Scott Raynor -- July 2001 -- Walt Disney World (ASMoR)
July 27-29, 2001
This is my first ever trip report for WDW, I have been countless times. At no time during this trip report will there be any eating, drinking, smoking, flash photography or videotaping allowed. Keep arms and hands entirely inside the moving vehicle at all times. For the comfort and safety of others, no reading over other people's shoulders. Please select a row and move all the way to the end of the row not skipping any seats. On behalf of the Walt Disney Company I proudly present... well anyway. I would not be surprised if I have walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom around a hundred times. I have always been the trip report lurker and I feel that perhaps now is the time to take the plunge and write a trip report. But first I am sure that you would like some introductions...
Scott: I, dear reader, am a 29-year-old artist and professor, husband, and theme park fan. I teach at the University of North Carolina, (painting and drawing mostly). I love to share the joy and inspiration that making art can bring. I am also fascinated by the human creative process... are you beginning to see why I love theme parks? My wife and I live in King, North Carolina in our little house surrounded by the woods.
Julie: My dear wife. She too is 29 years old and is a lover of theme parks as well as a librarian in our wonderful small town. She is quiet and of course loves books being a librarian. She did not visit Disney as much as I did as a child, yet her appreciation of all things Disney grew as our relationship thrived.
Okay, now down to the nitty gritty.
I love Walt Disney World. There is nowhere on this planet that I would rather be than standing in a Disney theme park and taking in all of the wonders around me. It started with my father, who absolutely loved taking his family to Florida. We went annually to Florida as early as I could remember. I can still remember packing up the sedan with enough luggage to survive a month in the Congo. My mother somehow tolerated my father's fanatical obsession with Disney, don't get me wrong, she enjoyed it too but just not to the extent that my dad did. It stopped when I was eleven; my father was stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease and our trips stopped. I was the youngest of three boys and it became my duty to take care of my father. I did this for thirteen years and it was horrendous what this disease does to a human, but that kind of experience forces you to learn how to appreciate the everyday moments and the gift of time.
Soon after my father's death, I went alone to WDW. It had been so many years since my father had last took us. Here I was 21 years old as I strolled under the train station and into the town square. As I stood by the flagpole and stared at the castle, I realized that I had changed a great deal since my last visit. But alas, the Magic Kingdom still seemed the same. This was the same Main Street USA that my father and I had walked hand in hand rushing to Space Mountain to see if by some chance, that I had grown a few inches taller. So as I return and return each year, Disney World becomes more meaningful to me as a place that I can remember my father in a positive way, not in a wheelchair or hooked to a ventilator.
Julie got the call early in the year that her cousin was getting married.
"Where does she live again?" I asked.
"Ocala." My wife responded.
"Well, of course I'd like to go, but I wonder if we would have a few extra days to... ".
It was of no doubt to my wife what I was thinking. She knew that I would want to make a side trip to WDW while we were down there. So we agreed that we could spare two days in WDW as long as we could keep it under budget. With Julie being a librarian, and myself in education it is no wonder that we have to watch the purse strings carefully. Before we had bought our home, we had been able to buy AP's for several years in a row. Now we own our home, and it was a "fixer-upper", so that quickly drained our extra money for AP's. So I knew we had to buy both our room and our passes. Let's hope the piggy bank will be good to us.
It was time to call CRO. We always stay on Disney property,... period. We have tried many other Orlando area accommodations and most of them were disasters. I think that we just have bad luck when it comes to non-Disney hotels. Our last try was '99 when we stayed at a Courtyard Marriott. The hotel alarm was being set off by some bored thirteen to fifteen year olds, or as I have heard them termed recently... "tweens". Nonetheless, we had to evacuate the hotel three times in the middle of the night, in the rain, in December. It was not pleasant and we looked at each other and decided never again will we stay off property. And by the way, don't even ask what happened in our other hotel stays. Enough rambling. I called CRO to try and find an All-star at an All-star rate. I have learned to like the All-stars after many stays. We can't afford the Wilderness Lodge, which is where we would love to stay someday. We also love the Port Orleans resort... or whatever its called now. We stayed at PO during our honeymoon back in 96. My wife spent several years in New Orleans as a child and I think the theming gave her pleasant memories. I like the All-stars because of the bus service. I have ridden many Disney buses and the All-Stars always seem to have the least wait-time.
