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The Official HCRHS Percussion Staff Trip to WDW


Original Poster
Who are we?

Me (Todd) - 27
Lisi - My wife - 24
Ken - Our friend - 24
Jane - Ken's girlfriend - 23

Everyone but Jane is on the percussion staff together with a marching band here in NJ (that explains the title :)).

Thursday June 26:

Lisi and I get up at 2am and do some last minute packing (food into the cooler) and we were on the road by 3am. Unlike last year, we were planning to make the drive all in the same day, so stocked the cooler with a bunch of bagels, sandwiches and drinks. Our intension was to stop ONLY for gas or if we really needed to (i.e. bathroom break or fuel stop).

We held to this pretty well, unfortunately, Lisi pulled something in her back a few days before the trip, and she needed to stop a little more often and for a little longer each time to stretch it out. When we got into South Carolina, we saw our first palm trees (yay!) and we got a phone call from Ken. They were doing some of their last minute packing, albeit a little more relaxed than us. They were getting on a flight at a little after 8pm and would land about 10pm. (You may ask why we didn't fly as well? I am scard to death of flying, always have been. We're going to be looking into medications to help me relax on a plane :))

Finally, we were on property at about 9pm, not bad, about 18 hours on the road. We got to All-Star Music and checked in both rooms. We were looking around Maestro Mickey's when we got the call from Ken, they had just landed and were getting into their car as we spoke (Ken splurged for a Lincoln Town car as a surprise for Jane.). Time to hit the rooms, we thought.

As we walked to our room, were realized that our 2 room s were right under the huge drumset at the Jazz Inn. It was almost as if they knew we we're percussionists (drummers) :D.

Moments later Ken & Jane arrived and we decided on a late night dip in the piano pool. (Shouldn't we be sleeping?? Oh well...)

About 11:30pm we retreated to our room, ordered a pizza, showered and hit the hay, knowing we had a very early morning and LONG day ahead of us tomorrow....


Original Poster
Friday June 27-

Mickey's wake up call came at around 6:30am. We got out of bed, dressed and met Ken & Jane around 7am in the food court for breakfast. by 7:30 we were in the Jeep headed for the MK for our 8:10 "Keys To The Kingdom".

Lisi and I have done this tour before (last year), but we wanted to bring Ken & Jane on it, plus we knew you'd get a slightly different experience depending on who your tour guide is. We got an amazing parking spot, and rode the monorail (in the front car) to the front gates of the MK. We got in and checked in for our tour and just soaked in some of that early morning MAGIC.

Our tour guide was Mary....

The tour was for the most part the same as when we had Holly last year, but there was enough of a difference to make it worth while. We didn't ride the Jungle Cruise like last year, but did PotC before heading backstage. We all swore not to touch anything or take any pictures "So Help me Walt...", and we went in. we saw the parade storage/recharging area then headed 2 places we didn't go last year. First, we went to the canal where the barges for the Electric Water Pagent are kept, then we walked over behind Splash Mt and checked out the absolutely HUGE resevoir.

The rest of the tour was about the same. A walk through Frontierland with explainations of the cities & states represented. Lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. A ride of the Haunted Mansion (I Love this attaction!). She explained about the "river of ick" in Liberty Square (need to know, ask me). Back to Main Street for the last leg of the tour. Into some of the offices over the Emporium and down into the Utilidors. We emerged on the Tomorrowland side of Main Street where she showed us where a magic flight ends, rather abruptly.

Back onstage into Town Square where our tour came to an end...

Now, we are were about to partake in the first of what we would begin to call "siesta". By the definition we were using, it could have been used as a verb or noun, but it was just time to head back to the resort and rest, swim, cool down, shower and/or read (everyone but Ken had their copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with us. :))

We made a PS for Tony's Town Square for that evening (about 7pm) and decided to siesta for a bit. I had the bright idea to leave the Jeep at the MK and take the bus back to the All-Star Music so we would have an easy escape tonight after E-Ride Night.

A few hours later, rested washed and in some clean clothes, we arrived back in the MK to pick up our wristbands for E-Ride, then had our dinner at Tony's. I couln't tell you what the others had, but the pork chop was SO good.

