Bill Nuzzo -- May 2003 -- Walt Disney World (CSR)
Major Woody's 10 Night May '03 TR
May 19 thru May 29, 2003
I planned this trip in early Spring, using the AP holder rate for Coronado Springs. Originally we had a rate of $94 a night using a code found online, and when they announced the lower AP rate of $74 a night, we were able to get in on it. I ended up saving around $225 with the lower rate. The total with tax came to $825 for 10 nights, an excellent rate for a moderate. I had booked our flights on Jet Blue, out of JFK, and that came to $330 r/t for the two of us. I kept checking www.mousesavers.com for rental car discounts, and finally ended up with a fantastic rate at Alamo for $161 (that's the total price) for a full size car, for 11 days. Our plan was to hit the theme parks, Pleasure Island, the Disney outlet stores, and also to make it to Daytona for one day. I had also made plans to visit Daytona Beach Community College, as Jenn wanted to visit it and see if it was worth attending. We also wanted to catch The Turtles with Flo & Eddie at the Flower Power concerts at Epcot, and enjoy the topiaries at Epcots Flower & Garden show. Three days before we left, I sent a fax to the room assigner at Coronado, asking for either Bldg 7A, 8A, or 9B, and a no smoking corner room. I asked for those buildings as they are all close to the main pool, and all are relatively close to the main building. In addition, I have stayed at Casitas Bldg 3 on both of my previous stays at Coronado, and felt it was time to try a different section. 8A & 9B are in Cabanas section, while 7A is in Ranchos.
Day 1, Monday, 5/19/03
We woke up at 3:00am, in order to make it to NYC for our flight. We had loaded up the van the night before except for last minute stuff, and were on the road at 3:45am. I live about 100 miles north of NYC, so I had figured on about two hours to get to JFK. We arrived at JFK at 5:20am, with no traffic delays at all. We parked in the long term parking, which had gone up to $10 a day, two bucks a day higher than the last time we used JFK in May of 2001. We caught the parking shuttle bus to the Jet Blue terminal, and used the curbside sky cap check-in with no delay. We were through the security checkpoint in under 5 minutes, with Jenn getting the full treatment. I had two pin bags in my carryon, with several lanyards, and had no problems getting these through. We grabbed some grub in the terminal, and settled in to wait for our flight, which was at 7:00am. We boarded with no problems, grabbed our seats, which on Jet Blue are slightly larger than most airlines, and leather to boot. They also have TV screens at each seat. Our flight took off pretty much on time, and we had a nice uneventful ( the way flights should be) to MCO, arriving at 9:30am.
Once we were in MCO, we took our first ride of the trip, the airport terminal shuttle. I always feel so excited once I arrive at MCO, and this trip is no exception. Once we made it to the main terminal, we went downstairs, and retrieved our luggage, which all made it safely. I had taken 4 bags, one of which was an otherwise empty suitcase containing an extra empty duffel bag. Knowing my souvenir purchase history, this would turn out to be a wise choice. After getting our bags, we walked over to the Alamo counter. I belong to Alamo's Quicksilver program, which among other things, is supposed to have an express line for QS customers. Unfortunately, there was no QS line, and there was only one employee serving the Alamo line, which had about 10 people ahead of us. The line dragged on for about 15 minutes, until they finally opened up a few more counters. The line then moved quickly from that point. Once I made it to the counter, I asked about the QS line, and the girl told me that they forgot to put the sign for QS at the corral area entrance. They then put it out, so at least the next QS guests would be able to take advantage of it. I provided my reservation information, and the transaction was completed smoothly in a couple of minutes. We were directed to the parking lot to retrieve our car, and after I took the scenic route due to my not really listening to her directions, we found the proper car lot. We chose a Toyota Camry from the full size lot, as it had a CD player, and appeared to be the nicest of the cars in the full size lot. We loaded up our luggage, and were soon out of the lot on our way to Disney World!!!!
We arrived at Coronado at about 11:00am, and parked outside the front entrance. I went into the check-in area, while Jenn perused the shop. I found we had Room 9624, which was in Building 9B, one of the buildings I had asked for, and the one closest to the Main Building in Cabanas section. The check-in took under 5 minutes, and since our room was ready, we parked in the Cabanas lot and unloaded the car. We also discovered that the room was a corner room, with a nice view of a small pond.
After getting everything stowed away, I hopped a bus to the Magic Kingdom, while Jenn stayed behind to sign up for the Health Club and hit the pool. Once I arrived at the Magic Kingdom, I checked out the Emporium and City Hall. I was looking for new pins since my last visit, and also wanted to find out Scoop Sandersons schedule. I was unable to find any CM's in City Hall who could tell me Scoops schedule for the day, or if he was even having a seminar that day. I went over to Expo Hall, and found that Scoop had a pin seminar at 1pm that day. I bought a few pins, and then browsed around the Main St stores, waiting for Scoops show at 1. At 1pm, I headed back to Expo Hall, and joined the crowd for Scoops Pin Seminar. If you have never been to one, Scoop Sanderson is a Main St character, who also is the resident pin expert. He gives pin seminars which are not only informative, but highly entertaining. Scoop was giving everyone in the crowd a name pin, and I ended up with one from him. I enjoyed the seminar, which had a few of the DIS people in attendance. At the end of the seminar, I gave Scoop a NYSP 9-11 pin which I had brought down for him. He seemed genuinely impressed with the pin. I then left the MK, and did the monorail shuffle over to Epcot, to meet Jenn. That's one of the things I like to do right off the bat, using the monorail to get from MK to Epcot, to let me know I'm really back in the world.
I exited the Epcot monorail, and went to the front gate. A Security CM, named Bonnie, was impressed with my NYPD Mickey pin, so I gave it to her, since I had a few extras. I figure with all the joy various CM's have brought to me over the years, it was a small payback. I then walked over to Guest Relations, after scoping out the topiaries in the front courtyard area ( or the graveyard area, depending on your thoughts on the leave a legacy stones). At Guest Relations, I tried to make a lunch PS for Le Cellier, but they said there were none available. The CM did suggest going there anyway and trying a walk in. I met Jenn by Spaceship Earth, and we hoofed it over to Le Cellier. We arrived at Le Cellier at 3:00pm, and they took us for lunch with no wait. I can't understand why there were no PS's available, as there were only 4 occupied tables in the entire restaurant. I ordered the French Dip sandwich, and a dark beer called Tres Pistoles, which tasted like motor oil. It was way too strong, and I ended up ordering a coke to drink. Jenn had the Toronto Chicken sandwich and potato salad that came with it. The potato salad was outstanding, so much so that Jenn actually asked for the recipe. My French Dip was also excellent, and the bread was very soft. The breadsticks that came with the meal were also nice and tasty, I preferred the pretzel ones, while Jenn liked the grain ones. The total for lunch came to $34.60, with a $7 tip, for a total of $41.60. It was well worth, well maybe except for the brewski.
After the hearty repast, we went to the Flower & Garden tent, and bought some F&G pins, knowing that if I waited, there would be a good chance of them running out as in past years. We then walked through the World Showcase on the west side, past Canada, UK, France & Japan. We went to the USA, just in time for the Fife & Drum Corps. After a patriotic show from them, we went inside, and grabbed a nice front row floor seat for the Voices of Liberty. After watching them perform another fantastic set of American music, we went into the theater and caught the American Adventure. A perfect triple header if you ask me. As we exited the AA, it was time for the next show of the Fife & Drum Corps, so I caught that, while Jenn wandered around. I then caught the next show by Voices of Liberty, which made for quite the perfect day, even though it was not even over yet. After the 2nd VOL set, I went out to the America Gardens theater and snagged seats for us for the Turtles Flower Power show, featuring Flo & Eddie. I had last seen Flo & Eddie ( Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan ) in 1976 on Long Island. They were originally in the Turtles, had a few big hits, then joined Frank Zappa's band in the early 70's, then did a a stint on their own as Flo & Eddie. They have a great show, combining comedy with their hits. For the 5:45pm show, they opened with several of their hits, then also did Like A Rolling Stone which segued into Hang On Sloopy, which in turn segued into Twist & Shout, before seguing back into Like A Rolling Stone. They then finished up with Nobody But You, and their biggest hit, Happy Together. They both looked pretty good, and they had a lot of fun with the audience during the show. After the show, Jenn wanted to head back to the hotel, so she left, and I stayed behind. I wandered over to Italy, Germany, and then Japan, where I watched the drummers for awhile. I made it back to the America Gardens theater for the 7:00pm Flo & Eddie show, and managed to get in the front row this time. This show started with a few hits, including Elenore, then went into a 15 minute long comedic rap centered around the Circle of Life, and where they claimed to be all different bands from the 60's and 70's, using chords and jokes from different bands and songs. It was an outstanding performance, and one I really would not have expected in Epcot. After that , they did Nobody But You, and finished up with Happy Together once again. I got to say hello to Howard after the show, and went to buy one of their CD's at the cart outside the theater, but found out they were all sold out!!! I stuck around for the 8:15pm show, since it was Flo & Eddie's last day at Epcot. A nice lady sat next to me, who was a big fan of theirs. We reminisced about them for quite some time, with no action on the stage, even past the show starting time. At 8:25pm an announcement was made that the show was being cancelled due to inclement weather. I don't know what weather they were talking about, as it wasn't raining, and there was nothing else doing. There did appear to be some storm clouds way off in the distance, so perhaps that was it. Anyway, with no show to watch, I bid adieu to the nice lady, and wandered the World Showcase, to wait for Illuminations. I made it to Germany, where I got myself a Beck's dark, which was much better than the beer in Canada, and waited for Reflections of Earth. I enjoyed the show from the Germany area, with not much of a crowd. The show was superb as always. After ROE, I took a leisurely stroll to the front of Epcot, and caught the bus back to Coronado. I was tucked into bed by 10:15pm, and sawing logs soon thereafter.....
