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Pre-Trip Therapy.

So, uh, there's a pandemic happening. And I'm very cagey about crowds right now. However, based on hotel/reservation/dining availability and pricing, I think I can get away with it. I was supposed to go to WDW for my 25th birthday last October. Then I moved the target to 'celebrating my law school graduation.' Now, I'm just calling it a belated birthday-graduation-bar-exam trip. The 'I'm Celebrating!' button will be very crowded. (Fingers crossed I actually passed the bar exam.) I'm in the Deep South, and I have a very strong suspicion that everything is going to get bumped online by the end of September/early October, based on how swamped hospitals are. Might as well go now. Plus, you know, the world is becoming an increasingly terrifying place, and I'm pretty stressed out. After May of next year, I'm going to have a big-girl job and big-girl responsibilities, and I don't know when I'll get my next vacation. Also? Prices were ridiculously low.

So. I said **** it and booked a solo trip.

Burning skymiles to save on airfare, so I only paid incidentals. Hotels and tickets, including Boo Bash, totaled $1040. Magical Express has not been phased out yet, so I'm saving on transportation. This is as good as it gets price-wise, folks. All-Star Movies was $134/night, and if you think I wasn't going to jump at the Marriott price, then you absolutely don't know me. (Which, I'm suddenly realizing, none of you *do* know me, actually. Never mind.)

But anyway. Flying out on Sept. 11, which is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Returning that Wednesday. All-Star Movies. Day 1 is pool day at the hotel; maybe Downtown Disney Disney Springs. I absolutely hate Disney Springs now--it's Century City Mall, basically--but I have to fill the time somehow, and I want to try out Erin McKenna's. This is my first trip since being diagnosed with celiac, so I have to scope out the snacks. Day 2 is MK + Boo Bash. Did I gladly shell out $140 for artificial crowd reduction and free gluten-free candy? Giddily so. Eating for the first time at Skipper's Canteen. I normally do Be Our Guest, but I'm trying to shake it up a bit. Day 3 is Animal Kingdom, my favorite park in the place. Just quick-servicing, but I'm going to park it at Nomad Lounge for a while and get some GF churros. Day 4 is Hollywood Studios. My last trip was before Rise of the Resistance and Runaway Railway (RIP Great Movie Ride) opened, so I'm eager to try them both out. Oga's Canteen will be my dinner choice. I also have missed MuppetVision more than certain relatives. The last day is EPCOT. I'm just dropping in for a few quick rides, AKA riding Test Track on a loop and some French pavilion snacks.

Maybe I'm a grump, or maybe I'm just old, but I'm a fan of there being zero Fastpass. It's more democratic if we're all forced to stand in the standby line together! I should note that I'm the last person to complain about entertainment offerings being cut because I've found that the most meaningful moments I've had at the parks have been with Cast Members, with characters, and with my family. The pricing is out of control these days, though, and had it not been for this particular chunk of the week being ridiculously cheap, I wouldn't be going. I just really need a vacation, so I caved.
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
Congratulations on graduating law school and best of luck with passing the Bar! I know how difficult getting through law school and passing the bar can be since my daughter lived it! You really do deserve this trip so I'm glad you were able to get such great hotel rates for this trip.
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1:

It is incredibly disconcerting flying on September 11, 2021. I had no real security concerns--it was just the symbolism of it all. There were small children on my flight, including one in the row in front of me who had received her wings from the flight attendant. My mom kept mine from one of my earliest flights, which was in the days when kids were still allowed to wander up into the cockpit and meet the pilots, and when security was left to the discretion of the airline. I don't have any special story. I do know that my brother was three months old, and he reached draft age when the war in Afghanistan was still actively ongoing. I had classmates--and we were in kindergarten twenty years ago--who attended West Point and graduated into active service. Same war. No politics, please. I'm merely contemplating the passage of time. Anyway. It was, on a lighter note, also not a good day to fly because I was missing Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United. He scored two goals, and MUFC dispatched Newcastle 4-1. This is important, but you'll have to keep reading to find out why!