From there we kind of shopped a bit heading up Main Street towards Fantasyland (since it would be closed for E-ride). We ran into a great cast member from NY in Sir Mickey's and ended up in a conversation with her for about 10 minutes. Then we hit IASW and rode Peter Pan (my first time). At this point we attempted to get on the Carusel but it had just done it's last ride, :().

E-Ride has begun....

As the FitS fireworl went off above us, we headed to Tomorrowland and took a couple loops on the TTA to let some of the regular day guests leave. Then off to Space Mountain, for 3 of us, I wimped out completely. I love Big Thunder, but still can't get myself on Space, I'm such a big wuss :D. I did another 3 loops on the TTA, and when I saw the other 3 getting on their rocket, I realized it was time to go. I met everyone just as they got off and we went over and rode Buzz.

We started to walk across the park to Liberty Square but quickly stopped when we saw what was going on in front of the Castle. There were a bunch of characters everywhere....

First of all, we saw Goofy & Pluto under one shelter. Goofy decided to take one of the park's rental strollers, sit in it and let himself roll off the curb and crash. While we were watching all of this, Chip and Dale snuck up behind us and scared Lisi & Jane. Chip started dancing with Jane while Lisi "talked" with Dale. He took her PAL Mickey and played with it, then stopped, pointed at it then himself , then bowed his head to cry. Lisi almost cryed and we bopth comsoled him since there isn't a PAL Dale available yet. We got a hughe groups photo with the 6 of us. Then Pluto, and then Goofy took picutres with us. Then as we picked up our trek to the west side of the MK, we ran into Mickey AND Minnie, together. There's a photo op you don't get every day, I got a kiss from Minnie while Mickey gave Lisi a hug :). Then while Ken & Jane went for there pic, a humorous scene took place as Jane accused (kidding of course) that Minnie was "hitting on her man..."

Finally, we got to Liberty Square and got in line for the Haunted Mansion. Here's where the bullseye that stayed with her the rest of the trip got painted on Jane. The HM CMs strike! As we're walking the last past of the queue before the moving walkway, the CM jumped and slammed his hands on the wall right next to her, and she nearly jumped over the wall away from him.

After a bathroom/rest break, we went to BTMRR, and yes, this ride may very well be better in the dark. The more I ride this one the more I like it. (I know, I know, and I still won't ride Space Mt. :().

At this point it's a little after midnight, and we all decide that it's been a long day and head for the Jeep, and make our tentative plans for the next day.


Original Poster
Saturday, June 28th

We got up a little later today (to make up for the long day yesterday), and decide we're going to go to MGM. We also decide not to have breakfast, but to have a very early lunch at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.

Ken & I had the pot roast (oh was that good...), Lis had the chicken pot pie and Jane the fried chicken. Ken was even compliment by our "aunt" to the whole room about how all of the tongue marks on his plate went in the same dirextion. As good as the pot roast was, I was almost sorry that I hadn't gotten the pot pie. We all got our sugar rush for today and split the s'mores.

We went to Star Tours (on a full stomach...duh), which Lisi sat out due to her back :(. We did a bunch a shopping then MuppetVision 3D. Afterwards we did the Backlot Tour (on one of it's last trips throug Residential Street). After that was another photo op with Ken and my favorite character, Sorcerer Mickey. Then, Lisi & I got our pictures with Lilo & Stitch while Ken & Jane shopped in the Art Of Disney Store (Ken is a bit of a collector). Time for a Mickey Ice cream bar, then onto the GMR (didn't notice any major differences in the script).

At this point we sit down for a drink since Jane is starting to feel a little dehydrated :(. We figure that except for Fantasmic, we covered everything we really wanted to in MGM. So, we leave at head for "siesta" back at the resort. The decison is made to go to Epcot tonight for RoE and catch Fantasmic on a night where they would be having to 2 showings and not just one.

At Epcot, we split up while Jane & Ken left a Legacy. We headed towards the WS to get a decent spot for the show, but decisded to go take a look at Mission: Space. The pictures on the internet do not do this building justice. It is really amazing to look at in person. We stopped in Mexico to watch RoE, since PAL Mickey suggested it might be a nice viewing spot. He was NOT wrong, It was one of the best positions that either of us have ever seen this show from. Lisi was in tears as usual (oh, OK so was I...this show has so much meaning to us with it's connection to The Cadets of Bergen County Drum & Bugle Corps from 2000...want an explaination, PM me...).

