car while Jenny did her 5K run, but she has me convinced that all I have to do is drop her off, and she'll take Disney transportation back to SSR. (Which should be running by the time she's done.) So I drop Jenny off, and leave.

Early Morning
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Cars are still lined up around the parking lot to park, all three lanes full. My three lanes of traffic leaving is empty. Some aren't going to make the start. This was more insane than Christmas special at World of Disney I tried to go to a couple of years ago. I am home by 6:30am. I get another hour of sleep. I get up before Jenny gets back, Mom is up, and I make a pot of coffee. There's a 12-cup Mr. Coffee machine here. It's not a bad machine, but I'm spoiled by my home machine which will brew 10 cups in about 3 minutes.

I talk with Mom about Disney's Hollywood Studios (aka DHS) today. Star tours is out. She doesn't care about a car stunt show. Her arthritis probably precludes Toy Story, but I'd like to go on it to see how the handicap loads work. But not today.

I get a text from Jenny at 8:05 that she finished her 5K in 44:24. She's happy. She's also on a Disney bus on the way back. She showers, and we take our time going into the park.

Today is a Disney's Hollywood Studios day. Technically, it should be a Magic Kingdom day, to culminate my WDW 40th celebration I started in May. Today is Magic Kingdom's (and thus WDW's) 40th Anniversary, but I think the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony at MK would be lost on Mom, and rather than going to a very crowded MK, we are going to DHS.

The first bus to DHS is full, had to wait for second, which was almost empty. Jenny and I are going to do Star Tours. Mom probably not. We don't even talk about it anymore, Jenny takes the bags, I take mom through into the park. We turn toward Star Tours, and I get fastpasses for Jenny and me.

We're going to go do The Muppets. We're right there anyway. We get there as the preshow is ending, and have to pretty much wait for the crowds to go into the theater before we find out we should be on the right, and are seated in the back of the theater. The Chef is right above us, so any joke with the Chef is lost. The new version still looks great. We exit, and Mom needs a bathroom. I want to get away from the crowds, so we go to the bathrooms by the stunt show, which is virtually empty this time of the day.

We walk up NY Street, which is already being converted for the Osborne Lights. This is a show I'd really like to work on. That, and a pyro show. But I digress.

After GMR breaks we get a fastpass.
We're going to The Great Movie Ride. We pass by the Commissary, and up the ramp to the queue area. We enter the standard queue, and when we get to the movie room, we're directed down the left side of the theater. Thank goodness we don't have to do the standard switchback queue.

The ride starts normally, but around the Jimmy Cagney scene, things start to break down. His lips don't move, nor do lips move in any subsequent scene.

The car in the gangster scene fails to come out.

Sigourney Weaver could have been a wax figure, and nothing in the alien scene moved.

No fog cloud when gangster tries to steal the jewel and turns into a skeleton (when we get our real tour director back).

Tarzan is stuck in the middle of a swing.

No fog when the wicked witch appears and disappears.

The ride vehicle finally comes to a halt and doesn't move right in front of the second Wizard of Oz scene, just before the final theater.

We can see the movie playing in the final widescreen Theater, like we should be there. We just sit. We know things are really bad when two ride vehicles pull up behind us, and the Munchkin scene replays. But the final Oz scene does not, nor does the movie play again. Watching the CM's trying to stay in show is pretty funny. The house lights come up, and after of few minutes of ad hoc trivia (the ride vehicles behind us did the wave... How sad) the car moves through the theater, and to the load platform. A manager type is holding a control of some type, and our vehicle moves as long as he holds a button down.

Jenny has broken GMR. Why am I not surprised? For our troubles, we are given a Star Tours fastpass. We already have one.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, The Great Movie Ride
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We exit, and look! We're right at the Hat. More pins. Miss Marie is turning into a pin junkie. sigh. I decide I'm going to sit, and have Jenny take her around. Not that I'm that impatient, but there is less of a height differential between Jenny and Miss Marie, and it is far easier for her to take her other arm and support her than me. It's a good excuse, anyway.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, Pin shopping under the hat...
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It's lunchtime, and we're in for a turkey leg. Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards are supposed to be streets, and they are. Complete with curbs. So you have to plan ahead if you want to be in the street or the sidewalk, since scooter/wheelchair ramps are definitely needed to transition from one to the other. The Toluca Legs Turkey Company is closed, so I have to go down to Fairfax Fair. I'm in line like 30 minutes for a turkey leg and three diet cokes. We're going to split a turkey leg because a) the turkey legs are big, and b) we're going to Boma tonight! Anyway, it's a long effing wait. The cashiers are filling their own orders. I wonder if counter service laces get short-changed during food & wine. Where do the booth operators for food and wine come from anyway? But I digress.

There are two half-marathon runners in front of me. There are supposed to be 10,000 entries for the run tonight. They don't serve fries here, so Jenny goes to another booth and gets fries for Miss Marie and a small chili for herself. We eat like barbarians tearing chunks of smoked, tender, savory meat off the leg. Mmmmm. Turkey legs. Go to bathroom across Sunset Blvd. to wash off the turkey leg off my fingers, and note that the seemingly last vestige of Disney-MGM is still there...

