Trip Report Shortest Retirement in History?

Justin Bieber lasted 2 weeks.

Tom Brady lasted 40 days.

I, Tuvalu, outlasted them both. Not by much, mind you. Yet if not for the encouragement of some forum friends - along with some unusual circumstances - you wouldn’t be reading this.

Unusual circumstances, you say?

Around Thanksgiving my beloved Woody learned his presence was required at a work conference. In Orlando. At Universal.
Just down the road from Walt Disney World.

Woody said I could accompany him if he drove (rather than flew) to Florida. And that we could leave a couple days early and have some Disney time together.

Well you don’t have to ask me twice!

I’d be on my own during the conference. Since the majority of Universal’s attractions don’t appeal to me, it didn’t make sense for me to buy Uni tickets when I could visit WDW for free with my AP. Being solo, I thought it might be fun to do a live trip report so y’all could be my virtual companions!

Turns out I won’t be alone while Woody is occupied after all. Some friends that you have seen in my previous TRs (and one you haven’t) have offered to play with me. I can’t wait!

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Tuvalu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So apparently I was too quick to post about Sunday, as I accidentally omitted these photos from our evening stroll around Epcot.

Love Mickey on the hill!
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Does Canada at twilight look as beautiful as this @amjt660?

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Hoped a monorail would make an appearance in this one. No luck!

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A big deal was made about the projections on the Coco dragon. We did not get what all the fuss was about.

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LeighM

Well-Known Member
I confirm that until today the temperatures were almost as hot as the last time we were here, which was a couple of years ago in August. Today (now that the rain has stopped) is quite pleasant.

I will second that the heat and humidity the week we were there was brutal. It almost felt like the time we went in August when it felt like a plastic bag was tied around our heads. Although my experience with the "pleasant" temps were few and far between LOL.
 

Tuvalu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday, May 6

Woody enjoys a big breakfast and I like to book one for him each trip. Our morning began with a quiet boat ride from GF to Poly.

We dined at our cat’s café. 😸

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Woody had a ham and cheese omelet with fried potatoes and a biscuit. My appetite at breakfast isn’t huge - and I hate to waste food - so I asked if I could have one macadamia nut pancake (usual serving is three) and a side of scrambled eggs. With POG juice, of course! (The glass of juice being the most expensive item of the three :jawdrop:.)

One pancake filled the entire plate and was delicious, as were the eggs. I left stuffed.

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Walking back to GF after eating would have been lovely if not for the ongoing construction of the Polyday Inn. (A nickname I read on this site and found hilarious.)

As I grumbled - yet gain - about the loss of the picturesque and tranquil path between the two resorts, Woody said, “You need to let it go. The walkway you remember is not coming back.”

So we boarded the monorail instead.

After a change into swimwear, we spent the next 4.5 hours (not a typo) relaxing under an umbrella and lounging in the water.

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Tuvalu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday, con’t

We headed over to DHS in late afternoon. We had a dinner ADR and an ILL to use that I had purchased at 7 this morning.

We waited between 10-15 minutes in the Lightning Lane before entering the room with BB-8 and Rey. The preshow was flawless as was the trip on the transport ship with Lieutenant Bek.

But for some odd reason, Woody and I had a transport vehicle to ourselves (?!)

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#ShirleyStatus

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Kylo was in B-mode and just as we reached the end, the ride shut down and the lights came on.

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Add Rise of the Resistance to the list of attractions from which we’ve been evacuated!

While I was glad we got 99% of the attraction experience, it would have been more interesting to have been evacuated from someplace inside. As it was, we were trapped in our vehicle for over 20 minutes and one of the last ones to be freed. We received a LL for our "trouble", but the real trouble was we were now late for dinner.

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The CM was able to waive the $10/pp no-show fee and managed to find a table for us after a short wait. While our server minimally played along with the few tables around us, she left us alone. It was not the same fun I'd had on Mom's birthday trip, but the fried chicken and meatloaf were very good.

We opted to use our recovery pass on MMRR.

The bus to GF was pulling away as we approached the gate so Woody suggested boarding the Contemporary bus which was idling in the next gate down. We browsed the gift store and got a snack from the Contempo Cafe before riding the monorail home.

Made it to the room in time for HEA.

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Tuvalu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, May 7

Today was our Epcot day and thanks to Em, we had a VQ for Guardians. We arrived in time for early entry and accomplished Soarin’, LWTL, Nemo (cuz Em refuses to ride it :cautious:) and Spaceship Earth in a little over an hour.

