Scott's 7/30 - 8/3 Trip Report
It all started on Friday as we left Melissa’s (my girlfriend) house Friday at 3:00 when the limo picked us up. We got to Midway (MDW) at about 5:15 or so, which was WAY too much time there. We were the first ones at our gate, check-in was a breeze as was security. Our flight was perfect on the down, very little turbulence. We landed in Orlando a couple minutes early, around 10:40 or so. We got our luggage and went to the Mears guy to ask where we need to buy our tickets, and he asked us how many we had and where we were going. We told him 5 and that we were going to Pop Century. He told us to get a taxi because it would be cheaper so we did. We made it to Pop around 12:00 and got checked in right away. We got everything we had requested: 1980’s building, by the pool…only thing we didn’t get was first floor but that’s alright, we were fine with the second. We went right to sleep, as we were all dead tired.
Saturday morning we had a PS for Chef Mickey’s at 7:30 at the Contemporary and had a blast there. We had all eaten there before except for Jeremy (Mary’s boyfriend…Mary is Melissa’s sister). This was Jeremy’s first trip ever to Florida and we figured it would be a great way to start off the vacation by eating breakfast with the characters. We had plenty of fun with the characters there and had some great laughs as well. After we were done eating, we headed off on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom to the opening of MK. I have never been there for the park’s opening and I really enjoyed it. They had a great show. We stood there for about 15 minutes in the HOT morning sun waiting for them to let us in. We went straight to Space Mountain knowing there wouldn’t be any wait at all. Of course, as soon as we got there, we waited for them to let us into Tomorrowland. We waited maybe a minute or two and then watched as everyone ran to either Buzz or SM. We got to SM and waited for them to let us in there as well and waited about another minute or so. Once we were in, we walked all the way to the loading bay and waited I think 2 minutes to get on there as well. It was nice walking right on. (We waited longer on e-ride night than that morning.) After SM, we headed off to a smoking area so that Melissa and Mary’s dad, Mike, could smoke really quickly. Once he was done, I told them we all HAD to go to CoP because I didn’t know that any of us would ever be able to see it again. They all loved it as did I and we would hate to see it be taken away from us. We had no wait there as well. I got a picture of the sign in front saying, “Carousel of Progress is OPEN.” Buzz and TTA were next on our list, Buzz was a 5-minute wait, if that, and TTA was walk-on. The four of us kids went to go on the Indy Speedway which was about a 15 minute wait and Mike stood on the side to get pictures of us and smoke again. We then headed off to Pooh where I got the joy of getting one of those red and white electric cards that lets the CM know the wait time. I had to get a picture of me with that! After Pooh we went over to get some really good (or I should say sad) pictures of 20K. We then went to do HM (10 minute wait), BTMRR (got a fastpass) and then went to watch the SADCT parade. We hit Philharmagic, which is a favorite to all of us. It the first time for everyone but myself as I did it in November. Once that was over, we headed back to the resort to relax a little since we only got about 3 hours of sleep that night. I relaxed in the room waiting for maintenance to come and fix our tub since the drain was VERY slow. He never showed up so I sat in the room for no reason while the others all swam. Once we got back to MK we had time to hit Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise. I had forgotten how corny the jokes were on that. Once we got off those, it was time to go grab our spot for SpectroMagic and then Wishes right after. Spectro was excellent, no glitches that I noticed, just some spacing problems between floats. Wishes was as good as ever and I got excellent footage of it this time on my new camcorder. Melissa cried on my shoulder because she loved it so much. By the time that was over, it was time to get back to PC and hit the sack as we were all worn out from a LONG day.