We took our time heading out, met up with Ken & Jane at the fountain, and walked through Mouse Gear. What's a day in a WDW park without shopping through it's largest store on the way out?

Back to the room to rest for an early wake up tomorrow...


Original Poster
Sunday, June 29th

Up really early this morning for our 8:15 PS at Donald's Breakfastosaurus. Yes, four 20-somethings going to a WDW character breakfast :D. I will say this, the food was very good, and there was quite a wide variety to choose from. We met with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, then filled our plates and ourselves. The bulleye was hit 2 more times as our serve came over very carefully with a tray with a few cup on it, he said, "these are some really hot cappichinos so be careful...", at which point he dropped then on Ken & Jane, of course they jumped and the cups were empty. This was followed by Jane gettting the ketchup treatment :). .Pluto came back around after we ate and he spent a bunch of time with us. Mostly, he was hitting on Jane and tauning Ken about the fact that there was no ring on her finger. That went on for about 5 minutes. He turned to me and I pointed at my finger and Lisi's and he hugged us both. We started to scratch him behind the ears and his legg started going nuts. I hope the photos of this encounter come out well, cause it was quite a memorable experience.

From there we walked right into ITTBAB in the Tree of Life, which was fun as usual. From there we headed to Africa for fastpasses for Kilamanjaro Safari, which we didn't nee since the stand by was only 15 minutes. After that we walked the Pangani Trail, then browsed the shops in Africa for new toys (as I said, we're percussionists and are always on the look-out for new sounds). Off to Asia for the Maharajah Jungle Trek. From here Jane & Ken wanted to do Dinosaur, but Lisi was leary about it because of her back. So we split and went to walk through the shops on the way out. We met back up at the exit and went back to rest...err..."siesta" (we're silly aren't we? :)).

Originally, we had planned to go back to MGM tonight for Fantasmic, but as we arrived the skies opened up and never closed. Actually, we never made it in the gates to see if the show was still going on, we just got back into the car and headed for the resort gift shop where we bought the Disney parks edition of Monopoly and the Haunted Mansion Clue Game. We spent the rest of that wet evening playing Monopoly in our room until after midnight.


Original Poster
Monday, June 30th

This is our "no park day", supposed to be a little more relaxed and do DTD at night.

Lisi & I were up early, like 7:30, and that was without an alarm. We drove over to the Corodado Springs for breakfast inthe Pepper Market, and look around a little. The Breakfast Skillet was really good.

From ther we went where no regular guest dare drive, past the Contempoary and past Space Mountain behind the MK, to go to Company D. Ever since we were planning htis trip, Lisi has wanted to check this place out sinces she's been a castmember at the Disney Store since February. She picked up a few trinkets and pens for her desk at school (she's a music teacher), as well as a few exclusive pins and a lanyard for her school ID.

We left the backstage area after 11am and called Ken and WOKE THEM UP!!! (Lazy bums...:() We got back and read for a bit and hit the pool for a while. After a shower and change of clothes, we were all off to Downtown Disney, Lisi & I to do some shopping, and Ken & Jane to see Finding Nemo. That means more monorail toy for me, and the new WDW railroad set with Main Street Station YAY!! :D

After shopping clearly more than we should have, we all met up for dinner at Fulton's, and as I remembered from last year, the food was great. Easily ONE OF the best restaurants on property.

Into Pleasure Island for a little hang out and more shopping :D. I finally got Mickey feet slippers that fit me, I am so happy! Size 13 and I fit in the "large" size yellow shoes. Jane & Ken had a drink or two and did a couple of the clubs while Lisi & I went to the Comedy Warehouse for a show. We all met up at around 11:30 and went back to the rooms to get ready for the home stretch of our trip.


Original Poster
Tuesday, July 1

Today is Epcot day.

