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WDW Theme Parks Discuss My attempt at converting a non-believer in the Vacation Planning forums; I have this friend who was a former roommate of mine during my sophomore year at college. He graduated well ahead of me (he's a brilliant aerospace engineer years ahead ...
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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    My attempt at converting a non-believer

    I have this friend who was a former roommate of mine during my sophomore year at college. He graduated well ahead of me (he's a brilliant aerospace engineer years ahead of most people his age, graduating with 3 degrees by the age of 20), and is currently working for United Space Alliance in Houston,TX doing what he calls "Monkey Push the Button" work for the shuttle program. Well, last week, my current roommate and I (both Disney fan[atic]s), got a phone call from this former roomie of ours, saying he was evacuating because of Hurricane Rita, and wanted to come stay with us in Daytona Beach.

    A little more background before I go on. This former roomie of mine is a non-believer in the Disney magic. He completely and entirely believes instead in that old Universal commercial that said "Fairy tales and pixie dust not your thing...?" He and I used to have US/IOA annual passes, and went a fiar amount together. His favorite way to enjoy a day at the parks was to run from thrill ride to thrill ride, over and over, back and forth, until someone just physically couldn't go on anymore. Everytime I had brought up Disney in the past with him, I got the "Disney is for kids" line. I long ago decided I was going to have to get him to Disney at least once, just to see if he could be converted. Now, with Rita evacuating him to my place, just over an hour away, I knew I'd get my chance.

    It took a whole lot of whining, carrying on, begging, bribing, and even a rather large amount of giving (you'll see later) to get him to reluctantly agree to come. Actually, he never agreed, but he sorta stopped saying "no". And on the morning of, it actually took a team effort and some physical force (including flying pillows) to get him up at 6:40. he kept saying something about us getting him up at 5, but I think he was still functioning on Central Time. He finally got up just before 7, which was when I had originally planned to be on the road. Grrrr....

    So we started our day about 40 minutes behind schedule, but made good time getting to MGM. I decided to go there first, because I wasn't sure if we were going to get to park hop, and seeing that he was such a thrill ride kind of guy, I figured he would at least get to ride ToT, RnRC, and get to see LMA and Indy (he's a big Indy fan). He didn't want to buy a one-day park hopper because it was too expensive, so we were going to try to get him a Fl resident rate, seeing as they gave my brother one without checking ID the last time we went. Unfortunately, no such luck this time, and he ended up buying a one-day one-park pass.

    We got on ToT right off the bat. He loved it. I kinda wish he wasn't so darn bright, because he caught on right away that nobody was getting off where we were getting on, so he knew the elevator had to move someplace other than just up and down. I know that on my first ride, that was my biggest suprise. But he was still impressed by the special effects, theming, and the drop part of the ride itself. He said it was admittedly much cooler than Dr. Doom's Fearfall at IOA. He also was impressed by the CMs, and said right away that he could tell the employees at Disney get much more into their roles than he had seen anywhere else.

    next was RnRC. This one didn't go over so well. This guy is 6 foot 3, and when he climbed into the limo, he found that the shoulder restraint wouldn't fit properly on him, crushing his shoulders and leaving a huge gap between his abdomen and the restraint. he was jostled and smushed the entire ride. His overall critique was that the ride was well done, and he really wanted to say he enjoyed it, but he was just not comfortable riding it, and was disappointed as a result.

    Walking across the park now, we stumbled upon Mulch Sweat and Shears. They pulled me out of the crowd and had me play chainsaw(???) with them, while my current roomie filmed me. Wonderful! Former roomie got a kick out of it though, and was very impressed by the band's musical abilities as well as their ability to entertain the crowd with their antics. Again, it was the Cast and performers impressing him the most.

    We did Star Tours next, which he found entertaining but not overly impressive, followed by Muppetvision 3D, getting pretty good feedback from that. He is afterall, a big muppet fan as well. By about now, it was almost time for the first showing of LMA, so we hopped over to that. That was a pretty good time for all of us, especially when he was seriously believing they were going to pick a member of the audience to drive one of their cars. We were pointing at him and trying to volunteer him, and he was protesting "But I can't drive stick!" It was a good time.

    After that was lunch at the ABC Commissary, which none of us were at all impressed with. I've been disappointed with it the last two times I've eaten there. I only go back because it's indoors and air conditioned. Again came the comparisons to IOA, comparing ABC Commissary to IOAs Enchanted Oak. (No comparison really... the EO is WAY better than ABC in terms of food).

    After lunch we went and saw Indy Jones, which went over pretty well with him, although he didn't really say too much about it. I'm pretty sure he liked it though. After we got out of that, we realized that we had pretty much seen anything and everything that I thought would really interest him, and it was only about 2pm. We then decided it wasn't worth waiting around for 6 hours to see Fantasmic, so I admitted it was time to pull out all the stops, and we went back outside to the admission booth and upgraded his pass to a park hopper for an additional $37 or so bucks.