Sunday morning we ate breakfast at the resort. I wasn’t feeling well all day which ****ed but that’s alright, I remembered to take some Imodium on Monday! After breakfast we went and got on the bus to Epcot and started the day off by going on SSE. While the four of them were in line I went to find my tile on Leave a Legacy that my mother and I got when we were there in November. We are on the slab closest to SSE on the right side. I have never seen it on there until then and got a picture of it. Too bad it didn’t turn out, but there’s always next time. By the time I had located our image and made it back to SSE it was time to load. I made it just in time. I guess the line was about 15-20 minutes there. SSE was just as great as last time, one of my favorite rides. I enjoyed the “Burning of Rome” scene because I love that smell. It had been years since everyone else had been on it and they forgot what it was like. We actually NEVER stopped this time also, that was a first for me. After that we headed over to Test Track to get a FP and then stood in line for Mission: Space. It was about 40 minutes, which wasn’t bad for around 10-11 in the morning. That was my second time to go on it and everyone else’s first. Since I wasn’t feeling that well already, I thought I was going to get sick on it, but I made it through just fine. When we got our FP at Test Track we were all given a Surprise Fastpass to HISTA between 12:30 and 12:45 so went over to that. I actually kept my legs down so the mice could hit me this time! We then went to The Land to eat lunch, which I had to pass on. Saw where they are building Soarin’ and they have a lot of posters for it all over the pavilion. We waited in line for Living with the Land about 15 minutes and enjoyed that as well. Living Seas was next, and rather disappointing if I may say so. It seems like there used to be more tanks or something else, it just seemed smaller this time. We watched a dolphin for quite a while though before we headed out. Next stop, my favorite, Ice Cool Station. We spent about 10 minutes in there so I could enjoy my all-time favorite drink, Mezzo Mix. I got Jeremy to drink Beverly first and enjoyed a nice little laugh at that one. I tried it too….TWICE….and still don’t think it’s that bad. There was one younger kid (about mid-20s or so) trying to break the record of drinking Beverly shots. We were told by a CM that the record is 20. It only counts to those that hate it, if you enjoy it, you are out of the running. I think he was at 16 or so when we finally left the building. It made me sick just watching him drink it full cup after full cup. I took a cup of Mezzo Mix with me to drink on the way out, just wish it would’ve lasted longer then the doors, haha. It was then time for our fastpass at TT. Of course, it has never broken down on me nor have I seen it broken down, but when we got there the “garage doors” were all down and we stood in line for our 12:40-1:40 FP. (I think it was from the rain that morning) There were about 20 people ahead of us in the line, but it backed up FAST. I don’t even want to imagine what the time was for standby after they opened it. They let all of us FP people on first, which was nice because then we were the first ones onto the ride. Our on-board computers weren’t working on the cars so we never knew how fast we were going or what our lateral G’s were either. On the outer loop we did hit 57 or 62, I don’t remember. It wasn’t the fastest I’ve ever been on it. Once we got off, Melissa and I went on the Dreamcatchers thing on the way out while Mary, Jeremy and Mike all left us to go back to the resort. Oh well, their loss of a day. A heavy rainstorm was on its way after we left to go through WS. We made it through El Rio de Tiempe, which we had NO wait at all. Never saw more than 4 people in line when we got on or off it. That was the first time Melissa had gone on it, so it was a little romantic for us. We then went to Norway to use the restrooms and it had started to sprinkle. By the time we got out, it was pouring heavy. We ran into the shops at Norway and went all the way around to get to Maelstrom inside so that we didn’t wait in line outside in the rain. We had about a 20-minute wait in there but it was nice. The rain still hadn’t let up so each bought a poncho in the gift shop there and then went on our way around the WS. We walked through China, Outpost and Italy so that we could get to Germany. I looked for a Hummel for my mother but didn’t find one that jumped out at me. We bought our favorite candies there, mainly the coke bottles and gummy bears to bring back for my brothers and myself. We skipped America and Morocco because I wanted to get a croissant au chocolate (chocolate croissant) in France since I still hadn’t eaten all day. Of course, they had sold out of them for the day so I got crème brulée and loved it. Melissa got raspberry shusse (cheesecake with raspberry sauce over it) and some truffles. We decided to watch the film there in France since I used to live in Switzerland and I wanted Melissa to see the beauty of the area. Of course, the film is a little romantic as well. By the time we left there we needed to get our spot for Illuminations because the place was getting packed. That means we didn’t get all of WS done, but that’s ok with me. We went to the front of the lake (between SSE and the lake) to get the seating in the very front. We waited to see if they would open it but didn’t because it still wasn’t dry enough and the fire marshal thought the wind was in a spot that debris would hit us if we sat up there. We still got to stand right behind that seating area and had a great view. It was very windy and the smoke was blowing right to Mexico really bad. I got video of that, but had to change tapes half way through it. We walked around slowly on the way out knowing that it would take forever to get back to the resort so I got some good pictures of SSE and showed Melissa my tile. Our feet hurt so bad from walking that day that we waited for the next bus at the stop because we didn’t want to stand. Once back at the resort, we were starving so we ordered two 16” pizzas for the five of us and I loved it. It was very cheesy. We did some swimming then too and really enjoyed the pool late at night since there were very few people in it. It was another one of those nice little romantic times.