Landed in Orlando. Flights (thank God) were uneventful. I'd gate-checked my bag because my flight, a Boeing 767 with a 264-passenger capacity, was full. The bag beat me to baggage claim! I love expediency! Which is, unfortunately, why I hate Magical Express. I appreciate it being a free service, and I'll be sad to see it go from a nostalgia point of view, but it took a very, very long time for the shuttle to arrive, and then All-Star Movies was last on the line. My room wasn't ready, according to MDE, but check-in didn't start until 3, so I shrugged it off, left my bags at bell services, and then hopped on the bus conveniently waiting to ferry me to Disney Springs.

I hate Disney Springs. I really do. It has become an upscale outlet mall in a wealthy zip code. It lost the coziness it used to have as Downtown Disney--nightclubs excluded. (Those were weird.) I walked past Anthropologie and Sephora and UNIQLO and all those other find-'em-anywhere stores and went STRAIGHT to BB Wolf's. I haven't eaten at Disney Springs since it was still Downtown Disney, and even then it was just the Ghirardelli parlor. I, however, love hot dogs, and so I ordered a bunless (yay celiac) New York Pastrami hot dog, foot-long. It came with Lay's, which were fit for purpose (I hadn't eaten all day), and the hot dog itself was delicious. Not quite what I'd envisioned, but then my hungry brain was envisioning an actual pastrami from an Upper West Side deli...

I went into World of Disney next, and it was slammed. I surveyed the merchandise available, and then I left. Too crowded for comfort, and not easy to navigate. I wasn't particularly enthralled by the merch selection. I did eventually go back and buy a very cool Haunted Mansion puzzle - it was four separate puzzles in one, of the Haunted Mansion portraits - and a set of Halloween kitchen towels for my folks. I highly recommend the QR code checkout process! It took thirty painless seconds and then I was out the door. I went to Days of Christmas and got an ear headband-themed ornament for my parents' tree, since they collect Xmas ornaments from every place they travel to.

I went in and out of stores, but I didn't really see any merch I liked. (There is a cat toy I'm going to go back and buy -- I'm *sure* it's for sale in the Emporium.) Also, the prices are out of control. The highlight, though, was going to Art of Disney (an annual stop) and finding a delightful art print. The artist's name is eluding my tired brain, but he was signing his artwork! I had him write a 'Happy 30th Anniversary' for my parents. My phone battery was dangerously low, and I still hadn't gotten an alert about my room status (I'd done the virtual check-in). The sweet cast member at Art of Disney told me to go to the Starbucks on the West Side, and the wonderful cast members there told me I could charge my phone in an outlet in the corner. On the way over, though, I stopped in Erin McKenna's, which may be the best place on Earth?? I got a huge slice of carrot cake, which I just demolished whilst watching football. I also want to shout out the Wondermade marshmallow stand! I got a box of pumpkin spice marshmallows (the very earnest young man running the stand was very helpful with walking me through the ingredients), and they're.....really good?? My expectations were low, but they're carved up into sixteen pieces, they're not too thick, they're not too sickly sweet, the flavor is very balanced, and the texture is superb. Nobody seems to be talking about this little stand; it needs more foot traffic! They're expensive ($10/box), but then everything else in DS is expensive, and--more importantly--the box is going to last a few days. It's a shareable box, so IMO it's very worth the price.

I was getting frustrated, and I exhausted my shopping, so I got an early dinner at Morimoto's Asia (it was just me, so I went up to the bar to sit). I'd never eaten there before, and I wasn't very hungry, and Sept. 1 was seven months sober, so I felt extremely awkward. However, the staff there exceeded expectations. I think I left a 22% tip? I chatted up a bartender for a while when it got slow, and the food was very good. I had miso soup and the spicy salmon roll, and a "natural" (AKA not Canada Dry) ginger ale, which was good! Before I ordered, I called All-Star Movies, and apparently my mobile check-in never went through. Weird.

There was someone waiting by the back half of the bus stops, asking us to take a survey, but my phone was dead, so I had to decline. The bus back was not a Disney Transport bus, but a Mears coach--what?? Is something going on?? There was an elderly gentleman working for Mears who was lingering by the All-Star bus stop, which made me wonder if Mears and Disney are testing some program. IDK. It was a nice bus, but strange to hear an ad for a personal injury law firm and 2000s hits instead of Disney music. I didn't mind all that much, as it distracted from the teenage girl behind me who would not shut up, and her poor friend, who could not get a word in edgewise. ("I mean...Test Track and Soaring [she pronounced it with a hard g] and Frozen--that's it. Am I missing something?" WELL, THERE'S THAT RIDE IN THE BIG OL' ICON OF THE PARK, KID.)

