DD's Commando Trip Report
In the open to close sense of the word........
First a little history….
I had been planning a trip to WDW with one of my most favorite people (hereafter referred to as M.F.P) since January or February…..we had been doing a daily text message countdown for several months and were both looking forward to our weekend as an escape from reality and grown-up-ed-ness. Unfortunately, life got in the way in the form of work for him and a breast biopsy for me (no cancer – yay!). Our trip was delayed until which time the stars in both of our busy little universes re-align. In the meantime I was feeling terribly sorry for myself and grumpy that I was not going to be visiting WDW the second weekend in June. Woe was me. Big time.
The cool part of the story is that my procedure was much less invasive than predicted (which meant that I felt A-Ok and up for anything) and my good friend Shane (hereafter referred to as Grumpy) called me out of the blue on Tuesday and asked if I was up for a Saturday at WDW. His mother works for AAA and periodically gets comp tickets – she had landed 2 park hoppers and given them to Shane to use to take his girl friend, Heather. The serendipitous thing (for me, not her) was that she had a work thing and couldn’t go so I, his number one back up date, was invited instead.
I love living so close to WDW – Only 1.5 hours from my front door to WDW property – and that was with a rather lengthy stop at the service plaza to apply makeup and buy a skinny mocha from Starbucks. I hadn’t slept very well the night before and as a result had to get tanked on caffeine in order to make the drive. By the time I crossed under the welcome sign my eyes were watering and I was trying to figure out how to drive a stick with my legs crossed.
We had agreed to meet at Downtown Disney in the wee hours of the morning and take one vehicle into the parks. I got there before him and parked in front of Cirque du Soleil, sprinted out of the car, and started my desperate search for a restroom, or a discrete bush. First door: locked. Second door: Locked. Third door: LOCKED. At this point I was starting to think things like “Well I am wearing dark pants” and “It is suppose to be really hot today, I would dry out in no time”. Fortunately I was able to find an open restroom before I had to resort to incontinence.
While I was washing my hands a little brown bird landed on my head and perched there for a good 30 seconds, while I waxed romantic about the magic of Disney having an effect on even the smallest of God’s creatures. The little bird then cocked its head to one side and took an enormous poo on my head. Apparently the magic of Disney had a laxative effect on this particular bird. I tried to cleanse myself with a mixture of paper towels, blotting paper, and hand soap, a combination that only served to make me look like a really frizzy haired, slightly damp woman with bird poo on her head. Lucky for me I had a red head scarf in my car which covered up tweeties little accident quite nicely. However, Shane’s greeting of “Ahoy Matey” made me question my choice of headgear to some extent….
Grumpy picked my up at 8:30 and let me drive his jeep with the top off to the MK. We parked in Pluto and walked to the Ticket center (I am anti tram). A short monorail ride later we arrived just in time to see the opening ceremony. What is it about confetti that makes ones heart so happy?
One of the first things I noticed was that about 40% of the crowd were wearing red shirt. Ah ha – gay days! I will not get into politics etc here but it was really heartwarming to see couples be able to hold hands in public and not be in the minority. The only downside was that it made the park a little more crowded than it may have been otherwise.
Space Mountain had a posted 30 minute wait that was in fact no more than 5-10. Grumpy had not been on it in years and had a blast. I have been on it pretty recently and also had a blast. I giggle and scream uncontrollably on roller coasters and this was no exception – until about the last quarter of the ride when I felt like my bagel from breakfast was hatching an escape plan. After the ride Grumpy said he heard me get quiet and had to turn around to make sure they hadn’t lost us.
After Space we battled on Buzz and then rushed over for Monsters Inc laugh floor. I love this show soooo much. Grumpy is the king of corny jokes and really appreciated the level of humor.
The Haunted Mansion was next on our to-do list and was another walk on ride. Still loving the refurb.
Thunder Mountain (aka the Best Ride of all time) was next. I asked for back row seats (the best) and was joined by a gay couple in their 50’s who informed me that their same request earlier had been denied. . . . I told them I was kinda a big deal in Japan and back seat rides on BTMR was one of the perks of celebrity. They either thought I was delusional or pretty funny. Hard to say. Because Grumpy is a bit more Pooh shaped than me the lap bar was a good 9-12 inches off my lap – which meant awesome air time.
By this time MK was getting really really crowded so we decided to park hop it over to Epcot, which was really really empty. One of the nicest things about Epcot is that it is sooo big it almost never feels crowded. I took Grumps to the Coke place (he had never heard of it before) and tricked him into taking a big old swig of Beverly . We visited Figment (still on the fence about this pavilion – no offense Jeanne) and then submerged ourselves in the Living Seas . Grumpy is not a fan of Soarin’ so we regrettably skipped it and meandered through Innovations instead. Kind of boring but very air conditioned.
Test Track was next and was the longest line we waited in all day (but still only 40 minutes). We were in line behind a woman 90% of the way through when all of the sudden the rest of her party (I counted 25) joined her. I get holding a place if one or two people need to potty etc but serving as a human fast pass is a little rude imho. We had the last laugh though when we located ourselves on the far side of the orientation room and got on the ride first. Not only had that but Test Track shut down “temporarily” right before they loaded. Foiled again evil line jumpers!