We ended up booking the All star movie resort for $99.00 a night. Pretty good, but not as good as the $49.00 rate I got for this coming December. I couldn't believe it, under fifty bucks. With our reservations made, we just sat back and dreamed about our upcoming, brief, Disney odyssey.
Day 1- Leave NC, head towards Georgia
I love reading trip reports and I especially have grown fond of Brian Bennett's. I love knowing what exits he stopped at. I like reading about the lousy service they got at Wendy's, KFC etc. I like knowing that the kids get fussy in the back of the van that Barb packed. It paints a nice picture of normal people. Our culture often gets overly obsessed with celebrities and stars. It's just nice to read about regular folks. We packed my small Toyota truck and left around 3:00 pm in the afternoon since Julie had to work that day.
Lets see... hmmm. We rode pretty hard that whole afternoon. I like to take a lot of back roads to I-95. We stopped at a McDonalds in Florence, SC. We each ordered a burger and I made extra effort to get the large drink. I just knew that I would win something spectacular in the Monopoly contest and we would celebrate in Disney on my good fortune. I peeled the sticker off, just a Mediterranean Ave. and a North Carolina piece. DRAT!!!
Yaaaaawwwnn... Its about 10:30 and we are both sleepy and tired of riding. I always forget how far it is down here. I started scanning the billboards for a Hampton Inn. Julie and I have grown to like the Hampton Inn chain. It is usually clean and low hassle. We found one in South Georgia. We checked in and went to our room with excitement. Cable TV. We do not have cable at home, or a satellite. Gosh, we didn't even have a TV for a few years. So, getting to watch cable is quite the thrill for us. We laid down and relished the glowing tube for a few minutes before sleep sets in.
Day 2 MK
Up and at 'em. We rose and packed the car and went to the complimentary breakfast. I like eating the little cereal thingies that you pour milk into. Julie has fruit and bagels. The South Georgia sun was bright and hurt my eyes as we got back into the truck to go the rest of the way.
In my life there are a few things I could live without. A few things that come to mind are belly-button lint, unidentified objects under the kitchen sink, stepping on chewing gum... and ... ummm... oh YES! Interstate 4! I tensed up and prepared for the worst as we made the last few miles into Orlando and on to Disney property. I always love the transition when I take exit 25-b. Ah yes, the purple signs, the green grass, the holding pools, the entry gates, the tower of terror thing in the median,... the big McDonalds... I could go on and on.
I got to the gate and smiled at the attendant. We are checking in, sir... the names Raynor... no not n-e-r but n-o-r... ok... thank you... oh yes, you too! In we drove to the AS Movies. Check in was tedious. Yes ma'am, I know about the pool, ... I know about check out... I don't want room charging privileges. I always want to tell them that we have been here about 2000 times and we even have some parts of your speech memorized. But I remain silent because I appreciate the fact she is being nice and that nice people are harder and harder to come by. The other complication concerned our passes. We needed 2 one-day passes. Our first day, we wanted to go to MK and the second, Epcot. We did not want to park hop and she wanted to sell the park-hopper to me. After many minutes of nodding and smiling she finally understood that we didn't need the hopper pass. Furthermore, we were shocked to find out that our room was ready... and the sun was still up?? Great. Off to Toy Story building nine.
I had on a real buzz as we drove up to the Toy Story building; all that riding made me feel a little woody. We slinkied up the stairs to the second floor and relaxed for what seemed like infinity and beyond. Later, we rounded up our raincoats, passes and headed for the MK. Although a little cloudy, Florida still felt like an oven. We walked through Andy's room and we went to the bus-stop. Up from the road lumbered the MK bus. We got on and realized that we didn't have anyone else with us. You see, both our families have given us the dubious honor of being Disney experts. This means that everyone always wants to go with us. We are pretty good hosts because we have done everything at WDW, so it doesn't matter if we don't do everything. We also go at a very relaxed pace because I think the magic is in slowing down and enjoying the environment you are in. A lot of folks have said that taking the trip with us was so much better than when they went alone and I think that is the reason. We slow down... you know,... smell the roses. So here we were, just the two of us. We could do just what we wanted.