Day 2 Tues, May 20, 2003
Today we awoke at 9:00am. We decided to drive to WalMart on 192 to pick up some things we needed. After picking up our necessities, and some of the travel coupon books which I needed to mail to a fellow DDL'er ( Disney Dollarless list member), we decided to hit IHOP for victuals. Before eating, we stopped at the Celebration Post Office, in downtown Celebration to mail out the coupon books. We then stopped in at the IHOP along 192, and it was packed, with a 45 minute wait. So we then drove to the Denny's right down the road, and were met by a group of people saying that it was disgusting inside, and the food was awful. So we then decided to hit the Waffle House across the street. With no waits, or discouraging comments from departing guests, we settled in. We had typical breakfast grub here, I think I had the waffle ( it's Waffle House, what else should I have eaten?) and eggs special, while Jenn had something similar. The food came to $17, plus a $5 tip, for a total of $22. After Waffle House, we stopped by Walgreens so Jenn could drop off some film to be developed. We then drove back to Coronado Springs.
After dropping off our stuff at the room, Jenn went to the Health Club, while I decided to walk to the bus stop and go to Epcot. A very nice CM in a golf cart saw me walking, and asked if I wanted a ride. I jumped in the cart, and he drove me right to the bus stop. He was very friendly, and told me how much he enjoyed working at CS. Unfortunately, I failed to get his name, and I never saw him the rest of the trip. I then caught a bus to Epcot, and arrived around 1:00pm.
At Epcot, I rode Spaceship Earth with no wait. I went over to Test Track afterwards, and got a Fast Pass for 2:00pm. I then went to Innoventions East and did the House of the Future tour to kill time before TT. The house tour was pretty good, and the CM giving the Tour was a real good guide. I particularly enjoyed the illuminated wall clock that was done with lights, and the Sorcerer Mickey wall picture that was made by WD Imagineering. I then exited Innoventions, and walked back to Test track. I used the FP line, and ended up with about a 15 minute wait. After riding with my FP, I got back on line in the single rider line. I went through the line with no wait, but just before boarding, there was a 5 minute delay due to a passing rain storm. After that passed, I rode TT for the 2nd time, and then decided to walk to the Land.
I saw that the Land boatride had a 30 minute wait, so I passed on it. I then checked the little greenhouse store downstairs, as I was told that they sold the F&G show AP pins. I was looking for the 1st pin, the Mickey, but they were all gone. I then exited the Land, and walked over to the Imagination Pavillion. I rode Journey into Imagination with no wait. After bidding goodbye to Figment, and a brief stroll through the Imaginarium / Gift Shop, I left and walked over to World Showcase.
I walked over to Canada, where a few of the DIS posters had said they were going to meet. Unfortunately, nobody showed up, I don't know if I had the correct time for the meet, but oh well. I then walked towards the UK, and browsed some of the shops. I decided to hit the Rose & Crown pub, something I had never done before. I went inside, and had a pint o' Bass Ale. Pam Brody was entertaining the pubgoers on the piano, and she put on a pretty good show. I left just before 5:00pm, and headed back to Canada, for the Off Kilter show. I caught Off Kilter's set, and noticed Tony was not there today ( the keyboard player). After the set, I spoke with Jimmy, and asked if they would play Whiskey in the Jar in their next set, and he agreed. I then took a walk to France, and looked around the shops, but didn't purchase anything. In France, Le Mime Roland was performing. He does a very funny show, involving balloons and children from the crowd.. I watched his show, and had a few good laughs. I would definitely recommend catching his show on your next foray into Epcot.
I then went back to the UK, and went into the Rose & Crown. I ordered a fish & chips from the pub menu, and a half-yard of Bass, with the souvenir glass ( well, actually plastic, not glass). The fish was pretty good, and it was a nice easy meal. The total came to $19, plus tip. I then headed back to Canada for the 6:30pm Off Kilter show. They played Whiskey in the Jar, as Jimmy had promised, along with a long Tom Sawyer ( a Rush tune) tease, and their version of Danny Boy. There were two small girls dancing up front throughout the show, that gave the show a very nice touch. They kids were probably around 3 & 4 years old, and were actually very good dancers.
After that set was over, I decided to walk the long way around WS. I walked to Mexico, and traded with a CM for a lanyard series Pluto pin. I continued walking around the WS, until I got to the USA, intending to catch the 8:15pm Grass Roots Flower Power show. I met up with Jenn at the America Gardens theater, and we caught the show together. The Grass Roots were pretty good, although I only knew one of their songs beforehand ( Sooner or Later). After their set was over, we walked back to Germany for Illuminations. I got my usual Beck's dark from the beer cart, and we enjoyed the show from Germany again. The crowds were light at that location, and we had a clear view of ROE. After it was over, we walked to the exit, and caught the bus back to Coronado. When we got back to CS, I hit the pool and hot tub for a little while, and then hit the sack at 11:15pm.
Day 3, Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Today was our day to drive to Daytona. We woke at 8:25am, and had breakfast at the Pepper Market. We each had the scrambled egg platter, which came to $16.38. The platter was not that good, and I don't think I'll be trying that again. We then hopped in the car, and headed out to I-4 East. We arrived at Daytona Beach Community College at 11:15am, it's right on the International Speedway Blvd. The college was much nicer than I expected. We were given the tour of the facilities by one of the staff, and were done in about 90 minutes. After the tour, we drove down the Blvd right to the ocean. I parked right besides the beach entrance, and we walked around the shops. There was hippy type shop right across the street, and Jenn bought a top there for $15. We then walked to the beach, and I rented a boogie board from a vendor on the beach for $6. The surf was very rough, but the water was at a nice temperature. I had a great time in the water, and got pretty good at using the boogie board too. We stuck around until about 3:00pm, and the decided to head back. I stopped at a Best Buy in Daytona and picked up a few CD's for the car. We then drove back towards Orlando. Our first stop was the Belz Outlets off I-Drive. In the first Disney outlet I got a watch, a license plate, some mugs, and some light up pins for $3.50 each. At the 2nd Disney outlet store I got a large Snow White figurine which was marked down to $37. We then drove to the Premium Outlets, the newer one that is off of I-4 near WDW. I picked up a few pins at this store, and browsed some of the other outlets sotres, but didn't buy anything else.