It was decided that we'd sleep a little later today so that we wouldn't need to leave the park to siesta today. Ken & Jane left a Legacy today while Lisi & I looked around in the little shops just under Spaceship Earth. Lisi, Ken and Jane went to Test Track to get us all fastpasses while I scouted out the situation over at Mission: Space. There were ropes across all of the main paths to M:S, each with a CM stationed to field any questions. Without really asking, I was told, "We open on August 15th...". Which I of course knew already, and I knew when we should come back. From there, we all did Body Wars, Ellen's Energy Adventure, caught the end of the Jammitors performance. Lunch was at the Electric Umbrella, then we visited the Living Seas and Figment and walked through Ice Station Cool. We were a little disappointed that a couple of the soda weren't there anymore, most notably the apple flavored one. From there we walked through Mouse Gear because Ken "had to have some chocolate."

At about 3:45, we headed towards Mission: Space and saw that the ropes were gone, the globe was on and there was a groups of people hanging out at the wall. At 4pm, a crew of CMs came towards the wall. One, who looked like a supervisor of some sort turned around the "preview" sign and announced, "ladies and gentlemen, Mission: Space is an extremely intense thrill ride. If you have problems with enclosed spaces, spinning or loud noises, then this attaction may not be for you." At this point it was realized that Ken would not do this ride. As he'll say himself, "I can't do spinny rides..." Lisi & I went in and Jane stayed with Ken. They said that they only let people in for about 20 minutes before closing the wall back up and turning the sign back around.

I can't say much more than has already been said about this attraction, but I can say, "WOW!" It was amazing, Lisi and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely do it again when we return. The feeling of being smashed back into your seat was incredible. Neither of us got sick, felt queasy or were disoriented when we got out of the pod.

We sent a post card from space and bought a bunch of stuff from the gift shop (including a new hat for each of us, which targeted us for many questions the rest of the evening.).

Here's our postcard from Space: Lisi & Todd's Postcard from Space

Yes, I know we're weird...:D

It was time for our fastpasses, so we hit TT what was each of our first times on it. Dinner time was approaching and the thought of the World Showcase set in. We shopped through the new store in Japan, and we finally ended up in Italy for food. Their lanagna is amazing, as was the Alfredo that my wife got. From there we started to walk for a spot to see RoE again. We had finally decided that we would skip Fantasmic this trip and stay here for what we both agree is the best nighttime show on property.

Tonight we watched from Italy on the bridge to one of the areas thats usually closed off for private parties. Not tonight! The show was amazing as always, however we both felt Mexico was a much better spot. We walked slowly to towards Future World, browsed through Mouse Gear one last time and headed to the car. Tomorrow is our last day in the World :(.


Original Poster
Wednesday, July 2

Our last day...:(

We all went to the Concourse Steakhouse in the Contemporary for breakfast and our Sticky Mickey. From there we split up for a day on our own. We caught the show on the train station that opens the MK and got a bunch of pictures with characters in Town Square. Then slowly up Main Street to the castle to see Cinderella's Surpirse Celebration. Thought this was a well done show, and this was the first time we've ever seen it. We got more pictures with more characters (a new thing this trip, I know...:)) after the show.

After that we got fastpasses for the Jungle Cruise and BTMRR. We checked out the new Goofy's Country Dancin' Jamboree. I never saw the original show, but this one is cute. It's really geared more to the kids where your host (I don't remember her name) Goffy, Chip & Dale, Woody, Jesse and Bullseye teach everyone how to do some line dances. The characters were on the floor dancing with everyone, and the kids looked like they were really having fun.

Off across the park for lunch at Cosmic Ray's. Is it just me or does it seem that this is one of the coldest restaurants in the MK? From there we rose the Jungle Cruise and watched the Share a Dream Come True Parade from by Splash Mountain. This was NOT a good spot to watch from, maybe we're just spoiled having always watched MK parades from Main Street and the hub. Then onto BTMRR and the Haunted Mansion again. At the cart I bought supplies for my possible new vehicle. If all goes well, I'll have a new black Chevy TrailBlazer which I want to theme after the HM with the antenna topper, personalized license plates, all of the HM Mickeys & Minnies as "co-pilots" and the "This car brakes for hitchhiking ghosts" bumper stickers.