As for check-in, it took a while. Apparently, the mobile check-in process is glitching, because the two people before me in line had the same issue. I couldn't catch the explanation entirely, but at some point in the process, a duplicate confirmation number was created, and so there was some lack of synchronicity between whatever systems are being used. I have no idea. I just know that the really, really nice cast member broke out a Key to the World card and encoded it with both my ticket info and my room key. And, lucky me! I'm in the Mighty Ducks building. (Sing it with me now: WE WILL, WE WILL QUACK YOU)

Sorry for the lack of photos, and for the long post! It was very...eventful, for lack of a better word, and my phone died, so I wasn't able to capture anything. Tomorrow: MK!
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Bright suns, fellow travelers! (Good grief, I'm really bad at this.) In my defense, though, I got all caught up in the Sunday/Monday slate of NFL games. (And I was just reeeeeeally tired.)

Tomorrow is actually my last day in the parks, and it's not much more than a quick buzz over to MK to ride as much as humanly possible between 0900-1145, and then I'll have enough layover time at MCO/ATL to get this trip report knocked out. Right now, though, my feet are throbbing, I'm exhausted, and I want to go to bed. However, I want to leave you with a quick trip sizzle reel -- the more thorough breakdown will come tomorrow.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

- Muppetvision 3D. I swear, if Chapek and his Merry Men touch my beloved Muppet show, I will make him wish he never took the job! This also means they are forbidden from updating it. When we all sat down, the cast member informed us in a quiet voice, "On May 16, we celebrated our 30th anniversary!" It is a (slightly dated, but adorably so) gem in a sea of hastily-spun, IP-based crowd-absorbers. To paraphrase Sam the Eagle's safety spiel, "Altering Muppetvision in any way is distinctly unpatriotic."
- Disney Cast Members. The golden example: I've been having travel/general-anxiety stomach, and the Disney Diet made matters worse. I checked Animal Kingdom first aid and I checked the Polynesian's sundries store and I checked All-Star Movies' sundries store. No laxatives for love or money. If I used one of the delivery services or the Turner Rx service, I would have paid more in delivery fees than the freaking laxative would have cost in the first place. When I went to the front desk, however, the absolute gem of a CM pulled me aside and we had a quick little chat, and he and the other All-Star Movies CMs agreed to send someone to grab me something and deliver it to my room. Which they did. Bless them.
- Boo Bash. (Or, as @tonystark calls it, Boo Ba$h.) I actually...really enjoyed it? My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough for me to do everything I wanted to. Yeah, no fireworks, but free Mickey Premiums? Free bottles of water? Free coke products? Walk-on attractions?? Cavalcades that are basically just sections of the Boo To You parade??? I'd go again in a minute.
- Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. First time riding. I miss Great Movie Ride, but this is a worthy successor. A brilliant little concept.
- Star Tours. It's been updated since I was last in WDW in Oct. '19. (Two words: Boba Fett.)

Meh

- Rise of the Resistance. Honestly? Smugglers' Run is more fun. They get ingenuity points for the immersion and the concept, but the execution was pretty poor. Glad I rode it, just to check it off the list. Will I ride it again? Unlikely.
- Rock 'n Roller Coaster. I hear tell Disney's license to use Aerosmith's music expires next year. Good. Strip it for parts. It's incongruous as is on Sunset Boulevard. Re-theme it with that old cartoon, "The Band Concert."
- Splash Mountain. It always breaks down, and just for the record, Brer Rabbit and company are African-American folkloric characters that Disney, frustratingly, commercialized through a movie that relies on freaking minstrelsy and ahistorical "Old South" glorification. (If you think I'm kidding, I'm from Mississippi. The briar patch was a bedtime story for me as a child before I was tall enough to ride Splash.)

What Was the Point??

- Slinky Dog Dash. I waited thirty minutes for a weaker Barnstormer?? No.
- Flight of Passage. It's Soarin' on a tilt board. I only waited 17 minutes and that was still too long.
- EPCOT. Skipped it entirely. Space 220 will not open until I leave, and I celebrated seven months of sobriety on September 1, so it was better for me to stay away entirely. (Isn't that sad??)
- Solo trips. Tried it; not for me.