I like the drive to the MK. I always sit on the left side of the bus because I can catch that little glimpse of the castle as we go through the last stretch past the Contemporary. Our driver let us off and we walked the red bricks to the entrance gates. Now a warning dear reader. We didn't ride as much as you probably did on your last trip. As we continue to take trips to WDW we find that we just enjoy soaking up the parks. I still like to ride, mind you... I used to be quite the commando in my teen years. I even did the e-ride thing many times. But it is strange that we find just being in the parks makes us happy. We love to people watch and I like the theming details. So please don't expect descriptions of riding Space Mountain so many times in a row that the CM's knew me by name and made sure I got in my favorite car. No... none of that here.
"Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, blah blah da da duh da da da"... greeted us as we went under the train station. We love to guess the Main Street soundtrack as we walk. We quickly realized that we had not had lunch, so we went on a quest to find eats. Woe is us, we had no priority seatings anywhere. We usually eat lunch in a sit down and then find fast-food for dinner, but not today. My favorite MK fast eatery is the Pecos Bill place over in Adventureland. There is a nice room in the back that reminds us of Mexico in the World Showcase. The crowds in the MK seemed to be pretty extensive, which I expected being that it was July. Pecos Bill Café was no exception. The lines were huge and I felt sorry for the poor CM's taking orders. We ordered hamburgers and found a table. I usually get the Jicama salad, which by the way is very good, but I backed out at the last minute.
We had our fill and walked out into Adventureland via the Pirata restaurant. We strolled along back towards Frontierland and we saw the Hall of Presidents was letting out. I wondered if they had updated with George W. yet, so I asked Julie if she wanted to attend. Sure thing and we entered into the waiting area. Being an artist and teaching Art history I am intrigued by the portraits in the waiting area. I think the Teddy Roosevelt is about the strongest painting in the bunch. The original is done by John Singer Sargent who had an absolute mastery of portraiture as well as a beautiful brushstroke, he is the artist that most portraitists try in vain to emulate today. Which brings me to the Ronald Reagan painting done by the Raymond Kinstler fellow. I do not like this image, he is trying too hard to emulate Sargent. Get your own voice, Raymond! There was a teenage girl with a birthday and her boyfriend got everyone to sing to her. She was quite embarrassed.
We entered the theatre and sat down. I love the blue curtains. The presidents made their appearance. I like Maya Angleou, but she is not a good name reader... a little stiff. Geoorgge WASHingTon. HerBERT HOOver... etc. Good show though. We crossed into Fantasyland and got a Peter Pan Fastpass. I have so many mixed feelings about the Fastpass, in some ways I like it, in others, I don't. Nonetheless, we strolled around Fantasyland making our way to Toontown. Now, you are probably wondering why we aren't riding any big rides yet. The reason is that Julie has inner ear troubles and suffers greatly from motion sickness. We found out the hard way our first trip when she rode Splash and Space Mountains. Upon exiting Space she felt extremely dizzy and we ended up going back to our room to lie down. She then spent the next day in bed recovering from the dizziness. We figured out that she just couldn't ride anything too intense that turned too much or gave the illusion of going too fast. I still get to ride when we bring other people and she is more than content to wait outside the exits. But I am usually happy to just go slow and ride things that are tamer.
I have never had a strawberry swirl from the enchanted grove. We walked by and got in line. Then, rain drops. We got our swirls and ran quickly into the Tomorrowland Terrace. The alien thing was playing to a seemingly ignoring crowd as we enjoyed our treats. The heavens opened and all of a sudden it was The Poncho Kingdom. All of Disney's parks urge you forward; several essays on all things Disney by various social psychologists discuss the need to keep moving. That is why Disney puts large visual icons (the castle, space mountain etc.) in our paths. The more we walk, the more we will buy. There is always another treat to be had just around the next corner. So I sit and watch the cattle push onward with the conviction of Noah, going to the next ride or shop or restaurant. Not letting the deluge stop the progress of vacation.
