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My "Pin Event" Trip

Gosh, it feels as if it has only been a few weeks since I last ended my report on my Mini Grand Tour. In any case, I'm about to leave very early tomorrow morning to fly off to WDW for an 9-day vacation.

There are two special items on this trip. First, on Tuesday morning, we will be doing the 2-hour Segway tour at Epcot. Thanks to everyone who had reported on this, we have decided to do this, so we are really looking forward to it.

Then starting on the 8th and running through till the 10th, it's the annual, largest pin event at WDW, to be held at the World Showplace in Epcot. This year's theme is "It All Started With ... Walt!" This will be the 2nd pin event that we are attending, so this time, we won't be so "ga ga" over the whole thing, and won't make the same mistakes that we did last year. We are already ensured of receiving several Random Selection pins when we get there, and can't wait to see all the goodies that we will get as part of attending this event. BTW, the event will be open to the public on Sunday the 10th at 11:00 am.

Anyway, as with the Mini Grand Tour report, I'll try to make daily reports with pictures whenever I can.

I just know that I won't be able to sleep tonight.....

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Greetings from the Happiest Place on Earth!

We made it in, and am now resting a bit at our "home" in Old Key West. This is the first time we're staying here after staying at Saratoga Springs all this while. So it took a few wrong turns to find our building. But we have a room facing a small pond and everything looks nice.

BTW, the 417 heading from the airport to WDW was unusually busy. We've driving in at this time of the year for the past 3 years, and don't remember traffic being this heavy.

In a few mins, we'll be heading to the Animal Kingdom to meet up with friends who are already there. Will post more reports and pictures later.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Had a terrific first day, but now I'm exhausted, especially since we had to get up real early this morning to catch our plane.

The first thing we did after we unpacked and left our resort was go to Downtown Disney and ate at Earl of Sandwich. The food is as good as ever. Then we went to the Guest Relations there and renewed our annual passes with the DVC discount. So we're all set for another year of Magic!

We then went to Animal Kingdom and got there around 2:30 pm. It was still crowded, especially around Everest. However, the standby wait time was about 30 mins, so we went in. It was as good as we remember it, and we will definitely do this a few more times during the week. We then got a free 5x7 picture of us on EE using the voucher we got for playing Yeti Vision. Love these freebies!

By the time we were done, the parade was about to start. Since it was too late for us to stake out a good place to videotape the parade, we decided to skip it and went on Primeval Whirl and Teracetop instead. We then did a bit of pin shopping (found a lot of pins that we were looking for). They were also having a special where for every $50 that you buy, you get to buy a Pirates Carribbean watch for $10. We bought enought to get 6, but we only bought 4.

We then went to see It's Tough To Be a Bug. There was almost zero wait times. Animal Kingdom is a lot of fun late in the afternoon!

OK, a small complain. The water bottle is SMALLER for the same amount of money. That's not nice, Disney, especially when you just made record profit.

Here are some pictures from today. The first one is of course what greets most guests as they drive in.
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The sign as we're about to drive into Old Key West.
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We walked from where we parked at AK to its entrance.
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Everest is still a great ride, no matter how many times we had done it.
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We went to see Flick and company before we left. The theater was barely 1/2 full.
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We're going to spend the evening here at the resort. I want to walk around and explore the place since we've never been here before. Then we'd probably call it an early evening and be all refresh for tomorrow, which probably will be Disney/MGM Studios.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We spent a lovely evening exploring the resort. Here's a picture just outside of our room.
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They have a lovely, Key West-themed restaurant called Olivia. The food was quite good. Next to the restaurant is the main pool area (they have a total of 3). Next to the pool, there's this dolphin sculpture display area.
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It's a very nice resort, but somehow, I think I miss Saratoga Springs. There's a boat loading area for people who want to go Downtown Disney, but you can't walk to there from here.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
More pictures from our first day yesterday.

As usual, EE was the main attraction.
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We always ride the Triceratop ride, especially yesterday when it was not busy due to the parade.
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We had a lovely time at Dinoland. Will be back there later in the week.
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This morning, we will be doing Disney/MGM Studios.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Started the day by having breakfast at our resort. It was a perfect outdoor breakfast, right by the boat launch area from OKW to Downtown Disney.
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Spent the morning and a bit of early afternoon at Disney/MGM Studios. They were busy, but not too busy. So we were able to get on practically everything we wanted without too much of a wait.