Now that you have the episode guide, stay tuned for tomorrow's trip report! With pictures! I promise!! (She also promises to bring a portable battery charger the next time she travels to WDW)
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Bright suns, fellow travelers! (Good grief, I'm really bad at this.) In my defense, though, I got all caught up in the Sunday/Monday slate of NFL games. (And I was just reeeeeeally tired.)

Tomorrow is actually my last day in the parks, and it's not much more than a quick buzz over to MK to ride as much as humanly possible between 0900-1145, and then I'll have enough layover time at MCO/ATL to get this trip report knocked out. Right now, though, my feet are throbbing, I'm exhausted, and I want to go to bed. However, I want to leave you with a quick trip sizzle reel -- the more thorough breakdown will come tomorrow.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

- Muppetvision 3D. I swear, if Chapek and his Merry Men touch my beloved Muppet show, I will make him wish he never took the job! This also means they are forbidden from updating it. When we all sat down, the cast member informed us in a quiet voice, "On May 16, we celebrated our 30th anniversary!" It is a (slightly dated, but adorably so) gem in a sea of hastily-spun, IP-based crowd-absorbers. To paraphrase Sam the Eagle's safety spiel, "Altering Muppetvision in any way is distinctly unpatriotic."
- Disney Cast Members. The golden example: I've been having travel/general-anxiety stomach, and the Disney Diet made matters worse. I checked Animal Kingdom first aid and I checked the Polynesian's sundries store and I checked All-Star Movies' sundries store. No laxatives for love or money. If I used one of the delivery services or the Turner Rx service, I would have paid more in delivery fees than the freaking laxative would have cost in the first place. When I went to the front desk, however, the absolute gem of a CM pulled me aside and we had a quick little chat, and he and the other All-Star Movies CMs agreed to send someone to grab me something and deliver it to my room. Which they did. Bless them.
- Boo Bash. (Or, as @tonystark calls it, Boo Ba$h.) I actually...really enjoyed it? My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough for me to do everything I wanted to. Yeah, no fireworks, but free Mickey Premiums? Free bottles of water? Free coke products? Walk-on attractions?? Cavalcades that are basically just sections of the Boo To You parade??? I'd go again in a minute.
- Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. First time riding. I miss Great Movie Ride, but this is a worthy successor. A brilliant little concept.
- Star Tours. It's been updated since I was last in WDW in Oct. '19. (Two words: Boba Fett.)

Meh

- Rise of the Resistance. Honestly? Smugglers' Run is more fun. They get ingenuity points for the immersion and the concept, but the execution was pretty poor. Glad I rode it, just to check it off the list. Will I ride it again? Unlikely.
- Rock 'n Roller Coaster. I hear tell Disney's license to use Aerosmith's music expires next year. Good. Strip it for parts. It's incongruous as is on Sunset Boulevard. Re-theme it with that old cartoon, "The Band Concert."
- Splash Mountain. It always breaks down, and just for the record, Brer Rabbit and company are African-American folkloric characters that Disney, frustratingly, commercialized through a movie that relies on freaking minstrelsy and ahistorical "Old South" glorification. (If you think I'm kidding, I'm from Mississippi. The briar patch was a bedtime story for me as a child before I was tall enough to ride Splash.)

What Was the Point??

- Slinky Dog Dash. I waited thirty minutes for a weaker Barnstormer?? No.
- Flight of Passage. It's Soarin' on a tilt board. I only waited 17 minutes and that was still too long.
- EPCOT. Skipped it entirely. Space 220 will not open until I leave, and I celebrated seven months of sobriety on September 1, so it was better for me to stay away entirely. (Isn't that sad??)
- Solo trips. Tried it; not for me.

Now that you have the episode guide, stay tuned for tomorrow's trip report! With pictures! I promise!! (She also promises to bring a portable battery charger the next time she travels to WDW)
Sorry about your stomach issues. Yay for CMs!! I had a massive headache after 24 hours of travel to get there in 2016. The CM could see I wasn't feeling well and asked if I was ok, I said I'd be fine as soon as I could get some advil. She said she wasn't supposed to, so not to tell anyone, but she slipped me a little single dose envelope of ibuprophen. All hail the compassionate CM! Not sure why she would get in trouble for the magical moment, but I'm grateful to her for risking it!