We arrived back at Coronado at 6:00pm, and went to the Pepper Market for dinner. I had the prime rib, while Jenn had the wet burrito, and we used our refillable mug for soda. The total came to $32.46 for the eats. The prime rib was ok, but rather small. I then went down to the bus stop and waited for a bus to the Magic Kingdom. There was a little boy from Virginia waiting with his family, and he was very inquisitive about my pins. I explained several of them to him, and gave him one for his troubles. The bus finally arrived, and we made it to the MK at 7:20pm. It was very crowded when I got there. I walked through Adventureland, and ended up cutting my left hand on an exposed shelf in the store in Island Supply. I then walked over to the Haunted Mansion, which had a 10 minute wait. After going through the stretching room, and waiting to board the doom buggies, I saw a really bad thing happen. There was an elderly lady in front of me, and she had difficulty navigating the moving walkway next to the doom buggies. The rest of her party had gotten onto a doom buggie, but she was running out of space on the moving belt. Rather than stopping the conveyor belt, the CM told her to hurry up, and the lady panicked, and fell at the end of the conveyor belt . A few of us helped her up, and they finally did stop the belt so she could get on the ride, a bit too late if you ask me. Luckily she wasn't injured, but she was really shaken up. The CM made no effort to help her or apologize. After the ride was over, I approached her, and her party, and told them they should go to Guest Relations and say something about what had happened. They were very upset with the way she was treated and said it was a good thing they were already boarded and did not see what had happened, or it would have gotten ugly real quick. The old lady was still visibly shaken from the incident.
I then strolled back to Adventureland, and figured I would make my first ever stop at the Tiki Room. Unfortunately, the Tiki Room had just closed, so I guess my first Tiki visit would have to wait. I then walked to Pirates of the Caribbean, and rode with about a two minute wait. I then took a walk through Fantasyland, and saw that Peter Pan had a 40 minute wait. No way would I get on a line with a 40 minute wait, especially with Spectromagic coming up soon. I then wandered over to Snow White's Scary Adventures, and found there was no wait at all. So, I rode Snow Whit'e Scary Adventure, with no wait at all!!
After finishing my Scary Adventure, I walked over to the Liberty Belle area to wait for SpectroMagic. The crowds were rather large, and I was back by the fence. I was able to see the parade, but it wasn't the best view. I did notice that Chernabog did not open his wings this time. It seems to be hit or miss with him lately.
After SpectroMagic, I went back to Fantasyland, and saw that Peter Pan now had no wait. I went inside and rode it, and it was very good, and certainly much better than if I had waited 40 minutes. After Peter Pan, I walked over towards the Ariels Grotto area, and waited for Fantasy In The Sky fireworks. This is a great spot for FITS, especially on a crowded night. You don't get to see Tinkerbell descending, but you do a get an unobstructed, crowd free view of the fireworks, which are actually set off somewhere behind the grotto. After Fantasy In The Sky, I walked through the castle, and then sat by the Partners statue for the 10:00pm Kiss Goodnight. I watched the throngs of people pass by, and enjoyed the lights on the castle while relaxing in the hub. After that was over, I went to the bakery on Main St, and had a prosciutto, roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella sandwich, along with a coke, for $8.56. The sandwich was excellent, and not something I expected to find in the Magic Kingdom. I took my time eating, and then slowly strolled out of the park. The bus back to Coronado was practially empty, and there was a couple from Chicago that were asking me about my pins, and how often I travelled to WDW. I told them about some of my secrets, such as RADP and mousesavers, among others. We arrived at Coronado at 11:00pm, and I was in dreamland in my bed shortly thereafter.
Day 4, Thursday, May 22, 2003
Today we got up at 8:30am, and got ready quickly. I drove to the Polynesian, hoping to find RADP'er Bianca, so I could give her some pins I brought along. Jenn stayed behind at the hotel, to hit the health club and pool. As I went through the MK toll booth, a female in an SUV cut across several lanes of traffic, cutting me off and a bus, and she started to drive at a high rate of speed. She narrowly missed an accident with the bus. She got in the right hand lane, and got stuck in traffic, where I passed her. She then manuevered around some cars, and almost struck another one. She appeared to be a CM, based on her attire. The way she was driving was frightening, and the sad thing was, she did not make up any ground with her manuevers. I parked at the Polynesian with no trouble, and found that Bianca would not be in untill 11:00am. I bought a package of batteries for one of my Magical Monents pins, and replaced them in the lobby. I then went upstairs, and caught the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
Once inside the MK, I went straight to the barber shop for my traditional MK haircut. There was a brief 10 minute wait, and then Michal gave me a nice , Disney buzz cut, complete with glitter Mickys, at least those that managed to stay on to my short 'doo. Even better, Michal only charged me $5 for the buzz cut, and I left him with another $5 tip. I noticed there was amedia event at the MK train station, it turned out it was to promote the new safety push they had going on. I checked the train station to see if Bruce Metcalf was working, but he wasn't.
I then wandered down Main St, and found a CM with a pin lanyard. He asked if I wanted something special, and he gave me one the new safety pins from the mornings media event. He made me promise not to trade it, which I assured him I would abide by. I then watched the Main St dancers ( I'm not sure what their exact title is) by the MK tip board for a few minutes. I then walked to Tomorrowland and got a FP for 11:20am for Space Mountain. I saw another CM with a lanyard by Buzz Lightyear, and saw that she had a safety pin, so I traded for it, and had my 2nd safety pin, not bad considering they just started them that day. I then rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and updated my notes while on the ride. After that, I got another FastPass for Space Mountain, since it was now in my original FP frame. This one had a close time, so I waited some more, and managed to get one for Buzz when that window opened. The funny thing was, when I got the one for Buzz, the machine spit out 2, so I now had four FP's at once. I then rode Space Mountain on my original pass, on the left side. It was a real good ride, and I rode in the back seat. I then walked around to Toontown, and checked the Toontown Fair, as sometimes you can find good pins hidden in there. I didn't find anything hidden, but I did get an open edition SpectroMagic pin that I liked. I then got a pineapple bowl at the fruit stand across the street, which was $3.19. It was pretty tasty and cooling. I then walked the back path along the railroad tracks back to Space Mountain. I decided I didn't want to ride SM a 2nd time, so I found a single rider and gave him my fast pass, which was now good. I then went and rode Buzz Lightyear 2x, getting a score of 87,900 on my first try, and then dropping down to 79,000 on my second go around. So much for practice makes perfect, ehh?
I then took a stroll over to Adventureland, and rode Pirates, which had a 10 minute wait. This is one of the longest waits I have seen at Pirates in the last few years. I then left the park after Pirates, and rode the monorail back to the Polynesian. I found Bianca at the front desk, and gave her the 9-11 pin , the same type I had given to Scoop. Bianca was busy, so I didn't stick around. I then went upstairs, and had lunch at the Kona Kafe. I had the balckened mahi sandwich, which was very good, along with a coke. I also decided to try the Koko Puff dessert, since everyone raves about. Now I know why everyone raves about, because it was delicious. I heartily recommend this dessert, in fact I would recommend the blackened mahi sandwich too. The lunch cost $16.75 ( I got a 10% AP discount), and with a $4 tip the total was $20.75, well worth it in my opinion. I then drove back to Coronado, and met up with Jenn.
We got in the car, and headed over to 535, to hit the Post Office. After stopping at the Post Office, I decided to drop by the casting center across from Pleasure Island, and see if they could tell me what prospects there are for being hired next spring, when I am eligible to retire my from my present job. I waited in line, and was basically told that unless I was applying now, they could not give me any information on future openings, or what qualifications are needed for other than entry level jobs. We then left the casting center, and parked over by Pleasure Island. at 4:00pm.
We got out and wandered around the West Side. I stopped in the Virgin store, and bought my other daughter at home a CD she wanted, which was $20. We then walked to the Marketplace, and I traded in my Kellog's pin vouchers for two Kellog's/WDW pins at the DTD Pin Traders place. We then hit the gourmet pantry as the rain started. I got a tuna melt, which was delicious, and Jenn got a chicken quesadilla, with a lemonade. The total came to $12. By now the rain was coming down in buckets, so we sat inside for awhile and waited it out. After it finally eased up, we headed over to the World of Disney store. I ended up buying a CD, 2 ties, a postcard pin, and a new screensaver. I got my AP 10% discount on my purchases.
We then walked over to the Pleasure Island ticket booth, and bought the one night pass with the AP discount, and the $5 five day add on. The two passes, for 6 nights each, came to $44. Jenn then went back to Coronado, while I went to PI. I first hit the Adventurers Club, and hung out until it was time for the 8:15pm Comedy Warehouse show. The cast for the show was Chris, Jen, Krista, John, and Jake. They opened with a poem called 'Don't Pat Me On The Head". This was followed by Krista & John doing the freeze frame, in different music styles, consisting of Country, rock, and merengue (?). The whole thing was hilarious, and especially John, who I had never seen before. This was followed by Schmeopardy, with Chris as a hippy painter, Jenn as a gravedigger, Jake as a shoemaker, and with Krista as the host. After that, they did the audience suggestion based on a guest named Faith, who chews on bottle caps. All in all, it was a pretty funny show.