    From there we hopped a bus to EPCOT, but I'll have to tell you the rest when I get back home. For now I'm off to class... almost got carried away and forgot!
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    MickeyBabe's Avatar
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    I can't wait to hear the rest of the story Don

    Hurry Home!
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    JEDIPRINCESS's Avatar
    JEDIPRINCESS is offline I'm going back to the World YAHOO
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    Great story Don hurry up and finish it.




    YES I"M GOING BACK AGAIN FOR HALLOWEEN

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    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    Wow! What fun. However, the suspense is getting to me!


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    GaRain's Avatar
    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
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    This is awesome! I love converting folks!

    Tip - if you are a tall one, sit in the first car of the limo on the Rockin'Roller Coaster. There is more leg room!!!
    Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!




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    SecondStar's Avatar
    SecondStar is offline Why is the rum gone?!?!
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    dude, hurry up and get back on the computer already! GOSH! <--- Napoleon Dynamite-esque
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    this is what dreams are made of



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    MickeyBabe's Avatar
    MickeyBabe is offline Lady Administrator..................... Sassy but Humble Parks Game Player
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaRain
    This is awesome! I love converting folks!

    Tip - if you are a tall one, sit in the first car of the limo on the Rockin'Roller Coaster. There is more leg room!!!
    Not my problem by a long shot I am one of those vertically challenged persons. , but great advice.


    I brought more popcorn and beverages for everyone while we wait for Don to return.

    Last edited by MickeyBabe; 09-29-2005 at 04:50 PM.
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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Last we left our hero... (I always wanted to say that)

    We had just summed up all (or most) of MGM in just under 5 hours, former roomie was having a pretty good time, but still gloating in a sort of way that we had barely begun the day and were already out of "cool" things to do. Myself and my current roomie both knew there was much more to do there, but figured that stuff like Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Walt Disney: One Man's Dream and the like probably wouldn't fascinate our guest as it does us. So admitting a failure of providing a full days entertainment in one park for our thrill-seeking friend, I dished out the big bucks from my own pocket, upgraded to a park hopper, and caught a bus to the big golf ball.

    The saga continues:

    We enter and run straight to Soarin' to see if we can grab a fastpass. The wait time reads "30 minutes", and I figure that's about the shortest I have seen it since the passholder preview weekend last spring, so we just jump in the standby. Turns out it was more like 40-45 minutes, but it still isn't bad compared to the 1 hour 20 mins I waited last time I was there. By sheer dumb luck, we managed to pull off concourse 2, gate B, row 1... in the middle. Couldn't have BOUGHT better seats if we tried. All three of us being aviation oriented, this was a favorite. Myself and current roomie have been a few times to this, but still love it every time, and even Mr. Thrill Rides over here was grinning like a 10 year old, shouting "I can smell the fruit!" His only gripe as we were getting off was "It was pretty cool, but I would have expected it to be longer." No kidding! Wouldn't we all like it that way.

    Over to Test Track to grab a fastpass now, then on to Mission:Space. I figure this could potentially make or break his trip right here, being such a shuttle-nut. The concept I was certain would make him giddy, but I was afraid of the fact that he had just spent the past few weeks at work with his nose buried deep in endless manuals regarding on-board displays of the real space shuttle, and he might be overly critical of things that just shouldn't matter. Again, by sheer dumb luck, we end up in a rather amusing situation. Current roomie ends up the navigator, which is fitting because he's the one of the three of us with the best sense of direction. I ended up as pilot, fitting because... well, I'm really a pilot! And former roomie ends up commander, fitting because he WORKS on the real shuttle, although it would also have been fitting for him to have been Engineer, considering his degree. But instead, some random single-rider dude got engineer, and off we went into "deep space".
    Now, as I ride M:S, I do pretty much as the pre-boarding instructions tell me, and keep my head back, eyes open, and limit my head movements. I am a pilot by trade, and am well familiar with the many various ways to become spatially disoriented, and despite my love of flying, am not particularly fond of spinning. So I'm fine with the whole round and round thing, as long as I can't see the world going round and round by me. Former roomie, on the other hand, is apparently effected by no ride anywhere, and has proven such in the past by riding coasters and spinny things until everyone else in the party felt sick. Well, this was no different. While I stared straight ahead for the most part, I could see him out of my peripheral vision bobbing here and there, scanning the interior of the capsule up and down the entire time, babbling about all the (guess what?) on-board displays. Towards the end of the launch sequence, I hear him shouting about something, but can't really make it out. After we've succesfully landed on the Martian surface and are beginning to depart the capsule, he repeats to me what he was trying to say before.
    Apparently, on the real shuttle there are a series of rocket engines that make up the OMS (orbital maneuvering system), which is used to reposition the shuttle while in orbit, and there is a display onboard that reads the remaining fuel to these rockets as a percentage that decreases as the shuttle is maneuvered in space. Well, in M:S, there is also a OMS display, but his gripe was (1) that it was for some reason being used up during the launch sequence, and (2) that it began at the number 4 and counted down to zero. What he had been screaming during the launch was "Why are we losing OMS?!?!?" or something like that.
    But aside from that, he said he was very impressed by M:S, and even asked about riding it again later in the day.