I found the perfect tee for me in the Seas gift shop.

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I only took a picture of it - because it will last longer. :hilarious:

Speaking of tees, I saw a guest sporting one that you procrastinators will appreciate -
Don’t rush me. I’m waiting for the last minute.

BG 29 was called early enough in the day that we only waited 30 minutes rather than the usual 50. Woody saved the Galaxy via September while I was chickening out.

We strolled around the park enjoying the floral displays and topiaries. Woody said the Festival had a lot more flowers than in recent years and I agree. A picture of him with his favorite character was a must.

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He does miss the “garden” part of the Festival (displays, demonstrations and classes) from the pre-food booth years.

The humidity was brutal today and we popped into Mexico to cool off. We had enough time to ride the boat in search of Donald before our lunch ADR.

Or so we thought.

There were only a few people in the queue and we were very close to the load zone when the ride suffered “technical difficulties” and maintenance was summoned. (A returning boat had tripped a sensor in the unload area.) However Woody and I were trapped - that narrow-width queue was now filled with guests behind us and there was no way we could leave.

And there was no way to modify our ADR without calling. Couldn’t call without a signal. Once again we’d be late to a meal!

While the boat ride was pleasant, the power-walk to Italy in 92 degree heat was not. 🥵

Thankfully our tardiness was forgiven and we were blessed to be seated in the back of the quiet room which had plenty of a/c.

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We had a sweet American server (no “attitude” 😉) who did not rush us. Not sure which we enjoyed more - the pizza or the drinks!

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Our leisurely lunch provided the necessary stamina for the rest of our tour on the surface of the sun.

We got back to our room late afternoon and crashed. Prior evening plans were scrapped in favor of staying local. I was able to switch our ‘Ohana reservation from later in the week to tonight, and the food was great. Brother T is obsessed with the bread pudding so I sent this to taunt him.

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We debated hanging around the Poly to watch HEA from the beach but ultimately decided not to deal with the crowds.

We had a perfectly fine view from our turret.

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Tuvalu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, May 8

Record-setting temperatures necessitated a change in plans today. Park touring was out. Pool lounging was in.

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We kept cool under the shade of an umbrella and hanging out in the water. Had yummy grilled chicken sandwiches on ciabatta from the pool bar for lunch. Did not return to the room until late afternoon.

After showering I headed for a VIP meet at Epcot. Woody was going to accompany me but he was feeling a bit woozy so I suggested he stay behind and rest. After a couple of mis-timed monorails, I hurriedly made my way to the ship in front of GotG.

I glanced around for @Figment Forever and her family. Suddenly I heard, “TUVALU!” and I turned to see an elated teen running towards me, arms open wide, ready to hug. It was Hope, @Figment Forever ’s precious daughter.

“TUVALU, YOU’RE A REAL PERSON!” Hope exclaimed. “You’re not just on the computer! Group hug, group hug!”

It was one of the best group hugs I’d ever received. I did not feel worthy of the adoration. I have wanted to meet this family for years. I have followed @Figment Forever ’s trip reports since 2013, when Hope was 4. I was probably even more excited to meet them than they were to meet me!

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Hope took a selfie of us with her phone and mine.

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We chatted. We laughed. I even asked Ross why he wasn’t wearing Crocs. :hilarious: I was disappointed I did not meet “The Boy” but Julia gave me a quick update before going off to join him.

A trip highlight indeed!

Once back on the monorail I texted Woody to see if he was up for meeting for dinner. We decided on Capt. Cooks (as if we hadn’t eaten enough meals at the Poly yet!)

The Aloha pork sandwich hit the spot for both of us.

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(Pic courtesy of Disney Food Blog.)

Woody shared tidbits of an interesting conversation he’d overheard while on the boat to Poly.

Fun Fact: “The CEO of Disney lives in an apartment inside the Magic Kingdom. All current CEOs are required to live there.”

(The statement was said with authority, so it must be true, right?)

And as the boat approached the bungalows, this little gem: “Wonder why they didn’t build any ramps to those duplexes on the water? How are you supposed to get to them?”

(Yep, that’s a real mystery….)

On the boat back, we were graced with the presence of the former lead singer of the B-52’s.

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We disembarked at MK for a twilight spin on the Peoplemover. Extra evening hours for deluxe resort guests was from 10 pm to midnight. In my fantasy world, we would have stayed and played. In reality, we were back at the Grand Floridian in time to watch Happily Ever After from the marina.

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