Started with Tower of Terror. Even with Everest, I still consider Tower of Terror to be my most favorite attraction. So we did it twice in the morning. There was hardly any wait.

We then did Rock 'n Rollercoaster and we got to sit right in the very front car. It was certainly a screamer. We didn't get to do this last June, so we're glad we got to do it this time. Might go back and ride this again later in the week.
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After that, we went into the Disney Animation academy, and I got to learn how to draw Mickey again! It came out better than last January. I'll post a picture of what I drew later. This is a picture of the studio where you sit down and learn how to draw different Disney character.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
[cont. from previous message]

We then had lunch at Sci Fi Dine-In theater, even though we didn't make any researvation. We only had to wait about 10 mins for our "car".
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We then walk around the streets of America, and they're well along in putting up lights for the Osborne Spectacle of Lights.
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We then did the Backlot Tour, something we haven't done since they removed those houses. So this is the so-called special effects show they have at the beginning. Here, one of the audience volunteer is being drenched with tons of water.
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This next one, of course, is the familiar scene where you got your water, fire, and earthquack.
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We're resting for the afternoon, and will take the boat to Downtown Disney tonight. It will be an early evening for us since tomorrow will start rather early with a very early breakfast at Cape May with the characters.

Zz
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have a Canon SD500. It's one of those Digital Elph series that Canon has that's very popular. It's small enough that I can slip it into my pocket.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The late afternoon and evening were wet and drizzly at WDW. So we didn't do much other than walk around Downtown Disney. Did quite a bit of pin trading and managed to trade a few cast lanyard pins that we were looking for. It was a good haul. We also scoured through World of Disney looking at things that they had that we might want. We'll get them later in the week once we have decided a large enough quantity to ship home - we get 10% off on most purchases at World of Disney with our annual passes.

We had dinner at Portobello, again with no advance reservation. I would not recommend the minnestrone. However, their red snapper special was delicious. I would have prefered to eat at Fulton's, but they looked very full even from the outside.

Tomorrow will be Epcot day. We will start off with character breakfast at Cape May, and then continue the rest of the day at Epcot. We plan on doing Soarin' and Test Track a few times during this trip, so this will commence tomorrow.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A very long day today. We started at Disney's Beach Club with our breakfast with the characters at Cape May.
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The food was OK, but the characters were a lot of fun! Here, Minnie decided to join us at our table.
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When she heard that two of our friends are late, she then scribbled a message for the two of them.
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After breakfast, we went to Epcot. As expected, throughout the whole day Epcot was not busy at all! We did Soarin' twice.
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Obviously, we spent quite a bit of time at The Land.
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The 4-year old that's in our party joined the Jr. Chefs to learn how to bake cookies.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
[cont. from previous post]

We then hopped on over to Test Track and did the single-rider line. While we were in line, they had a technical glitch, and that added about 10 minutes to our wait time.
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After that, we went to get out Disney Visa charater greetings at Innoventions West. Mickey and Pluto were there to greet us. We took LOTS of pictures.
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On the way to World Showcase, we stopped by the Coke's cool club and tried the different Coke products that they had.
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As we were passing by Canada, Off Kilter was in mid performance and sounding as terrific as ever.
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We stopped over at the UK pavilion and had pictures with Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore. While we were waiting for our picture, Mary Poppins showed up and had pictures with her too!
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Just our luck, Belle and the Beast were also there. More picture opportunities.
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Needless to say, a very satisfying day. We're going to be resting at OKW this evening and hang around the pool (it's a wet, drizzly evening, it would appear). We have to get up early tomorrow for an early tour of Epcot on the Segway.

Zz.
 

DanStat

Well-Known Member
OK - I'm obsessed with your photos. I've never seen Beast in the parks. Very cool. I've always wanted to try that new restaurant in The Land.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I forgot to mention one thing. Not sure if others have mentioned this already, but the ride photos for EE can now be "stored" on your PhotoPass! Hooray!

I am guessing that they'll eventually do this for all the attractions that have ride photos, which would only makes sense. I didn't plan on buying the PhotoPass CD on this trip (already bought one from our June trip), but now, I'm considering it.

Epcot, btw, still uses the "2-finger" biometric scan, while Disney/MGM and Animal Kingdom have already migrated to the 1-finger scan. I'll know about Magic Kingdom today. After our Segway tour this morning at Epcot, we're heading to MK.