I then exited the CW, and waited for the 9:15 show. The cast for this show consisted of Krista, Jenn, John, Brian, and Matt. They started the show with an audience phone call, to Trina from SC. They turned her answers into a 50's style song, that was very nice. They followed this up with Freeze Frame, with Brian & Jenn, with Matt as the MC. The themes were a las Vegas wedding, and a psychologist, with appearances by John as a crossdresser, and Brian as a WalMart worker. Brian shocked the audience by planting a big kiss on John at the end of the skit, which was very funny. They then did a skit based on audience suggested song titles, including Don't Touch Me There, My Spam is Missing, and I Can't Believe It's Diaper Rash. Matt did the Diaper Rash song as Fabio, and it was pretty dull. Brian & John followed with Don't Touch Me There, based on the game Operation. Brian ended this also by kissing John, which brought a huge laugh from the crowd. Krista & Jenn then did the Spam is Missing song, which was very nicely done. The next skit was the actors nightmare. Jenn was the MC, with Matt as a bank teller, Krista reading the Raven, John as a robber, Brian as the manager, and Jenn filling in as the guard and wife. It was pretty funny. The finale was based on an nnoying trait provided by an audience member, about leaving lights on, called "Shut It Off".
I met Jenn out on PI after that show, and we got in line for the 10:30pm show. The cast for this one was Brian, Jenn, Chris, Matt, & John. They opened with an audience phone call, Clay from Orlando, a student at UCF. They did a good job with this song. The next skit was emotions, with Matt & Chris, this was nothing special. Next up was torture the actor, with Brian being the tortured actor. The line was Left Wrist, Right Ankle, set in a bookstore. He did a good job with figuring it out. The finale was an embarissing story, about a guest who was on his first date with a young lady at the Garden Grille, when Mickey knocked over his glass of soda into the poor guys lap, leaving a large wet stain. It was good stuff to work with, and they did a good job with it. After that show, we headed back to Coronado at about 11:30pm, and called it a night.
Day 5, Friday, May 23, 2003
We got up at 8:30am, and headed over to the Post Office on 535 again at about 9:30am. Jenn had to mail a school report, and we needed priority mail with confirmation. After mailing it, we hit the Sizzler on 535 for the breakfast buffet. The meal was pretty cheap, at $10 for the two us with a coupon from one of the travel guides. The food selection was OK, but the eggs were sorta runny, and Jenn didn't like them. There was plenty of other stuff to make up for it though.
After eating, we drove to Epcot, and parked. We entered the park, and went to Pin Central. I got the new Flower & Garden show AP pins that came out today, plus I picked up a few of the other AP pins they had for sale. I think I made up for my AP hotel savings with the bag o' pins I bought today. We then went to the boat dock, and caught the boat to Germany. The boat now goes from the dock near Mexico to Morocco, then onto Germany. It probably would have been quicker to walk, but the boat ride is very relaxing. Jenn ordered some engraved glasses and mugs for gifts from the Arribas Brothers stand outside of Germany. We then walked to Norway, and rode Maelstrom with no wait. After Maelstrom, we walked to Spaceship Earth, and rode that without a wait. We then exited Epcot, and headed back to Coronado, arriving at 1:30pm.
Jenn headed off to the health club, while I caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom. I arrived at AK at 2:15pm. I bought an AK AP pin in the Island Mercantile, and then walked to Kilimanjaro Safaris and got a FP for 3:15pm. I then caught the train ride to Rafikis Planet Watch. I managed to find a CM with a Dumbo Topiary lanyard pin, and traded for that. After a brief visit through the conservation station, I took the train back, and went to Kilimanjaro for my safari. I rode KS, with an outstanding driver named "JP", who was really enthusiastic about the safari. He really made the trip better than usual. We encountered two giraffes literally right next to the jeep at one point, and then one of them turned around, and to put it politely, expelled lunch to the delight of the youngsters on the ride, and the dung beetles on the ground.
After the safari, I did the gorilla trail walk. I got some great pictures of the male gorilla, who was frolicking around. After the trail, I bought a coke float at the stand in Harambe, and was going to head over to Festival of the Lion King. However, the parade started up, so I stuck around and enjoyed the parade while in Harambe. The parade was pretty good, and I still had time to make the 4:45pm FOTLK show after watching the parade. I then hustled over to Festival of the Lion King, which was not crowded at all. I caught the show, which in my opinion is the best show on property right now. If you haven't seen this show, put it at the top of your to do list, it is simply outstanding. After FOTLK, I exited the park, and went back to Coronado. I hit the quiet pool for about 10 minutes to cool off.
I then drove to Pleasure Island, and ended up with the exact same parking spot as the night before, which seemed kind of odd. I entered PI, and saw Sue Holland (WDW1972) in line for the CW show. I got in the line for the 7:15pm show. The cast for this show was Brian, Matt, John, Krista, and Todd. They did the audience phone call, to Francis from Staten Island. This was followed by Krista & Matt doing fill in the blanks, set in Maui, titled An American Original. Next up was an audience suggestion for a poem, based on teenagers, with John, Brian, & Todd, a bit bizarre if I do say so. Next up was a skit where they did three separate books, with Brian feeding off the lines provided by the other actors reading from books. Todd did Hound of the Baskervilles, John did Raisin in the Sun, while Matt did Walt Whitmans Poems. It was set in a taco Bell, with a Dracula ending. Brian did an outstanding job. The finale was based on a pet peeve, from Joyce in California, about people talking on cell phones while driving, entitled "Call Me Back".
The next show, at 8:15, consisted of Chris, Todd, Krista, Brian, & John. They opened with the elimination game, which Brian won. Next up was Freeze Frame, with Brian, Todd, and Chris, while Krista was the MC. I didn't write down any details, so if you want to know anymore, look up Sue's TR from the same date, she has the more detailed version. The next thing up was Krista singing a song based on an audience suggestion, titled "Gorillas Are Free". While Krista sang, and sang wonderfully I might add, Brian came on stage with a gorilla mask and fooled around throughout the song. The whole skit was excellent, especially Krista's singing. Next up was Torture the Actor, with Todd having to guess the line, "Who Are You Playing For, The Wankees?". Figure it out, he did, and it was pretty good. The finale was based on an audience suggested embarassing story, about Beth, who fell off the bus in London, titled "Off the Bus".
We then got back in line for the 9:15pm show, which consisted of Brian, Todd, Carl, Matt & Phillip. Phillip is Jenn's favorite, and is a truly funny guy. They opened with a phone call from Kelly from Pittsburgh, which was OK. Next up was the conducted story with Brian as the MC. For those unaware, the conductor ponts the baton to each actor, who must pick up where the last person left off. If the actor screws up, the audience yells die, and the actor must act out a death chosen by the crowd. The theme was "The Ball is Huge". Karl died first, and his death was by bunny rabbit slippers. Phillip died next, with his death being by 1 hour photo booth. Todd was next, dying by Lite Brite and Opera, with Matt being the winner. Next up was the finale, based on a pet peeve of toothpaste being squeezed in the middle.
We then went back to the line for the 10:30pm show, and just made the final cut. The cast consisted of Phillip, Krista, Chris, John, and Karl. They opened with a phone call to an audience member, with the ensuing song done western style. Next up was emotions, with John & Christine, which didn't do anything for me. After that, it was 'Up Your Alley", with the theme being the Simpsons, and an audience member who claimed to be an expert on the Simpsons, Cal from Scotland, was brought up. Krista was the host, with Phillip and Karl joining in. It was actually very funny, and Cal did a good job on the stage. The finale was based on a story about a popcorn machine catching fire at a concession stand in a movie theater.
After that show, we hit the Adventurers Club for about 10 minutes, but didn't feel like sticking around. We then left PI, and went back to the hotel at about 12:00am.