Monday morning was breakfast at the resort and then off to MGM for the day. We got there a little later so didn’t have time to do everything, but enough. First thing was ToT because we got FP to RnRC. ToT line was about 40 minutes, the longest line we waited in the whole trip. After that, we went down the street to go in the shops and a little bathroom break. We waited for my best friend who works at the GF to come hang out with us and spend some time for the afternoon. Once he arrived it was off to Voyage of the Little Mermaid and then the GMR. Found some things in there I had never seen before: the only hidden Minnie in the parks, a hidden Mickey and Donald in the hieroglyphics and a hidden C-3PO and R2D2 in the hieroglyphics as well, and multiple other hidden Mickey’s on the ride. After that it was off to Star Tours for a FP and then lunch at the ABC Commissary. By the time lunch was done our FP was here and off to the ride we went. It was the first time I had ever sat in the back row and there is nothing quite like it. I had never been thrown around and had so much fun in a simulator as I did in there. We then went and got a FP to Indiana Jones as Mary, Jeremy and Mike all went back to the resort yet again. Melissa, Will (the CM friend of mine) and myself went and watched BatB. It has been 8 years since I last saw that show and I didn’t remember what it was like that much. We got to see Four for a Dollar, one of my favorite groups of all time perform the pre-show for it. I wrote my final paper in my college English class on one of their songs. It was awesome finally being able to see them in person, and of course I bought their CD and haven’t stopped listening to it since I’ve been back. Will got the three of us VIP seating for the show and it made the show even that much nicer being close. I got that whole thing on tape and it turned out perfectly. We had to say goodbye to Will after show as he had a friend’s birthday thing at the Yacht & Beach Club to get to. So Melissa and I chose not to go to Indiana Jones because we didn’t want to sit through two outdoor shows in the heat so we chose to go to Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream to get pictures inside and then to WTTBAM: PI because we had a FP to it. I got us to sit in the fastest-finger seats, which she really liked because she felt special sitting in front of everyone and being on the screen during certain shots. I didn’t make it into the top ten this time, first ever that’s happened, but Melissa got 9th at one time. After a good show, it was off to the Magic of Disney Animation where I just wanted to ball my eyes out. It has been a childhood dream of mine to become a Disney animator, and to know that will never happen hurts me so bad. The movie was alright in there but I miss walking through the studio and seeing the animators at work. Once that was done it was time to go get our seat for Fantasmic! where we met up with the other three as they came back for the show. We got our seat about 90 minutes ahead of time so we had a nice viewing area. We had a little snack waiting for the show, Mary and Jeremy split a turkey leg (YUM…I should have tried one, too!) and Melissa got a hot dog. I just sat and enjoyed my Diet Coke. I got great video of the show there too, then once it was done, we took the bus to the TTC so we could board the monorail and head off to the MK for our e-ride night. For the three hours we were there, it doesn’t seem like we got much done. We rode every ride once, except for Philharmagic, we didn’t have time for that. We also skipped Pooh but did the rest one time. At 1:00, it was time to head back to the resort. On our way out, I got some EXCELLENT pictures and video of the park. I stood in front of the Partners statue and got some video pointing down Main Street USA and then back to the castle and maybe had 10 people if that in the whole shot. If that wasn’t magical and romantic to have the whole park basically to ourselves than I don’t know what is. It would’ve been the perfect time to ask her hand in marriage, but I think I’ll wait until next summer to do it then. I just realized that this would be the perfect time do it since we would have the whole park for just us and we could get some good photos. I’ll have to work on that one some more but I can’t wait. Anyways, back to the resort where it took maybe a minute to fall asleep because we were all so tired.
Tuesday morning we were able to sleep in a little and head off to AK around 11. We waited in line longer for bag check than anything else there. Well maybe the same as ITTBAB and Dinosaur. All we did there were those two and FOTLK. We wanted to get our last minute shopping in before we headed home so we left early. We took a bus to the AKL and then from there to DTD. We stayed in the Marketplace side just so we could get our shopping. I bought myself a piece of art in The Art of Disney that is really nice and then a new watch in the World of Disney that will last me a lifetime. We headed to the resort around 4:30 so we could get some dinner and take some pictures around the resort since we hadn’t done so yet. It was sad knowing we were leaving really soon and wouldn’t be back for a while. Our same taxi driver picked us up at 7:00 to head back to the airport for out 9:00 flight. We were on a similar 757 plane for ATA. There were less than 44 people on the flight, which normally seats over 200, therefore we each got our own row to ourselves to stretch out and relax. I just sat with Melissa and stared out the window and stretched my legs out over her. As we took off over the city, we flew over WDW and I was able to see Fantasmic! and Epcot from the plane. We had a nice smooth flight on the way home and had no turbulence either. It turns out there was a terrible, huge storm in Chicago that we were worried we wouldn’t be able to land for hours. We landed perfectly and made it to the gate just in time. As soon as the gate was connected to the plane and we stepped off there were 80 mph winds and torrential rain and hail. We had to wait about 30 minutes for our luggage though because of the lightning. Our trip was almost over, just the limo ride home which was in a new super-stretch again and very nice. Everyone slept on the way home except for me just because I can’t sleep in cars. We made it home around 12:40 Wednesday morning.