With lunch over, and Beauty and the Beast finishing up, we decide to go before the theater empties out, and motor over to Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I've described this attraction as a brutally shortened Little Mermaid, and it is. You really need to know the movie to get the show, but all the basics are there and so are the best parts of the movie. You just lose a lot of the nuances of the film. The attractions is literally a walk on, and are in the back of the theater until Ariel gets her legs. Again.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, Voyage of the Little Mermaid...
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When we get out, as long as were in Animation Courtyard, we go into The Magic of Disney Animation. They've split the queue in two, so you can either go in and see the Character Development show, or you can go directly into the Character area. Since Mom's seen neither, we elect to go into the Character Development. It's still centered around Mushu, with a nod to the latest animated feature Cars 2, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch. We leave that area, past the maquettes and the concept art, and in the character meet-n-greet area, we see Sorcerer Mickey, and there's hardly anyone in line. We're getting a picture.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, The Magic of Disney Animation
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I talk with the greeter CM, and explain I'm going to stand in line while Mom and Jenny wait by the exit, so we don't have to take the scooter through the line. No problem! I tell Mickey's handler and photographer I'd like a pic with Mick by myself, then we'll bring in Mom. Hey! We're not talking *any* Mickey here, we're talking *Sorcerer* Mickey! I have to have my priorities... :-)

At first, Jenny tells me, Miss Marie didn't understand what we're doing, and finds out we're getting a picture with Mickey. Jenny leads Miss Marie over and Mickey helps her stand and gives her a hug. Mom's thrilled. Who knew? Magic was made today.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, We meet Sorcerer Mickey
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We're going to go use our Star Tours fast passes. We get Mom a Mickey bar, and park her by the exit, and go on in. We've seen all the elements of the show before, nothing new. Bummer. On the way out, I look for my "My Finger, Pull" Yoda t-shirt, but they still don't have it in large. Bummer again.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, Star Tours
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Mom liked the Jungle Jammin' Parade in Animal Kingdom, so we're going to stay for the Pixar Parade in DHS. We find a handicap area, which is in the sun. Oh well. I grab one of the frozen water bottles out of the back of her scooter, to find it's still partly frozen. Ah, cold water.

The parade starts, and it's The Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! 5,4,3,2,1... Well, if you haven't seen it, it's one of those insidious little tunes that'll rattle around in your head all afternoon. The Incredibles, Bugs Life, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc, Up and Toy Story characters come dancing by. One small problem, the Toy Story float doesn't show up. We wait, and wait, and the Parade line CM's have that "What's going on?" look... The tractor that starts/pulls broken floats goes by, the wrong way. Uh-oh. Jenny has broken the Parade. sigh.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! Parade
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We don't stay. We running out of time and have reservations at Boma tonight.

We get back to SSR, and barely have time to freshen up, before we have to leave for Animal Kingdom Lodge (aka AKL). We take Mom's walker, and head out to the car. I really don't have to have Karen with me, but I turn her on, and she guides us to AKL. I get to the gate, show my SSR ID to the guard, and tell him I've got Boma Reservations. Yep, I know how to get there. And I'm allowed access.

I drop Mom and Jenny and the Walker off at the front entrance, and give instructions that they should go and check in, since we're running a bit tight on time. I finally find a place to park a distance into the parking lot. I go down to Boma, and Jenny is already at the head of the line checking in. I come up and take over, they finally find my reservation. I get a buzzy-lighty thing, and while I'm sitting with Mom and Jenny, a CM comes up and asks our name. They've seen I have a mobility impaired person with me, and are switching tables around. Instead of being put in the back like I usually am, we are delivered to a table right next to the buffet. Thumbs up!

Jenny has broken our buzzy-lighty thing (sigh, again), and we are manually called for our table.

Our "server", Jeff H, is outstanding, from getting a drink for Jenny no longer on the menu, to immediate attention, even down to offering coffee while eating our (okay, my) deserts. He is one of the very few to get more than the 18% Tables in Wonderland gratuity.

The food, as always, was outstanding. The salmon maybe a bit overdone, but still edible. Otherwise, no matter what I stuck a fork into, it was good. My fork got stuck into the desserts twice. It was the zebra domes, and that caramel cheesecake...

Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma
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On the way out, we stop and look at the lobby for a while. I will have to stay here again soon. It's been too long. Like, two years. :-) It won't be until tomorrow that I realize I may have left my hat at Boma. Good thing I have a spare...

On the way out to get the car, I pass a car with a "Save the ta-tas" bumper sticker on it. How can I argue with that?

Animal Kingdom Lodge, Parking lot
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We get back to SSR, it's been a long day for Mom, and she turns in. Jenny hasn't seen Tangled, so I put the movie on so she can see the new Disney Horse "Max", and we both enjoy the story. It's a little obvious where Jenny identifies with Rapunzel...
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End September 2011 Trip Report - Part 6.

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

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