Day 6, Saturday, May 24, 2003
We got up sort of late Saturday, at 9:30am. I went down to the main desk at Coronado, and bought my E Night tickets for tonight, which came to $25.56. I went to the bus stop, and caught a bus to Animal Kingdom, arriving at 11:15am. I went to Dinosaur, and got a FP for 12:05pm. At 12:10, I got another FP for Primeval Whirl, good for 1:05pm. I wandered around for awhile, hunting for pins, with nothing special being found. I then went and rode Dinosaur, and lucked out and walked right through without the preshow, as they left the doors open. I did the ride, and then walked over to Asia, where I did the Tiger Trek walk. I then went back to Dinoland, killed a few minutes before my FP time, and then rode Primeval Whirl. Unfortunately, for some reason, my car didn't spin at all on the ride. This ride is nothing that special so I was not going to complain and try to ride again. I still don't like the whole idea of the the roadside carnival area they put in there, I think Walt would be spinning in his grave at the sight of those cheesy carny games , which are a blight on a fine Disney park.
I then walked to Africa, and got myself a FP for Kilimanjaro Safari. I then grabbed some chow at Tusker House, a chicken caesar salad, using the meal deal voucher , $12 and change. About the time I finished eating, Jenn arrived, and we did the gorilla walk. That means we walked through the gorilla trail, not that we walked like a couple of simians. It started to rain pretty hard at that time, but it passed after a short while. She had also gotten a KS FP, so after the gorilla trail, we did the safari. This time I had a new driver, and I mean brand new, she had a trainer showing her the ropes. She did an admirable job, but it was obvious she was trying to remember some of the things to say along the trip. After our safari, we decided to go down to the Festival of the Lion King. On the way down, we stopped at Pizzafari, and Jenn got a cheese pizza. It was raining again at this time, and we got into FOTLK without delay for the 3:45pm. As usual, FOTLK was outstanding, I think on my next trip I might spend an entire day just seeing this show. Again, if you haven't seen this show, make plans to do so, it is exceptional!!!!
After FOTLK ( which is the best show on property, did I tell you that?), we walked to the Oasis area. I tried to find an ice cream cart to use my meal voucher, but they were all closed due to the rain, or so we were told. I ended up using my voucher for a popcorn, and then immediately after using it, spotted an open ice cream cart. Since we were in the Oasis, and the CM for It's Tough To be A Bug was saying there was no wait for ITTBAB, we decided to hit it before the park closed. We went under the Tree of Life, and caught the show, albeit with about a 2-3 minute wait. After the Bug, we left the park and went back to Coronado.
At Coronado, we brought our laundry to the laundry room, and then hit the main pool, and the quiet pool while the laundry was being laundered. After finishing up with my formerly dirty, but now clean laundry, we went to the Pepper Market for dinner at 7:30pm. There was a 15 minute wait to be seated, even though the market seating area was less than 1/3 full. They only had one CM doing the seating, and he took forever with each group. It was really done poorly, and alot of people on the line complained about it, but to no effect. When we finally were seated, I had the beef stir fry, and Jenn had the bourbon chicken. She also had one of the chocolate dessert cakes. The total came to $29.12. The stir fry was not that good, I guess I should know better than to get Chinese food in a Mexican restaurant.
After chow, we went to the bus stop, and waited for a bus to the MK for E Ride night. We caught our bus, and still had time to kill, so we caught a boat to the Polynesian, and I met up with Bianca, and did some pin trading in the lobby. We then caught the monorail to the MK, arriving at 9:25pm, with E Night starting at 10:00pm. We entered the park and got our wristbands. It was just in time to see Fantasy in the Sky, although it was kind of crowded in the Main St area, so we didn't get a good view.
We then cut over to Adventureland, and rode Jungle Cruise, which is always better in the dark. After JC, we rode Pirates, just before it closed. We then embarked on our e-ride night missions, riding Big Thunder Mtn twice, Splash Mtn once, and the Haunted Mansion once. We then walked to Tomorrowland, and rode Buzz Lightyear, with me scoring an impressive 210,000, aided by the ride stopping along the way for a minute or so. We then rode Space Mountain once on each side, and followed that with a spin on the TTA. We then went upstairs and rode the Astro Orbiter, with a great female CM, who was very enthusiastic, and led the crowd in cheering each group. We then did Buzz one more time, with me getting a remarkable 292,000, without even having to stop along the way to boost my score.
We then made our way to Main St, stopping at the Ice Cream parlor, where we each got a coke float. We fiished them off outside, then caught the bus back to Coronado, arriving at 1:15am.
Day 7, Sunday, May 25, 2003
On Sunday we got up at 9:00am. After getting ready, I caught a bus to MGM for the first time this trip. The line to enter was all the way past the ticket booths, and it took 15 minutes to get into the park, finally entering at 10:30am. I got a FP for the Tower of Terror for 11:25, and subsequently got another one afterwards for 12:15. In the meantime, I checked out the big hat, looking for new pins, and updated my notes on a bench behind the big hat. I walked over to Millionaire, but the CM said it was a Star Wars themed show. Since I'm probably the only person in the universe who hasn't watched the Star Wars movies, and don't know the first thing about them, I figured it would be a waste to watch this show. I then went into One Mans Dream, and spent some time examining the exhibits. One of the advantages of being alone is you can take as long as you want to pore over each display, with no one pressuring you to hurry it up. I eventually made my way into the theater, and watched the movie about Walt. After the movie, I exited the theater, and met up with Jenn, who had arrived at the park. We then went to the Starring Rolls Bakery, and got a foccacia sandwich that we split. It was around $6, but I don't recall the exact amount.
We then walked to RnRC and got FP's for 1:35pm. After getting those, we used the FP's for TOT, and I lucked out and got the seatbelt seat. After TOT, we went and did the 12:35 Millionaire show, just making it inside in the nick of time. We got seated, and a woman made the hot seat in an incredible time on the fastest finger, something like 1.5 seconds. Usually when someone makes the Hot Seat on that quick of a time, it's because they did a random hit of the keypad and got lucky, but it turns out this woman was some sort of Millionaire buff, having been in the hot seat dozens of times, and being in the audience over 200 times. She got to the 32,000 question, something about a female self help author. She got it wrong, and I got it right, and I knew I was in the running for the Hot Seat, as I was in the top 5 at 1,000. Sure enough, when they showed the scoreboard, yours truly was at the top, and back in the Hot Seat once again. I bounced on down, and was soon engrossed in the questions. I made it to 32,000 without a hitch, and the question was about the female oscar winner for the movie, The Pianist. Well, yours truly had no clue, and had already used the audience poll lifeline, so I winged it. Unfortunately, I hit the wrong wing, and was reduced in rank to 1,000 points, and shown the door to the prize room. I collected my loot, consisting of the baseball cap, and pins and lanyard, and met Jenn outside.
After Millionaire, we got in line for the Animation tour, but when the line finally went inside, they cut it off right in front of us. We didn't want to wait for the next tour, so we left. We then caught the boat to Boardwalk, and from there walked to Epcot's International Gateway.Once in Epcot, we went to the Living Seas. I enjoy the jellyfish and coral reef exhibits in here, although this pavillion is in dire need of an upgrade. After that, we left the park, and caught a bus back to Coronado. At Coronado, we hit the quiet pool for awhile, to cool off before our dinner at Boma.
After the pool, I changed, and we drove to Animal Kingdom Lodge, arriving at 5:40pm for our 6:00pm dinner. We went downstairs, and were seated quickly. Our server, JoAnn, turned out to be a horror story. She took our beverage order, with me asking for and receiving Frunch. Jenn got a coke, and we were served somewhat quickly. However, that was the last we saw of her. At 6:20pm, I began to wonder when she was going to come back, as our plates were piling up, and there was nothing left to drink, as our beverages and water were gone. I figured she was busy, and would eventually make it to our table. By 6:50pm, still having no sign of her, and noticing other tables wondering where she was, I sought out another server. He went in the back, and came out in a minute. He said she had run into a problem with another guests credit card, and that was what the delay was. After another 10 minutes passed, it was now 7:00pm, and we had no beverages, a stack of plates, and no bill. I went back to the service area, and found her inside. I told her I wanted my bill so I could leave, and she said that the system was down, and it wasn't her fault. I told her to give me my bill so I could pay, and after another 10 minutes, she finally brought it. It was now 7:15pm, and just under an hour since I had started to wonder where she was. She again told me that it wasn't her fault that the system was down, and when I asked what that had to do with our service, she again said it wasn't her fault. Well, as much as I hate to say it, it wasn't my fault either, and it was reflected in the tip she got, which was nothing. I hate to do that, but that type of service is inexcusable. If the system was down, she still should let her guests know , rather than stay in the service area for the better part of an hour. I then found the manager, named JoAnna, and told her, and she asked if I was coming back to Boma on this trip. I told her no, which was due to the fact that we only had three nights left and had dinner plans set for those nights. She then said that the system was down, and thats why the server ignored the tables for so long. I went upstairs, and was still upset, so I went to the front desk, to ask for a manager. The CM at the desk asked me to summarize what happened, and then she said she would call a manager. Well, can you guess which manager she called? I realized this while listening to her side of the conversation on the phone. When I asked if there was a hotel manager, she told me that Boma was separate from the hotel. She then told me that JoAnna told her that she had offered me a discounted return dinner, which I had declined. This was absolutely not true, and I was very upset at being called a liar. I then went downstairs, and sought out JoAnna. I found her in Boma, and told her that I did not appreciate being called a liar, and that she had never offered me anything for the shoddy service.I never raised my voice during this encounter, but I was seething inside. I have eaten at Boma numerous times, and have never had a problem. In fact, I can't recall ever having to seek out a manager at a WDW restaurant before. She then stated that when she asked me if I was returning, she had intended to offer me a discount on my next visit, but when I said I wasn't coming back, she never made the offer. She did apologize, and asked where I was eating in the next few nights. I told her 1900 Park Faire, and Le Cellier, as I had PS's for both. She told me she would call the manager of LeCellier and arrange for my PS to reflect free desserts for us. Unfortunately, it turned out this wasn't true, as when we went to Le Cellier several nights later, there was no record of this on my PS.