I haven't been to Disney since Star Wars land opened, and I don't do roller coasters, so I can't comment on those, but I strongly disagree about Flight of Passage. I was TOLD it was like Soarin', so I went into it expecting to love it. Instead I got motion sickness and it was WAY too roller coastery for me. If I had known it was going to feel like I was on a roller coaster, I wouldn't have done it. NOTHING like Soarin'! I can ride Soarin' over and over. Flight of Passage, I couldn't wait until it stopped!!

I think we must have kind of opposite taste in attractions, because I can easily do without Muppets. I fell asleep last time and only went because I had time to kill before our next Fastpass and it was the closest thing to where we were. I'm not even sure we did that on our 2016 trip. It's ok, but I won't wait for more than a few minutes for it. But I know some people love it for the nostalgia aspect.
 
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chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think we must have kind of opposite taste in attractions, because I can easily do without Muppets. I fell asleep last time and only went because I had time to kill before our next Fastpass and it was the closest thing to where we were. I'm not even sure we did that on our 2016 trip. It's ok, but I won't wait for more than a few minutes for it. But I know some people love it for the nostalgia aspect.
That's the magic of Disney -- rides for all tastes! I love the Muppets, but I hated, hate, haaaaaatedddddd the Avatar movie, so I was already jaundiced going into FOP. Would rather have gone on Soarin'.
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello from MCO! (Booooooooo.) I've literally got another freaking hour and change until this plane even starts boarding, so brace for trip reports. We're getting into the meaty stuff - the Magic Kingdom! September 12. I had a day ticket for MK and a separate ticket for Boo Bash.

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Walking into MK, I caught a glimpse of Joe Fowler, and nary a fistfight on her decks.

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Hooray! The scrim is gone! I could have done without the 50th signage, but people flocked to the photo opp, giving me wide berth to enter MK.
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"Here at La Cage, we live life--how should I put it? On an angle." (This is my apology for the slightly askew picture. I was hustling towards Adventureland, and I hate being one of Those People who just abruptly stops to take thirty pictures, so I tried to snap-and-walk.) Now. Color scheme. It's beautiful, but it's the Disneyland color scheme. At least, the pink is. I think the blue is stunning, and would have loved to see it against a stark white coat of paint. At least it's not this!
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I rope-dropped the Adventureland side in order to get to Frontierland, so I could get on BTMR and Splash before the lines got nuts. I got in line for Splash, but the line wasn't moving, while the BTMR queue seemed to be making progress. I pulled up and darted over to my first ride of the trip.
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"This here's the wiiiildest riiiiide in the WEEEEEEEL-derneeeees!" It was a walk-on. Waiting to board, though, I checked wait times, and Splash was officially "temporarily unavailable." Of course. I think I would have been more surprised if Splash were actually operational. I'm so sick of that ride. BTMR was fun, and a great way to ease into the trip. Next up, Haunted Mansion. But first:
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The lady of the Mississippi made an appearance, laying on that loud horn of hers. (I rode her later in the day.)
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I paid my respects to Master Gracey on my way in, and picked up a hitchhiking ghost on the way out. What a freeloader. I told him he doesn't get the Netflix password unless he at least does the household laundry. It was just now crawling towards 1000h and wait times in Fantasyland were ideal. (Except for Peter Pan's Flight, but I generally don't ride that attraction anymore. It makes me feel a bit icky.) So, I opted for the happiest cruise that ever set sail!
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(By the way, Defunctland put out a REALLY good YouTube documentary about the 1964 World's Fair. I recommend it.) The wait time for the carousel was a solid ten minutes, so I decided to get it out of the way. It ground to a halt midway through the ride, which I found hilarious. (It also portended the maintenance issues the carousel was facing today, when I was back at MK before I left.) Next up!
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Disneyland can keep their bizarro, acid-trip Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I'd rather bounce with Tigger, thanks!
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Next up was Mad Tea Party. I only got an establishing shot--nothing you can't find on Google. That stupid canopy over the WDW MTP ruins the lighting. ("Hey, stupid!" yelled Waldorf. "You big dummy, it rains in Florida!" added Statler. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," I grumbled.) Carousel of Progress had been down all morning, but the moment I saw a posted wait time, I sprinted over to Tomorrowland.
IMG_3392.jpg