As the rain began to slow down to a drizzle, we got ourselves up and went to the door and headed toward Mickey's Toontown. We looked around a few of the character's houses and the County Fair gift shop before we realized we had our Fastpass appointment soon with Peter Pan. We walked briskly and got in the fast-pass line, but not before we witnessed several frustrated people who arrived five minutes early from their allotted time only to be turned away. Peter Pan was as good as always and afterwards we headed back toward the castle and Main Street. We were going that way because I had brought my sketchpad and I wanted to make some drawings of the castle. I haven't drawn much in the Magic Kingdom, not nearly as much as I have in Epcot. I love to sit and make pencil sketches. I often take them back home to my farmhouse studio and make them either into finished oil paintings or into watercolors. They are not hyper-realistic, but sort of a loose "poetic realism" as I often describe to folks. I have been quite lucky that many people who love Disney have bought and purchased my works based on the parks. My wife gets frustrated that I sold many of the pieces that we had put up in their house because someone really liked it. I also have painted many a children's room with Disney related imagery. The world showcase is my favorite place because I love the architectural styles represented and it makes for great subject matter.
After some sketching on Main Street we decided that it would be fun to ride the train since we had gotten quite hot sitting and soaking up the atmosphere. We walked upstairs in the Main Street station and off we went. As we rode through Adventureland and passed through the semi-backstage area, I was reminded of the Keys to the Kingdom tour we took in 98. I saw the sound buffers that are placed around the MK to keep outside noise out as well as the Parade Staging area that I new was concealed behind some trees. And sure enough we heard Pocahontas singing... go figure. We liked our loop so much that we went ahead and did it again and soon after we disembarked at the Main Street station where we had started. As we stepped off we were caught in the middle of a large group who had just discovered that they had lost a child. You could see the panic spreading across their faces and they quickly spread out in various directions to look. Julie noted that at least the MK was reasonably safe and that CM's must be somewhat familiar with getting lost kids back to their parents. I remember seeing one of their party later in the day still looking for the child. I hope they found her.
The day was quickly starting to slip by and we discovered that the heat was starting to take its toll on us so we stepped inside the shop beside Tony's Town Square. I like the area in the back with all the neat photo areas. I also like going back there because that is where they used to keep the old Walt Disney story film. I can remember being a little kid fascinated by Walt and his biography. I always thought that when I grew up I would build my own theme park. I even tried building it in miniature in my basement with my blocks and scraps of wood I would find in my dad's workshop. I remember that when I finally "finished" it I then put all my energy on creating a "light parade". I found an old toy train that I connected an old string of Christmas lights to and I would wait until dark to turn off all the lights in the basement. In complete darkness I would announce, (in my best announcing voice of course) "Ladies and Gentlement (I was only five and didn't know that it was gentlemen) boys and girls (you can see I borrowed openly from Ringling Bros. Circus) it's time for the Lecrical Parade! I then quickly dropped the needle on my Walt Disney World Baroque Hoedown record, ran to the plug, inserted it and the parade begun! Usually after the "Salute to America" did I realize it was probably bedtime and up the stairs I would go.
So we sat down in the "Animation Classics Theatre" and watched Steamboat Willie, which I think is a hoot! Walt had a really good sense of humor, even though it often leaned in the direction of "potty" or "low-brow" comedy. As the Silly Symphony started I found myself dozing off in my comfy theatre chair. As I zoned with my eyes shut I suddenly became aware of someone leaning over me. Julie was beside me and I definitely felt something lurking over me. I raised my head and opened my eyes to see the fox from Pinocchio staring down at me. Quite a surprise! I said hello and I told him that an actor's life was for me but that I wasn't sure about my wife. He nodded and walked off.