We had a terrific pin-trading last night at the general store here at OKW. One of the cast members had a lanyard choke full of cast lanyard pins! Unfortunately, following the pin trading rules, each one of us can only trade up to 2 pins each with her. If I had my way, I would have grabbed at least 8 pins off her lanyard. Still, our trading completed 2 different sets that we've been trying to fill, so we were quite happy with what we got.

Zz.
 

Jerm

Well-Known Member
I forgot to mention one thing. Not sure if others have mentioned this already, but the ride photos for EE can now be "stored" on your PhotoPass! Hooray!


I knew that TT had just changed over. But when did EE? Also is it the same where you slid in your card or do you have to take it to the CM to have them put in on there?
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I knew that TT had just changed over. But when did EE? Also is it the same where you slid in your card or do you have to take it to the CM to have them put in on there?

I don't know when EE changed over. There is a cast member there that will slide in the card for you when your picture is being displayed at the monitor.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Today was a FANTASTIC, MAGICAL day at WDW.

First, we started the morning by doing the Segway tour. The first hour started off with an intense lesson on using the Segway, including moving forward and backward, turning, going up and down a ramp, going in between cones without hitting them, etc. The 2nd hour was a lot of fun, we went around World Showcase, hitting every country and going in an out of various tricky path. The one in Japan was rather difficult, but all of us made it through. The instructor also gave us several trivia about each country. We got to take pictures by Italy.
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We ended back where we started, in Innoventions. A special pin was given to everyone who completed the tour. Let me tell ya, it was one of the most fun activities we have ever done. Highly recommended!

We then had time to do Soarin' twice, before hopping over to the Magic Kingdom. On the way there, we got to sit in the monorail front car with the driver! It was very cool since I've never done that before. We took pictures from the very front, and the picture of the terrific cast member. As it so happens, I was wearing my "Please Stand Clear of the Door" t-shirt! The monorail driver's comment to me was "Well, that's the first time I saw that t-shirt!" :) It was a hoot! He then handed us a special "Monorail co-pilot" card, "authorized by Mickey Mouse". I was in heaven!

This is the view from the front as we were approaching the Contemporary.
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This was our monorail pilot.
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As expected, MK wasn't busy at all! We went straight to Pirates of the Caribbean, which we missed last June (both at Disneyland and MK) since it was still under rehab. There was practically no wait. We walked right up to the boat! The beginning was impressive, with the image of Davy Jones on the "mist", and there were a lot of inference to Captain Jack, and Jack did appear at 3 different locations. However, I think I was expecting a lot more (and from all news reports, the one at Disneyland seems to be a lot more extensive). So it was a slight letdown.

We then did Splash Mountain, my most favorite attraction at MK. Again, the wait wasn't very long at all, barely 10 minutes.
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Here was my first, foolish attempt at getting a picture during the final plunge. It's a bit shaky, as you can understand, because I was also hurrying trying to slip the camera under my shirt before the big splash.
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[continue in next post.]
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
[cont. from previous post]

We staked a place to view Disney Dreams Come True parade. The parade content is certainly better than the old parade, but the music isn't as memorable, certainly not to me. Here are a few pictures of the parade.
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We then had dinner at Crystal Palace, which we made a reservation that day when we walked into MK. So again, there was not any problems in getting dining reservations. Crytal Palace may have, outside of Boma, the best buffet anywhere (I haven't tried Cape May's buffet yet, so that may change). Their baked salmon was out of this world! Of course, Pooh and friends were there to help us enjoy the dinner even more. Here are Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore when they stopped by our table.
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We then did a lot of other attractions while Cinderelabration was going on. We did Snow White, Pooh, Teacups, Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and finallly, Jungle Cruise. A big tip of the hat to Luisa, our Jungle Cruise skipper. She was wonderful. Not only did she do the standard spiel, but she ad libbed enough to make it interesting. It was one of the most enjoyable Jungle Cruise in a while (after having 2 bad ones the last two times given by the SAME cast member who had as much enthusiasm for it as a pet rock).

We then stayed for Wishes (no spectromagic that night). Since we had already videotaped Wishes (you may check my video collection in my Signature), I used the tripod to take a few pictures (OK, so it wasn't a few). Here are a few snap shots of Wishes.
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We had a wonderful day, one of the most memorable ones in recent memories. Just when you think things can't get any better, a day like this happens. This is what makes this place so magical, that even "jaded" frequent visitors like us can still be surprised by new, unexpected events that made it new and exciting again.

Tomorrow, we will go back to Animal Kingdom.

Zz.
 

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