Then we went to Main Street for a little shopping before he headed over the the Polynesian for a dinner at 'Ohana's. The food here was even better than the last time we were here. My wife thought that the meat was a litlle dry last year, but everything was so juicy this year. We both argeed that Ohana just moved up on our list.

Back into the MK to grab a spot for Spectromagic. Lisi ran off to get me a Sorcerer Mickey light chaser...:D...I am SUCH a child. Then I got her an electric rose, it's kind of a tradition that I get her one on each trip. The other tradition is that Spectomagic is what we do on our last night, so this one always makes us cry. As the crowd broke up around us, we stood there and watched as the parade completely vanished from sight, with tears in our eyes. Some last minute shopping in the Emporium, then we grabbed a spot in the middle of Main Street to watch FitS. On the last explosion, we made our way against the flow of people towards the Partners statue where we took a seat behind it, and sat and watched the castle change color while everyone filed out around us. At about 10:30, we watched the Kiss Goodnight, and slowly made our way down Main Street, taking in the last bits of the magic for this trip. It was a sad moment, as always, and it was really tough to get in the car and drive away.

Back In the room, we quickly packed in went to sleep....


Original Poster
Thursday, July 3rd

Got the car packed and we were on the road by 5am. No matter what time of day we leave, it's always tough to leave the magic behind. The trip home took a litlle longer because we were really tired from the day before, and Lisi's back was acting up on the ride home, so both of us really needed to take shorter shifts driving. Finally, we pulled into our driveway at about midnight.


Keys to the Kingdom is totally worth it if you want to see how the magic happens and hear lots of stories and secrets about WDW and the MK.

E-ride night was worth the additional $12. Next time we won't do such an early start to the day so we could make it to the end of the night. Also, I think we'll take advantage of multiple rides on some of the attractions. We were just in the mindset of getting on everything we wanted to and riding more than once really wasn't something we were trying to do. If you have a chance to do E-Ride Night, do it.

PAL Mickey is so cute and helpful. Like I said earlier, he got us to watch RoE from Mexico in Epcot, and it was one of the best views that we've ever had of the show. He even gave us 30 & 15 minute warnings when a parade or show was abut to start. I'd say, don't bother renting him, pay the $50 and keep him. This 27 year old and his 24 year old wife thoroughly enjoyed his company.

I would also agree with the suggested strategy of leaving the park midday for a swim and a nap, then returning to the park later. We always felt much more rested and relaxed for the conclusion of our day. Ths was the first trip we did this and it made such a difference.

It was a great trip, our first with friends, and we cannot wait until we go back. We've only been home for 10 days, and we're already "homesick".

Anyone have any questions, please feel free to PM me....

Hope you all enjoyed my ramblings!!!


Original Poster
The "River Of Ick"

Originally posted by SpongeScott
Nice report. And as usual, sounds like you had a blast!

I'll ask--please explain the "river of ick."
OK...back in the time that Liberty Square is supposed to represent, there was no plumbing or running water, so the wayn that people would clean out their chamberpots etc. would be to just dump everything out of their window into the streets, creating pools and "rivers" of waste and sewage :hurl: .

When you walk through Liberty Square, notice the random winding brown path down the middle of the streets. This is there to represent the the sewage in on the roads. Or as our tour guide called it, the "river of ick". She mentioned how she never walks on it except during tours to make the point, and she always laughs as she sees people strolling along, not knowing what they're wading in :hurl: .

PS - sorry, this response is so late.....


Original Poster
Originally posted by dox
Great report!!! What is the kiss goodnight?
Glad you enjoyed the report....

As for the "Kiss Goodnight"...I'll see if my explaination doesn't confuse you more...

After the official closing, on the night we were there, 10:30 after the 10pm closing, there is a short light/audio show on the castle. The audio consists of an announcer and some characters (although I really don't remember which ones).

Basically, it's a closing announcement, but done in a very Disney way. Brought tears to our eyes each time we saw it.

This is a search of WDWMagic forums for threads mentioning or talking about the Goodnight Kiss. You may be able to get other insight from those posts.

Look here for a schedule of when this show occurs. Just scroll down to the Fireworks & Parades section, it's listed right after Fantasy In The Sky.

Hope this helps...

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