We exited back onto Main Street and headed for the Haunted Mansion. It was by now dark and they had just turned the lights on. We made our way into the stretching room, or excuse me, the "dead center" of the room. After the door opened we made our way to our doom buggies. I always notice the bathead posts that line the velvet ropes to the loading area. They have been rubbed smooth in many places, talk about a lot of traffic. "Do not adjust the lap-bar, I WILL DO IT FOR YOOOUUUU!", and with those words off we went. I love this ride, it just has all the Disney charm and humor. After we exited we headed up to the Big Thunder area. I wanted to look at the "geyser area" because Julie and I had taken a trip to Yellowstone in late May and after seeing the real thing I wanted to see how close Disney's was. I was impressed, it looked pretty good. Even though I sadly laughed when I saw all of the coins around the geyser hole. Yellowstone has a terrible time with people carelessly throwing coins into geothermal areas and needlessly destroying our delicate natural features and Disney's geysers were no exception.
We realized that we were both pretty tired and we had a wedding tomorrow in Ocala to attend so we decided to head back to the room. We maneuvered around the parade preparation back onto Main Street and out the gate onto our waiting bus. It was a short ride back to the chaos that is All Star Movies and then the short walk to our room. It was still early and we got our second wind and we spontaneously decided to drive over to the new Animal Kingdom Resort and check it out and perhaps grab a quick bite to eat. We were quite impressed from the moment we drove up. Julie noticed that by the security gate were several "campfires" on the grounds. I liked the lack of straight paths leading to the hotel, you sort of meander to the lobby. The lobby itself was quite grand and you could see that the same architect who did the Wilderness Lodge designed this one. It was lit warmly and various wicker and carved chairs and tables were scattered in the heart of the lobby. I noticed the gift shop to the right and check-in on my left but I was being magnetically pulled towards the outside animal viewing area. Stepping outside I saw "rock formations" and wood fences and behind them grazing "savannah". I spotted a few wildebeests and Julie saw a giraffe. It would be amazing to be able to see these animals from your room although I chuckled to myself as I noticed that most rooms had their televisions on... sigh. After a spell of animal watching we made our way back in and went to search for somewhere quick and cheap to dine. As you descend to the bottom floor you automatically pass through the buffet restaurant and upon arriving at the bottom of the stairs we saw the upscale sit-down. We walked out a side door and saw the sign for the "food court"... Mara?? We walked in and ordered the "Safari Pizza", or something to that effect. It was exactly like every other fast-food pizza that one gets on Disney property and the dining space was not too spectacular. Although I was duly impressed with the restrooms... way cool. We finished eating and made our way back to the gift shop which was quite large and had a fairly decent selection of stuff. They also had an African fabric artist working on a piece that was quite handsome. After a bit of browsing we returned to the lobby and made our way back to the truck... now we were really tired. I drove us back to AS Movies and we walked up to the room. We watched the Disney Cruise channel for a while and then we turned in.
Day 2- Ocala
I will spare you all the details. It was a wedding and being male... well... you know... I just didn't notice as much as Julie. I mostly wondered why girls wear dresses that are too long and that you can't walk up stairs without stepping on the bottom. The food was good. The reception was nice. The low point was the photos. "You there, with the glasses... no... the chubby guy... turn a little to the left... no... my left... yeah... that's good... hold that right there." My mantra for the day... "Epcot Tomorrow, Epcot Tomorrow, Epcot Tomorrow"
It was soon over and we were back on the road to the ASMoR, only to discover that our tub would not drain. A quick call to the front desk brought forth maintenance guys who rapidly solved the problem. With that over, it was bedtime.
Day 3- Epcot
"Thank God for automatic check-out", I muttered as I retrieved the tag from the door. The last thing I wanted to do was wait in line down there again. We loaded our truck and then made our way to the Bus-stop. We decided to skip breakfast seeing that we had 11:30 ressies at The Rose and Crown. We made it to Epcot pronto and proceeded to take the long walk from the busses to the front-gate. "Tomorrow's Child, da da dum dah dum... " was playing as we entered into what I call "Epcot Memorial Gardens". We stopped and paid respect to our dearly deceased... ahem... Yes, ... um we walked on through the Leave a Legacy area and headed for the Land Pavilion. I was currently craving some fresh fruit and I thought for sure that the Land food court would have some. No luck, I didn't opt for the "fruit cup" and I figured I would have to wait until later in the day and stop in the African refreshment area in the World Showcase. We browsed the garden shop in the land and just sort of hung out in there. I like this pavilion for some reason and I can't explain why.