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow! But there's not a fully functioning ride system!! Our theater got stuck between the 1940s and the 1990s room. Literally. We got to listen to both scenes play themselves out at once, and then we were all treated to a second round of 1994.
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The Lands' End Fall/Winter 1994 collection, for your viewing pleasure. Splash finally came back online, and it was starting to get extremely hot, so I booked it over to Frontierland.
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"Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay/It's past time to throw this ****ed ride away!!" My feet were fried, and so I decided to take a breather on Liberty Belle.
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She's beauty, she's grace! She lacks adequate seating space! While I was on Liberty Belle, Tom Sawyer's Island became "temporarily unavailable," so I became "temporarily interested," scanning the shores for any other weirdo LARPers with axes or machetes. Alas. After Liberty Belle, I knew my feet weren't going to hold out, and I wanted to catch as much of the Saints (yay!) and Packers (boooooo) matchup as possible; that meant PhilharMagic! (The Coco scene hadn't been introduced yet.) On my way out, I caught the Princess cavalcade. I cried.
IMG_3411.jpg

A good way to end the morning! To sweeten the deal, the Saints demolished the Packers, 38-3, and I got a two-hour nap. I had, by the way, a yummy gluten-free lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern, but I was trying to save as much of my phone battery as possible, so I grabbed zero food pictures. (Sorry, kids!)
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I had to make my 7:25 dinner reservation at Skipper Canteen (which was delicious, by the way), so I tore it back to MK. The restaurant was running behind, so I was nervous I wasn't going to be able to make it to my HEA viewing spot in Fantasyland. This was going to be my last time seeing HEA, so I skipped filming/photographing for just soaking up the experience. And crying. I've been very emotionally fraught; "Go the Distance" did me in. Bawling like an idiot next to the carousel.

And then. OKAY! Everybody out. Get out. Exit stage left. Time for Boo Bash. I paid good money for an emptier park, so empty out! First ride of the night was The Little Mermaid.
IMG_3417.jpg

Great music, terrible protagonist. I actively root against her the whole movie. "I'm siXtEeN yEaRs oLd i'M nOt a cHiLD" ok sis
ANYWAY. I booked it over to Storybook Circus (RIP Toontown). Dumbo + Barnstormer. I should clarify that Barnstormer was my very first roller coaster, so it has a very special place in my heart, and even though it's thirty seconds long, I ride it every time I'm in Disney.
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Walking up the Barnstormer queue also allowed me to nab this sick shot of Space Mountain through the TRON construction.
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Next up, SPACE MOUNTAIN! My favorite ride in Magic Kingdom. I'll tell you how they can make it even better, though! What they need to do scrap the queue and "retro-furb" it to a late 1970s/early 1980s design (you know, when the ride opened and everything)--think the early Space Shuttle years. It still has so many elements (AKA the "mission control" mannequins that look like Star Trek background extras) from that period; make it harmonious. (Geeeetttt it? Lol.)
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Tomorrowland really ought to pick a theme and stick with it. I vote the '60s-'80s. Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Project Apollo, the Space Shuttle...you know, all the contemporaneous happenings with WDW's development. Anyway.
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Dumb projections.
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Appropriately lit castle! I also took selfies with Pooh and Tigger, but I enjoy as much anonymity as is possible on the Devil's Internet, so I'm going to keep my face off the forum. I caught the cavalcades and the Cadaver Dans, but I filmed all of them, so I have no still images for you to enjoy. Rode Splash again. Got stuck on the ride. (It was, hilariously, the last time I would ride Splash this trip because it was down for maintenance today.) I was able to snag some fun photopass opportunities and a free Mickey Premium bar, but time was crawling, slithering, lurching, [insert spooky gerund] away. Seriously. I needed Boo Bash to run an extra hour. I ran out of time. I didn't even get the frozen mocha at the Outpost!! Sad face!!

I did get to hop on Jungle Cruise (far more fun at night, at special events) and Pirates, but at this point, my phone was at 3% battery, so I have no photos to show you. (I should also say that I cannot adjudge the candy selections. I am not a candy person, so I skipped the trick-or-treating.)