After TT we decided to do a little world touring starting in Mexico . Grumpy posed me outside the pavilion and proceeded to take about five minutes to get a shot while onlookers gawked at the gringo smooching the ancient Aztec God. I finally asked what in the Sam Hill was taking him so long. “Oh, I took the pic 4 minutes ago” he replied, “I just wanted to see how long I could get you to stand there and look like a nit wit”. Jerk. I had my revenge.
The original Latin Lover!
Once inside the pavilion I posed Grumpy in a sombrero – a tradition which carried us through the world and slowly chipped away at Grumps sense of pride and manliness. We rode El Rio, front row, legs propped up (can you guess whose is whose…hint…I forgot to shave that morning). I really love this ride (could do without the refurbs though).
Norway was next. Yah. I wanted some school bread but could not force it on myself. We rode Maelstrom and made nice with the trolls in the gift shop before heading over to China.I cannot do the 360 films without getting ill so we just shopped about and watched some awesome acrobats do unnatural things.
I am Siamese if you please...
I am Siamese if you don't please
Japan was fun until I encountered the Monchichi’s. I think there has to be a law about that many baby monkey men congregating without a permit. Very creepy stuff. The top floor is now a restaurant. Maybe this is really old news but I thought the department store use to be two stories?
I am getting my country order mixed up but I will just summarize by saying we saw ‘em all and wore hats wherever hats were sold. I spent a little extra time in France speaking French to the French (mostly I just asked if they sold Orangina…the answer was “non”).
All he needs is a really tiny car
What up? Eh?
For those of you who don’t know me…I am big into horses. I have been riding competitively since I was in training pants and feel about horse racing the way most people do about football or baseball or nascar or their mothers. Saturday was the Belmont Stakes, a grade 1 stakes race and the last jewel in the Triple Crown. Being a sweet young thing I have never seen a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime (last horse was Affirmed in 1978 – I’m an 81 model). I put myself through college breezing (exercising) race horses and currently live in Ocala , Fl, the horseracing capital of the world. Grumpy and I both hold B.S’s in Equine Science so missing the race was simply not an option for us, Disney or no Disney. We decided to watch at the ESPN club at the Boardwalk but wanted to ride Spaceship Earth first.
I haven’t ridden the new and improved SE yet and was pleasantly surprised by most of the changes. I do miss the old narrator and the descent left a lot to be desired. The interactive screens are pretty cute but not real cohesive with the rest of the ride. A 7/10 in my book.
We decided to walk rather than float back to the Boardwalk and took a seat at a high top in the sports bar. The bar area was packed with other equine enthusiasts (and/or gambling addicts) and there was only ONE server for the entire bar. 45 minutes crept passed and we hadn’t even had our drink order taken. Meanwhile about 15 servers were standing on the sit down side with their hands in their pockets. A loud New Yorker (love ya’ll) finally complained and was told that they had been scheduled that way and that the manager was on a conference call and hadn’t given them new directions. In my opinion, the fact that the employees were afraid to use common sense and take initiative is a symptom of very poor management. The plus was that by the time were finally served we were offered nachos and diet cokes on the house. Bring it on baby.
So – the race was a huge disappointment and if you will bear with me for a tiny little non-disney rant; totally, blatantly, fixed. The 1-4 fave, a horse who gave me chills during his last two wins, finishes dead last? After his only competition was scratched? Someone paid the jockey to lose, or threatened him if he won. The jock intentionally bump drafted BB twice out of the gait- not a rookie mistake and a surefire way to make an aggressive horse really ticked. He still managed to get him in the sweet spot (3rd on the outside) but when the front runners made their move he went to the whip exactly twice then pulled him up. The current climate (Eight Bells death in the derby and Barbaros break in the Preakness) have set the stage for the public to not investigate a jockey pulling up his still fresh horse as long as he makes the claim that he did so to protect him. Shennanigans. If he thought the horse was off then why did he dismount and walk away without even glancing at his legs? Because the odds were so long on the rest of the field, if someone had the means to fix BB all they would have to do is place a moderate bet on every other horse and they would be guaranteed a substantial pay back. I’m afraid when all of this comes to light it will be a black eye on the sport of racing, which needs a little PR work already as it is. Below is the before and after race shot of Grumpy.
We decided to drown our sorrows at MGM (excuse me, Hollywood Studios) and waited at the bus stop for half an hour (all the while making phone calls to our connections in the horse racing industry – all of whom are as flabbergasted as we were) before we realized that there is no bus from Boardwalk to MGM. Is this a new thing? We loaded up on one of the friendship boats and took a very very long ride to the Beach and Yacht Club, then to the Swan and Dolphin, and finally to MGM.
The ticket taker told me she “loved my outfit”. I thanked her and told her that I was going for the Minnie Mouse look but that Grumpy had said I looked more like a pirate. She scolded him when it was his turn to go through the turnstile. His response “I have no idea who that woman in front of me is”. Yep, he things he is just sooo funny. RnRC had a 90 minute wait, as did the new Toy Story ride, so we did the Muppet thing and decided by coin toss to wait out RnRc over TS. Good thing too, TS was still at 90 and RnRC had gone down to 30. I love love love that ride – just wish it was longer.
We decided to finish the night out by watching Wishes from the beach of the Polynesian. We got some dinner inside (a pork sandwich for him and a salad for me) and sat in the sand for a lovely finale. Despite missing MFP all day and watching a sham of a horse race the day was nearly perfect. Can’t wait for my next visit! Hopefully for a full weekend (driving home when you are theme-park tired is the pits) and hopefully with MFP.