As we left I started to panic because I did not see the roasted almond stand. The almonds are my favorite snack in all of WDW. I recently had braces and I excelled at not eating off of my "no-no" list, yet even braces could not keep me from my almonds. I always buy a few extra bags to suffice me on the way home. I did a little research a while back and I found out that Disney contracted with a company called "The Nutty Bavarian" to supply the almonds and flavoring. I thought about calling them and seeing if I could buy the stuff, but I gave up thinking that I would gorge myself and die from over-cinnamonization. I was hoping that they simply moved the stand to somewhere else.
It was nearing 11:00 and so we began to walk toward the World Showcase. We stopped in a few shops and we looked at some Disney stuff. We are strange in that we rarely buy anything on our Disney trips. Everything I wear is eventually covered in paint so I guess I avoid new clothes out of the fear of ruining them. Yet in one of the stores I was struck with what I thought was a grand idea. We are currently in the process of trying to have our first baby, not pregnant yet mind you, but hopefully soon. We have been debating back and forth ideas for the "baby's room"... this eloquently abstract concept of a space that seems to be rapidly evolving on par with the budget used for the space station. I told Julie that we should "theme" our baby's room around Disney World!
"we could divide it up into areas... you know... one part could be Adventureland and it would be full of toys!... and the changing area would be Frontierland and we could build a changing table in the shape of a train... and a castle... and a monorail... !! And... and... "
She obviously thought I was in Fantasyland.
First stop was Canada. I wanted to walk through the Victoria Gardens and see what plants were where. The last few years I have caught a good bit of the gardening bug and Disney is a great place to get interesting ideas for plant placement and arrangements. We have been lucky enough to attend the Flower and Garden Festival a few times even though I never got to attend any of the workshops. After our stroll we headed towards the UK to walk through the English Formal gardens behind the shops. We were lucky enough to see a butterfly about to leave its cocoon and we watched in amazement as the little fella took his first flight. In the shop I saw a neat board-game based on the London Underground. Years ago I studied painting for a period of time in London and I became quite the fan of the Underground or the "tube". It is an excellent example of urban planning and well-executed design. So I was quite excited about the game and I bought it. So we walked out of there a few pounds... I mean a few dollars lighter and waltzed over to the Rose and Crown for lunch.
We have eaten at many of the WS restaurants. The only exceptions being France and Morocco and up till this trip... England. I had always wanted to dine here but we just never found the time or thought about it. So this was our first time. We were seated indoors and Charlie was our server, she described the special and took our drink orders. We had pleasant view of the lake as we waited for our drinks. I ordered the prime rib and Julie fish and chips and both our meals were excellent. Charlie was an outstanding server and made no indication that we needed to rush... in fact, she encouraged us to sit after our meals and just relax. I wanted to try the Sherry Trifle but we were just both too full to order it... DRAT!! I also didn't like the Yorkshire pudding, I lived in England and never tried it. Never had it until I tried it here in Florida and I don't like it.
We crossed the English channel and headed for France. I took note of the flowers in the pavilion and how reminiscent of Province they were... tres bon. We strolled up to Impressions and went inside to the air conditioning. The French cast member was a hoot! She showed us a map of France and made many jokes... my fav was the one about "enjoy your stay in Norway"... ahaahahahahaha. Even though I saw someone say "I thought this was France." Impressions is one of our favorites and I was ecstatic when they put the soundtrack out on CD. I especially like the Saint-sans piece from the Carnival of the Animals. We made our sortie from the pavilion and started the long march around the World Showcase. I think by this time we were thoroughly tired and the heat was starting to get to us because I don't remember much that happened to us until we got to Norway. I had heard that the Rice cream was good and I was tempted to try it although I chickened out at the last minute.