After that episode, we drove to Pleasure Island, and it took 25 minutes to find a parking spot. It was a zoo in there, we finally ended up down by the West Side area. Sue Holland was there, as was her friend Leeza. We got on line for the 8:15pm CW show. This show had Karl, Chris, John, Brian, and Joy. They opened with a phone call from Kathy and Megan, from Oneonta, NY. This was followed by fill in the blanks, which was set in a peanut factory, with John & Joy. Next up was Chris singing "I bought an urn for my dog, 'cause I put him to sleep", with Karl acting as a dog. After that was Up Your Alley, with Joy as the host. The topic was aviation, and Chris was a pilot, Karl was flight attendant Gregg ( after former CW CM Gregg), and Brian was a Klingon. As usual, Brian was absolutely hilarious. For the finale, they did a song on an audience story about David, who leaves his socks balled up on the floor.
We then got back in line for the 9:15pm show, and the cast this time was Brian, Chris, John, Phillip, and Karl. They opened with a poem, called Jump Me If You Can. This was followed by Ring The Bell, with John on the bell. It was set in a morgue, with Brian, Phillip, and Karl as a cop. It was pretty funny. This was followed by the CW AK parking lot bit, which I guess is sort of their funny public service announcement. Next up was torture the actor, with Phillip being tortured, and the line he had to guess was "A change is as good as a holiday". This went on for a while, and ended up being the last act of the show.
After that show, Jenn left, and I was going to stick around for the 10:30pm. Sue & Leeza let me join them in the back door line for that show, so I got to bypass the line. The cast for this show was Mary, Brian, Phillip, Joy , and Karl. They opened with a phone call to Dwayne & Lisa in the audience, who were from Nebraska. The next skit was the conducted story, with Joy as the MC. The topic was the stale bread went sour. Karl died first, by X-acto knife, with Mary going next, by a potato masher. Next up was Phillip, by a thong on Broadway. Brian was the winner after all that.Since that went so long, the finale was next, an embarassing story about beer spilled in the lap on an airplane. After the show, I left and returned to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
Day 8, Monday, May 26, 2003
On Monday, we got up at 9:30am, and I had a sore throat. We drove to WalMart, and got some throat lozenges and a few other things. We stopped at Cracker Barrel on 192, but it was mobbed, so we passed on eating there. We went back to Coronado, and dropped off our purchases. I called Rainforest Cafe at DTD, and found there was no wait for lunch, so we went there to eat. We were seated in about 5 minutes once we arrived there, and lunch was OK, but nothing special. We had an appetizer platter, and I had a burger, while Jenn had a chicken sandwich. The total came to $45, plus a $10 tip, for $55 overall. After eating, I went to the DTD Pin Trader shop, and checked out the pins. We then went to World of Disney, and I bought a pin bag, some Memorial Day LE pins, and a Festival of the Lion King CD ( did I tell you what a great show FOTLK is??). I brought the pin bag to the Christmas shop, and had my name embroidered on it for a measly $6. We then drove back to Coronado, and relaxed for awhile, and I read one of my books for the rest of the afternoon.
I drove to Pleasure Island at about 7:15pm, and parking was not a problem tonight. We first hit the Adventurers Club for awhile, and then got in line for the 1st CW show. Actually, there was no line, we just went in the open door. The cast was Brian, Joy, John, Mary, and Phillip. The opener was the phone call, to Danny from Melbourne ( Florida, not Australia).Next up was freeze frame, with Brian & Joy tap dancing, then Phillip joined in. It was very good. After that was Ring The Bell, with Brian working the bell, and John having his head waxed. They followed that with musical tabloid headlines, with Joy as the MC. It also was very good. The finale was the embarassing story, about a guy named Don who fell up and over a hill, called "Ohh, He Hit A Hill".
After the show, we walked around PI, and I found a few lanyard pins from CM's. We then got back on line for the next show at 9:15pm, and went inside. Jamie was on keys, and while I don't usually report on the keyboard players, he did a real nice version of the song Rocky Top. The cast was Joy, Mary, Chris, Phillip, and John. They opened with a phone call to JoAnn, from California. This was followed by the freeze frame, with Chris as the MC, John & Mary as cheese makers, and Phillip as their mom. Phillip was hilarious as usual. They next did song titles, with Joy & John doing 'The Dog Got Loose Again", Chris, as an old lady singing "I Like Porn", and Mary & Phillip ( a great combo) doing "I didn't think it would go in there" in the style of a church hymn. After that they did freeze, with Phillip as the MC, and the rest flipping from various subjects. The finale was the emabarassing story, related by a real bozo in the upper deck. He told a story about being outraced by a large woman in a van, who beat out his Camaro. This guy was the quintessential trailer dweller, wearing a dirty wife beater, and he even made a comment on the male passenger in the van wearing a wife beater, as if he didn't realize he was also wearing one. After the show, at least I think it was after this one, Jenn asked Phillip for a picture, and Sue took a couple of Jenn up on the stage with Phillip. They came out great, too.
We then went back and waited for the next show, at 10:30pm. The cast for this one was Brian, John, Chris, Jenn, and Joy. The opener was a poem, suggested by Sue, called the The Church Burned Down. They followed this with freeze, with Jenn and Chris doing it in styles of country, pop, and classical. It was very well done. Next up was the Animal Kingdom parking lot skit, the same one from the other night. This is only a minute or so long. They followed with torture the actor, with John being tortured. The line he had to figure out was " A man on a flying horse would never notice". It was set in a Bhuddist temple on Mt Everest, as if it wasn't hard enough. He eventually did figure it out, and it was pretty funny. The finale was the embarassing story, about being watched while in the toilet.
We decided to stick around for the final 12:05am show. We caught the New Years Eve celebration while waiting in line, which was nice. The cast for this show was Mary, Jenn, John, Chris, and Brian. They opened with the name game, with Jenn winning. Next up was the play, with Brian as the MC. The subject was "Wisconsin wants to pick up the trash". They followed this with Up Your Alley, with Coffee Grinders being the subject. John was the host, and Brian was Mocha Sadamo, who works in Starbucks. Mary was Mrs Coffee, and Jenn was Maria something or other, a funny sounding Latin name, who was a coffee grinder. All three were hilarious, but especially Jenn. The finale was pet peeves, about a guest named Ryan who shaves his legs.
After the show, Jenn grabbed a small pizza at the cart near the Jazz Club, then we headed back to the hotel.
Day 9, Tuesday, May 27, 2003
We slept late on Tuesday, after the late night at Comedy Warehouse the previous evening, getting up at 10. I went down to the bus stop to hit the MK, while Jenn stayed at the hotel for the health club. I ended up waiting as 8 busses came and went before a Magic Kingdom bus finally arrived. Unfortunately, it happened to be one with no working a/c, so by the time we arrived at the MK, I was soaked in sweat. I finally made it inside the park at 11:15am.