I collapsed into bed at one in the morning, which is well past this overgrown child's bedtime, and to make matters worse, I was due at DAK the next day--park opening: 0800. Eeeesh.
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We're about to start boarding, so I'm just going to drop a quick review of Boo Bash here, and then get on my flight. Ultimately, I needed it to be an hour longer. With the number of rides open, the number of cavalcades, and the sheer volume of things to do, I didn't have enough time to do it all. And maybe I just poorly managed my time. I do that often, so it is well within the realm of possibility. Three hours, though, wasn't enough. Some elements of Boo Bash need to survive the pandemic, in my humble opinion--please, please, please keep the free Mickey Premiums. I beg you, Bob. (Whichever one is making the decision is the one I'm begging.) I also like cavalcades more than parades because the cavalcades can be run more frequently, and because crowds are thinner with cavalcades than with parades. They also don't gum up the traffic for as long! In and out! Let's go!

I missed the fireworks, and the projections on the Tomorrowland rocks were so stupid. I did, however, relish being able to effectively walk on 7DMT. I won't weigh in on the character "encounters" because that is a pandemic speciality, and that will go away the minute a sufficient amount of the population is vaccinated.

Would I pay for this again? Yes, absolutely--but only when the pandemic is over. And, by that point, MNSSHP will be back, so. Oh, well.
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Update from my connecting airport. I have had...an afternoon. My flight was fully boarded, and two minutes before takeoff, we were informed that an unauthorized individual was just...on the tarmac. CBP confronted him, and he took off, so we sat on the plane for 45 minutes while they tried to find him. And then, I land to find that my flight home has been delayed. Just 15 minutes, but I'm tired and I want to go home. Trip reports will continue tomorrow. I've had enough fun for today.
 

tonystark

Well-Known Member
My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough for me to do everything I wanted to
THIS is my main complaint with Boo Ba$h. I got a lot done. But I think the price I paid was worth just a little more time. So that I could spend money on all your goods and services, Mr. Chapek, instead of eating my "free" Mickey's Premium Bar and merging my body on a cellular level with a doombuggy!
Rise of the Resistance. Honestly? Smugglers' Run is more fun. They get ingenuity points for the immersion and the concept, but the execution was pretty poor. Glad I rode it, just to check it off the list. Will I ride it again? Unlikely.
WE ARE DISAGREEING (though, tbf, I didn't do Smugglers' Run because I felt like I would get motion sick and didn't want to risk it though I would risk it all for Hondo Ohnaka (am I being serious? guess we'll never know)... it wasn't in the cards)
Splash Mountain.
WE ARE AGREEING
EPCOT. Skipped it entirely.
WE ARE DISAGREEING. Though props on the 7th month mark, I could understand skipping EPCOT in that situation. Not to mention the fact that it is literally a shambles at the moment and not worth the price of admission, it just hurts to see her skipped over :( It's okay, I got enough rides in on SSE for the both of us.
Solo trips. Tried it; not for me.
WE ARE POTENTIALLY DISAGREEING? What about it in general did you not care for (unless you're getting to this at the end of the TR in which case I will wait). it does bum me out when I'm about to make a [REDACTED] comment and realize that there's no one there to hear it.
I think the blue is stunning
WE ARE AGREEING!
anonymity as is possible on the Devil's Internet
this is a wise, wise rule.
I am not a candy person
WE ARE DISAGREEING!!! I didn't get enough candy, but I only stopped twice because I didn't want to waste precious time at Boo Ba$h... you missed out on the brownie Snickers though... those are good.
I beg you, Bob
Let's go on a tangent! Did you know that Bob Iger's wife is named Willow Bay? Will Obey... Iger... things that make you go hmm!
 

chimchimcheree

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I DID NOT REALIZE HOW TIRED I WAS UNTIL I DRAGGED MY BODY OUT OF BED THIS MORNING. But the trip reports continue while I maul a gluten-free pizza. What day am I on? Oh, yeah! ANIMAL KINGDOM!! Initially, this day was supposed to be EPCOT. I had hoped that Space 220 would be open--alas! Now, I love EPCOT (@tonystark you may stand down), but right now, it isn't opening until 1100. Which is, uh, not great. Because of scheduling quirks due to dining availability and my flight time, EPCOT was going to be Monday and DAK was going to be Wednesday.