Norway is one of my favorite pavilions. I like the Maelstrom and I really like the Stave church. I am a closet architect and I have always been interested in Scandinavian design. The stave churches were built in a time when Christianity was starting to infiltrate into Norway. The churches have very intricate woodcarving on both the interiors and exteriors of the building. The carvings are strange combinations of both Christian and Pagan religious iconography. So you would see a saint slaying a two-headed dragon as an example. On our honeymoon I had went into the store and I was speaking to a CM about the history of Norwegian painting. The CM told me that backstage there were living quarters for the King and Queen of Norway and that in the quarters were some splendid examples of modern Norwegian painting. He then asked if I would like to see them, and of course I said yes! He just opened the door and we walked up some stairs up to an apartment type space. He showed me were the paintings were and then he said for me to look at them at my leisure. I had never been in royal quarters before... quite impressive. The other thing was that Julie was outside eating a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream. She had told me to go on in and she would enter upon finishing the Ice Cream. She really missed out and I felt bad because once I left I couldn't get back into the backstage area.
Mexico brought welcome relief to our hot and tired bodies. It was mid-afternoon and it was odd for us to be in the park because usually we always take a mid-day break. We really couldn't because we had already checked-out of the room and I didn't want to hang out in the lobby of the All-star. So we contented ourselves on sitting down inside the Mexican pavilion. We found a strategically placed bench near the "noise-makers" and sombreros and we inevitably saw the same scenario played out over and over again. Someone in the group sees the maracas etc. and runs over to show everyone their musical skills. Then someone else sees the sombreros and then the whole group erupts into photo shoots. I admire the CM's because the noise got almost deafening, but I suppose one can get used to just about anything. I made drink run and I picked up some candied almonds... ummmm. We just relaxed for a while.
After the break we trekked over to Innoventions, Julie had wanted to tour the House of Innoventions and we stepped in line. We liked the house, I especially liked the Jacuzzi J-dream shower. I had actually sent off for a catalog with this shower in it because it looked so impressive. It has about 10 different showerheads and the Disney model had the built in TV. Personally, I am not interested in watching Television in the shower... I was eyeing the model with the CD player. Someday when we have an extra ten grand lying around maybe I'll take the plunge and buy one. We also liked the electronic, digital, grand piano as well as the spinning clock. The self-powered mower would be a gift from heaven. I enjoyed this exhibit because it seemed like one Walt would have approved of, he liked gadgets and new technology. After the house, we browsed around a few other exhibits in there before we exited and headed towards spaceship earth.
Spaceship earth is a well-done, well-conceived ride... although I miss Walter Cronkite. I like looking for the little details and trying to guess stuff... like which play are the Greek actors portraying. The only part the gets annoying to me is the ending with all of the cheesy graduations and weddings. I would like to think that a person would forgo AT&T and ATTend their daughters graduation. Also, has anyone else noticed that you get a little spray of water on the descend on that ride? After exiting our time travel vehicles we walked over to the wonders of life pavilion. We watched the kids trying to hit the baseball and the commentary by Rod Carew, we also caught a show by the Anacomical Players.
From there it was over to the Seas. I asked Julie if we could just enter through the Hydrolaters but I was vetoed because she likes the movie. "And it rained, rained, rained,... ad infinitium." We watched the Manatees for a while and some sea turtles until we noticed that it was about dinnertime. We walked back to the land to get something from the Sunshine Fair thing. I opted for the BBQ Ribs and Chicken plate and Julie got the Chicken Caesar. Both were pretty good and filling. It was now that we knew it was about time to leave. We didn't have a room at Disney and we had to start back home. So we sadly walked back towards Spaceship Earth for one last time for the exit. Made it back to the bus and then back to the All Star where our oven/truck was waiting for us.
THINGS I LEARNED ON THIS TRIP:
Well that's about it! I hope you have enjoyed my trip report and let me know if you liked it or hated it or anything in between. Thanks for reading!