Once I got inside the MK, I went in the Expo Hall, to see if Scoop was around, but he wasn't. I then headed over to the bakery, and got myself one of their outstanding apple turnovers, and a coke, which came to $4.46. If you have never tried one of their turnovers, they are superb. They are extremely large, and very fluffy. The chocolate croissants are also very good, and as I mentioned on a previous day, the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich is outstanding. I took it outside, and found a table in the alleyway between the Main St Market House and the Uptown Jewelers ( I'm pretty sure those are the surrounding shops). There are several tables in the back of the alleyway, which is a very relaxing spot to eat and watch the crowds pass by. In addition, while sitting there, I discovered that from the upper window overlooking the rear of the alleyway, the one which advertises music and voice lessons, comes the sounds of music and voice lessons, which you can really only hear if you are in that general area. It was a very nice touch to a pleasant stop, and it was also a real peaceful break in the hustle and bustle of Main St. I think this will be my secret getaway for future bakery breaks.
After finishing my turnover, I walked to Tomorrowland and got a FP for Buzz, good for 12:45pm. I then walked through Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland, and saw that there were large lines at almost all the rides. Peter Pan had a 45 minute wait, while even Small World had a large line extending outside the building. I went to the Haunted Mansion, but it was down at that time. I then decided to make my first ever visit to the Enchanted Tiki Room. I got in line, and caught the routine with the talent agent birds outside, then we were ushered into the room. The first thing I noticed was the a/c was working fine, and that alone was worth the show. The show itself was fun, and better than I had expected, if a bit short. This is a great spot for an air conditioned break on a hot day. I then walked back to Tomorrowland, and used my FP for Buzz. I must have gotten refreshed with the Tiki a/c, as I scored a stupendous ( for me at least) 303,000, ranking as the exalted Space Ace. After exiting Buzz to the admiration of the throngs in line, I walked to Space Mtn and got a FP for Space, good for 1:45pm.
I then took a walk back down Main St, and went into the Expo Hall to check on Scoop again. It turned out that Scoop was actually off all week, as there was a sign to that effect on his table in the back. I guess I should have walked back there earlier. Since there was nothing else doing there, I decided to take the train to Frontierland and check out that area. When I went up to the train station, I asked if Bruce Metcalf was working, and was told he was on some sort of special assignment that day. Sounds like Zazu is moving up the WDW ladder, and rightfully so, as he is one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable Disney fans lucky enough to work there. I then caught the train, and rode it to Frontierland. I got off at my stop, and found the lines for Splash Mtn at 65 minutes, and Pirates of the Caribbean at 25 minutes, which I had never seen before. I got a FP for Splash since my FP window had opened, it was good for 3:30pm. I then caught the next train to Toontown, and got off at Toontown. I headed down the back walkway to Space Mtn, stopping to admire the train as it rolled past, and exchanging a wave hello with the crew.
I went to Space Mtn, and used my FP. I rode the right side of Space, getting the front seat. It was a good ride as always. I then took a walk to the Haunted Mansion, and saw it was a 30 minute wait, so I passed on it. I then waited for the parade across from Pecos Bills, and got a nice front row spot, with shade from a tree. I thoroughly enjoyed the Share A Dream Come True parade, and hope they keep this one around for awhile. I then walked to Splash Mtn, and got Jenn a Piglet t-shirt in the Briar Patch shop. I then went to redeem my FP for Splash, and even in the FP line, had to wait a bit over 10 minutes. While on the ride, we got delayed in one of the inner rooms for a good 5 minutes, I was right next to the part where the frog is fishing, watching the fish jump over and over for the entire time.
After Splash I went back up to the train station, and rode it back to Toontown. I then retraced my steps along the back path to Space Mtn, and got on line, which for some reason was rather short. I ended up on the right side again, in the rear seat. After riding Space, I walked through the Emporium shops along Main St. I managed to snag 3 lanyard series pins in trades with CM's before leaving the park. I then exited and caught the bus back to Coronado.I showered and changed, and we drove to the Grand Floridian for our dinner at 1900 Park Faire. It turns out the self parking at GF is across the street, and is a good hike to the front of the hotel. After getting inside, we went to the podium and were seated almost immediately. The service was very good, and the food here is very good for a buffet. We got several pictures, including Jenn with Prince Charming, and yours truly with Cinderella. The total for the dinner came to $51.10, plus a $10 tip, for a total of $61.10. This has become my favorite buffet behind Boma on property.
We left the GF at 7:15pm, and headed to Pleasure Island. Parking was not a problem, and we got in rather quickly. I took a picture of the Adventurers Club, and watched the goings on for a few minutes. We then got in line for the 8:15pm CW show. The cast for the 1st show was Jenn, Brian, Jake, Matt, and John. They opened with the name game, and Matt was the winner. Next up was fill in the blank, with Jenn & Jake in a morgue setting, and the topic was "Sailor for life, fire at sea". The following skit was where they do 4 different styles, and it was pretty good, with Matt, John, Jenn, and Jake doing it. They then did Up Your Alley with the subject being Bouncy Balls. Jenn was the host, Gia Giapet; with John as Jimmy the ball tester; Brian as Dr Viscous, an author; and Matt as the boy in the bubble. Tasteless perhaps, but very funny. The finale was based on an embarassing story about a guest whose wedding was delayed 3 days due to her fiancees military deployment. It really wasn't embarassing, but that's what they had to work with.
We then went outside, and I saw I had a voicemail. It turned out to be one of my coworkers, who left what we call a "goobly". We had a guy work in our squad for awhile who really didn't belong there, in fact he probably had no business being a cop at all. Whenever one of us would ask him about a case, he would always end with some gibberish answer, which we took to calling "goobly". From there it turned into the rest of us calling each other and leaving messages on voice mails and on the portable radios that were basically a loud "gooooobly". So I had been gooblyed. I then saw an Orange County Deputy outside on of the shops, and the light bulb went off in my head. I asked him if he was willing to make a call for me, using my cell phone. He liked the idea, and managed to get Sean at work at the station back in NY. He identified himself as Deputy so & so, from Orlando, and said he had a message to relate to Sean. He then gave Sean a loud "goobly", which got a huge laugh from Sean. The Deputy thought it was a pretty funny idea. I thanked him, and got in line for the next CW show.
The cast for the 9:15pm show consisted of Jenn, Mary, Brian, John, and Jake. One thing I noticed, of the three keyboard players, Jim Roberts ( who was on keys tonight) is the dullest. Carol Stein and Jamie are always peppy, and seem to enjoy being part of the show. Jim Roberts always looks like he is just killing time, and does not seem to have the enthusiasm of the other two. Anyway, they started the show with the topic "Did you see the size of that plastic platypus?". Next up was This is Your Life, with guest Robin from Baton Rouge. They then did Ring The Bell with Jake on bell, and Mary & Jenn having the subject of building a mall. It was pretty funny, as is anything with Mary & Jenn. Next up was the actors nightmare, with John the mc, Jake reading the Deviners, Jenn doing Fools by Neil Simon, and Mary reading The Importance of Being Earnest. It was very good also. The finale was based on a suggested pet peeve, a guest named Brian who always checks the front door over and over when leaving. After the show ended, I spoke with Mary , and asked if I could get a picture with the cast. She brought me & Jenn up on stage, and we got two great pics of us with the entire cast from that show. That was a really nice touch.
After that show, we got back in line for the 10:30pm show, which consisted of Jenn, Jake, Krista, Mary, and Matt. The opener was a phone call to John, from Wales. It went over very well. They then did the conducted story, with Jake as the host, and the subject being I Like Lima Beans. Jenn died first, and her death was by singing the oldies. Mary was next, with death by chocolate, and Krista was next, dying by Soap Opera in a laundromat. Matt was the winner in a tough competition. Since that skit ran for so long, the finale was next, based on an embarrasing story about guest Jeff, who walked into a hotel window. After the show ended, I was talking to Matt, and the little light bulb in my head went off again. I told Matt about the goobly call, and he loved the idea. He called Sean at work, identified himself, and let Sean have a big ole goobly. Sean thought it was hysterical, as did Matt. I thanked Matt, and wandered PI for a little while, before getting in line for the final show.