However.

DAK is one of my favorite parks, and I wanted a whole day at DAK, not 0800-1145. It's one thing to jam the rides in, but I couldn't get the rides and the shows and the soft-serve at Anandapur in that window. EPCOT, bless her, will have to wait until next trip. (This is the other thing about solo trips at this particularly precarious time--the buddy system works very well in dodging the urge to relapse, especially when everyone else is drinking.) Anyway!

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Hello, gorgeous!! I was in at rope-drop, even though I had a breakfast reservation at Kona Café at 0950. Why? Because I have the best luck with the safari in the mornings! (And because I needed to take a bus to the Poly.)

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A gorgeous elephant. I could spam you with my crappy photos, but I got better ones on the evening safari. For whatever reason, the morning animals all stayed to the left of the van. I was on the right. *sigh*

With that, I checked off rope-drop and headed back out of the park. When I arrived at the bus stop, a bus for the Contemporary was waiting, so--brain-wave!! Why not sneak a bonus ride on the monorail in? The Poly monorail station had reopened juuuuuuust before I arrived, so I patted myself on the back for being a little genius and saw my old friend, the Contemporary. Or, what wasn't behind maintenance walls. I'm excited to see the refurb. As it stands, it feels a little too Hyatt for me.

I took a video of monorail teal entering the station; AFAIK the fora don't allow for video uploads. But you can watch dozens of monorail updates on YouTube. The monorail needs some love--she was a little beat up on the inside. Clean, of course, but the audio system was muted and her interior was a little faded. Now, I should say that I was last at Poly in 1999. My family dragged me to the luau. I did not enjoy it one ounce. (I was a small child who wanted to be in the parks instead.) She is looking very good these days, and I dig the lanterns. I also am beginning to understand why the scrapped the water installation I remember from my trip--that thing was loud. It is so much quieter!

The next stop was, incidentally, Disney Springs. While having a very delicious GF Tonga Toast (the good people at Kona Café comped me a third piece because the chefs accidentally burned my food LOL), I discovered that DS had an Under Armour, which was perfect, because I had two very, very cranky feet that were not going to survive the day. Got a pair of running shoes on clearance. Try fifty-something bucks.

Then, back to DAK for your favorite and mine:

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Time to go back to the late Cretaceous period and bring back an iguanodon!

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:bawling::bawling::bawling::bawling::bawling::bawling::bawling: oh, the HUMANITY

I had time to catch Feathered Friends in Flight -- the COVID replacement for the Up! show. It ought to be the permanent replacement. I loved it. It was quick, it was well-executed, it didn't have an unnecessary IP tie-in, and they had a freaking parrot singing "Old McDonald."

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I was in the back of the theater, so I had to zoom all the way in, but it's a BALD FREAKING EAGLE! I was in Olympic National Park in May, and I saw some of these beautiful babies out in the wild on Dungeness Strait, but I never got this close to one. Absolutely gorgeous bird.

Then, the great lady of the park.

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She is well overdue for a refurbishment. That was the clankiest that ride has ever been! It was slow, it lurched around, and if we were to anthropomorphize her, we would say she's "under the weather." It was more Matterhorn than Everest! Glad she's getting some TLC. I only rode her once more on this trip, which is an all-time low for me.

Finally, finally, I steeled my courage and braved this bad boy:
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Uuuughhhhh. Now, the land design is objectively gorgeous. It looks great. But I hate the movie Avatar with a passion. My family rented it and I walked out of the living room about halfway in. (Hey, here's a novel idea! Scrap it, and replace it with Kumandra! Raya and the Last Dragon was a better movie anyway!) I waited seventeen minutes for Flight of Passage. I had no clue what to expect since I try to stay away from ride videos and descriptions in order to form my own opinion based on my ride experience. You mean to tell me that Soarin's big sister has been pulling 150 minute waits??? Ok. Disney, update Soarin' already. This was not worth what little time I waited. I had been advised by several friends to just skip Na'vi River Journey altogether, so I complied, and decided to do something a little different: It's Tough to Be A Bug!
 

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