Once again, while in line for the 12:05 show, we caught the PI NYE celebration. I noticed there were some obviously intoxicated types in the line, and it turned out that the crowd was really noisy, mostly due to several really obnoxious drunks in the crowd. The cast consisted of Jenn, John, Mary, Krista, and Matt. They opened with a phone call to Maria from Tampa, which was punctuated by several jerks in the crowd adding their one cent ( I wouldn't even dignify their comments at two cents worth). Next up was Matt as the Freeze frame MC, with Krista & John doing Beowulf. They followed with a song, Fat Tornado, with Jenn & Matt singing, and it was very good, but not as good as Krista's singing the other night. They followed with Schmeopardy, with Krista as the host, Matt as a lifeguard; Mary as the Queen mother; and Jenn as a WalMart greeter. It was also very funny, and they managed to put a few of the more persistent obnoxious drunken jerks in their places with some well chosen comments. The finale was a pet peeve, which if I was picked for the suggestion, would have been obnoxious, drunken jerks in public places. Unfortunately, I wasn't chosen to suggest one, so they went with a guest named Judy, whose sister never pays back small loans. The show could have been alot funnier if they tossed out some of the drunken idiots. There was also a small child in the next row over who was spinning his chair noisily throughout the entire show, while his parents ignored him, which also contributed to putting this show at the bottom of my list of great shows this week.
After that show, it was back to Coronado for a well deserved rest.
Day 10, Wednesday, May 28, 2003
I woke at 10:00am again, due to the previous late night. I got dressed, and caught a bus to Animal Kingdom, arriving at 11:20am. I went to the noon show of FOTLK ( did I tell you yet what a great show this is?), and after the show, which I thoroughly enjoyed again, I went to the Oasis area. I asked a CM to take a few pics of me by the Tree of Life garden, which came out nicely. I then left the park, and caught a bus to Epcot, arriving at 1:00pm. At Epcot, I rode Spaceship Earth. The ride stopped while I was at the top, and stayed stopped for about 5 minutes. I was right next to the speaker that announces the vehicle is going to rotate backward, and got to listen to that message over and over and over for 5 minutes. After SE, I walked to Test Track, and got a FP, for 6:24pm. That was an odd time for a FP, usually they are in 5 minute increments. It came with an attached extra FP for Body Tours, probably to boost attendance in that pavillion. I walked from there to Mexico, and had a nice wet burrito and a conga juice, which came to $10. I sat outside along the lagoon and enjoyed my lunch, which was very good. It was made even better by being able to sit in such a fantastic place on a beautiful day.
I then walked to the Wonders of Life pavillion, which appeared desolate. I rode Body Tours with my FP, and found the ride to be dated. I think the only people there were ones using up their free FP's. That whole pavillion seems in dire need of some changes. I then went to the front of the park, and met Jenn, who had just arrived. We took some pictures by the front topiaries, and also got one of the CM pictures taken of Jenn. We then walked back to Pin Central, and checked out the pin selection. We next strolled over to the Imagination Pavillion, and rode Journey into Imagination, with no wait. After Figment, we walked to the World Showcase to the American Pavillion, where we caught the Voices of Liberty once again. After the VOL finished their set, we walked back towards Canada, and watched Off Kilter do their set. Once again, there were two small girls dancing in front of the stage, I believe it was the same two from several days ago. After their set, I bought their new CD Celtic Armadillo, which is very good. I then got autographs from the band members ( except Tony, who wasn't there again) on the CD insert. I also got another picture with Jimmy.
When we were done with Off Kilter, we walked back to the front of the park, and picked up Jenn's photo from the photo shop. The picture came out real good, so I bought it, getting the 5"x7", plus the 4 wallets. I ended up putting the 5x7 in a nice Epcot frame I have at home, and it looks great. We then rode Spaceship Earth, with no stops along the way this time. We then went over to Test Track, and rode that. Jenn had also gotten a FP with the 6:24pm time on it, and when we got there, the FP clock was set on 6:24. I think there was some sort of malfunction, since it seemed like quite a few people had FP's with that same time. After TT, we walked back to Canada, for our dinner at Le Cellier.
We checked in at the podium at Le Cellier, and the CM told us that there was approximately a 20 minute wait. I asked if there was a notation about the free desserts the Boma manager had promised us, but there wasn’t. I didn’t feel like pursuing the issue, so I left it at that. He gave us the pager, and also told us the pager was good anywhere in the area of Canada, except in the theater. I asked if it was good by Off Kilters stage, and he said it was, so we went back to catch the next Off Kilter set. We watched the end of their set, and just as they were about done, the pager went off, and we went down to eat. We were seated, and the server said they had a surf & turf special, a steak and lobster tail. I ordered that, along with the Caesar salad. Jenn ordered the Toronto chicken. I asked for a sample of the cheddar cheese soup that everyone raves about, but found it a bit too salty for my taste. The total for dinner was $65, with a $13 tip, for a grand total of $78. The steak and lobster were excellent, and I really enjoy the Caesar salad they have.
We then began the walk around the World Showcase, just checking shops and such. Once again, the lightbulb went off in my head, and while in the UK Tea shop, I spoke with a female CM from England. She agreed to make a “goobly” call to Sean at work, and he thought it was hilarious. She identified herself as so & so from Liverpool, England. We then went to France, and did the same thing, and then followed that up with another call from a CM in Morocco.After the goobly’s, we went to the USA, and caught the end of Dave Mason’s set in the America Gardens theater. We then walked to Italy, and Germany, where I found CM’s from each country willing to call Sean with a goobly, several of them ended up with his voice mail, which I got to hear when I returned to work the next week.
We then caught Illuminations from Germany once again, which is the way I like to spend my last night at Disney World.There is nothing better than finishing up a long stay with Illuminations, then a nice slow, leisurely walk out of the park. Actually, there was something better to add, such as running into the CM from LeCellier, with a group of his friends, who agreed to give Sean back in NY a group goobly!!! That went over very well, and really capped off the evening nicely. I then stopped in Mousegear on the way out, and got another tie. We then caught the bus back to Coronado,and I spent some time putting all my pins and stuff away.
Day 11, Thursday, May 29, 2003
Well, our last day at WDW, for this trip at least. We got up at 9:00am, and packed up. We were out of the room by 10:30am, and since we had the express checkout, we didn’t have to stop at the desk. We then drove to MGM, which we really hadn’t visited much this trip. We entered the park, and went to the big hat, where I bought an AP t-shirt, which was $20. We then checked on lunch availability, and found a PS for the Sci Fi Dine In at 11:20am. We walked over that way, and were soon seated inside. I had a nice blackened catfish sandwich and a lemonade, while Jenn had the turkey sandwich and a coke, a big change from her usual chicken sandwich. The tab came to $30.87, with a $6 tip, for a grand total of $36.87. We then headed towards the front of the park, stopping in the store where I bought another pin. We then left the park at 12:30pm.
We drove to 192, where I gassed up the car at the RaceTrak gas station, and then went to MCO. I first stopped at the Jet Blue curbside check-in, where we checked our bags, and got our boarding passes. We then went down and returned the car, which was problem free. It worked out better this way, since we didn’t have to lug our bags around the terminal now. Wed then went inside, with no delays at the security check point, and waited for our flight. The flight back to NY was a bit rough, and it wasn’t helped by some woman a few rows back who kept saying “Oh, my God” in a very loud voice every time we hit the slightest bit of turbulence. When we finally began the descent, she really was going wild, and it was getting really annoying. She really should have takne some sleeping pills or something, or else drove to NY. Anyway, contrary to what she thought would happen, we landed safely, got our van from long term parking ( with a hefty $110 parking fee), and drove home.
Summary, comments, and the like...
Well, this trip turned out very well in my opinion. I tried out some new things, such as the Tiki Room, lunch at Kona Kafe, a day trip to Daytona, and a new building at Coronado. I redid many old favorites, including Festival of the Lion King, Off Kilter, the Voices of Liberty, Flo & Eddie at the Flower Power series, Illuminations, Spectro, Scoop Sanderson, and many others. I had some really good meals at Le Cellier, 1900 Park Faire, Kona Kafe, a decent meal with poor service at Boma, and some so-so meals at Pepper Market.
We caught some real good shows at the Comedy Warehouse, and I got to meet and chat with numerous outstanding CM’s all over.
I have really gotten to like Coronado, it seems a notch above the other moderates, and I will most likely stay there again, especially as long as PO-FQ is still closed. I mixed my use of the bus system with the rental car, which worked out pretty well. The car came in handy, especially with the great rate I had, but sometimes it’s nice to just relax and jump on a bus and not worry about parking or driving. The extra suitcase I brought along came in handy too, as we filled it up with all our loot for the trip back.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and please feel free to email me with any questions or comments.
Until the next trip....
Thanks, and take care,