    From there we ran to Test Track, fastpasses at the ready because the standby time said 75 minutes. Once being admitted, we discovered that standby was probably more like 15 to 20, but it really didn't matter at that point. Now I'm not particularly a TT fan, but we rode it because it's fast and we figured former roomie might go for the speed, but when all was said and done, it was still just a "so-so" attraction. He said it was fun, but not overly impressive, which are my thoughts exactly.

    Next came time for a quick walk around the world showcase. I can easily blow an entier day here, but I figured I would just kind of give him a brief walking tour and then head over to the Magic Kingdom, which is my favorite of the parks and my (if I may be allowed to call it such) area of expertise. We stopped briefly and watched a guest-participation play in the UK which was pure "Rubbish" (if you've seen it, you'll know what I'm talking about. It was actually very funny). We then meandered around the rest of the showcase, hurrying the second half because I realized it was about 6 by now, and the MK was closing at 9 that night. We jetted back out past the fountain of nations (which the former roomie called a "waste of energy" (what a loser!) when I read him the fact about how much power it used in a day from Lou's book), ran by Mousegear (where current roomie wanted to stop and look for something from Soarin', but I wouldn't let him because I was in a hurry now), and up to the monorail, which conveniently was sitting in the station waiting for us. We hop on and make the short trip to the TTC.

    While enroute, we got chatting with a nice man and his family from Minnesota (if I remember correctly) who turned out to be a lisenced A&P (that's airframe and powerplant for you non-aviation folks... in other words, he was an airplane mechanic). So we had all the bases covered in the aviation world... the engineer to design and build it, the pilot to fly it, the A&P to keep it running, and the aviation safety guy (the current roomie) to figure out who to blame when something went wrong. So we had a pleasant giggle about that for a few minutes.

    We got to TTC and switched trains to orbit the Seven Seas, and got stalled for a few minutes halfway in and out of the Contemporary, which apparently amused my guest, who kept waving at the guests down below looking up at us. We finally got to the Kingdom and ran straight up Main Street, USA and hooked a quick left towards Adventureland, cut through the shortcut by the bathrooms into Frontierland, and headed out to Splash Mtn. We got there only to find they were turning people away... something broken down methinks. While we were there, however, we grabbed fastpasses for Big Thunder, and headed back through Frontierland over to Liberty Square to go hang with my good friend the Ghost Host at the Mansion.

    Now, I've attempted this before with my current roomie and my girlfriend, but apparently didn't learn my lesson, as the three of us tried to all pile into one Doom Buggy. The eyes in the walls must have been died laughing (haha) at us trying to pull elbows out of ears and noses out of eyeballs and the such. I was on one end nearly being squeezed out of the Doom Buggy, former roomie was in the middle, nearly sitting on our laps, with his neck crooked to one side trying to keep his head under the top, and the current roomie looked like he was trying not to fall out of his side.

    The feedback I got from the MH really hit me hard. He said "I expected more from Disney", and that he wasn't overly impressed. That is like my favorite attraction, and he didn't think much of it at all... I didn't know what to say to that, so I said nothing. No use kicking a dead horse (again with the bad HM jokes!). Again, I think a lot of this was because of his being too smart for his own good. While it had taken me until this year to realize how the "Pepper's Ghost" trick worked, my guest had figured it out before we were out of the ballroom scene, and later explained it in better detail to me as we were waiting for Wishes later that night. Grrr..... I guess when you're that clever that you can pick up on things like that so quickly, even Disney magic just comes across as fake.

    From there we orbited the back of the park, me giving a naration of all the cool stuff we didn't have time to do, and naming off all the rides, shops, and best places to see which characters and such. We got over to Tomorrowland, and although I at first protested, I was outvoted, and we stopped in Cosmic Rays for another bite to eat. I typically only eat once a day when I make my day trips (college budget remember, and $10 for a burger and a coke isn't in a college budget), but the guys were getting hungry and my current roomie was complaining of a headache, so I caved in to the rumbly in my own tumbly and grabbed me some chicken. Our guest was mildly amused at Sonny Eclipse's sad puns, but it gave us some time to reflect on our day so far.

    His overall opinion was that it was nice to be able to say he finally got to Disney, and could check it off his list of things to say he's done, but it was incredibly expensive, and he wouldn't be too terribly upset if he didn't get a chance to come back. He said the parks were beutiful and very well themed and the CMs were great and everything, but he was really all about the rides, and having to jump from park to park to get to all the good ones in a day was not worth the time and money. I tried to argue that there was so much that I couldn't show him in a day, that he needed to really come back and see it another time when he could actually take the time to look at all the fine details and minutia and such, and really get a feel for everything the Disney parks have to offer, but he was pretty set on the fact that it still wasn't worth the money. Sigh... if only I had a week in which to convince him. I KNOW i couldn't turn him then!

    But anyway, bellies full now (or closer to it than they were before anyway), we headed back out into the night and went to go hop a ride on Space Mtn. I was kind of confused, as the wait time said 20 minutes, and yet the line was out the door, something I haven't seen in a long time. But after the initial 10 minutes of barely moving at all, the rest of the line went by quick, and so we probably didn't wait much more than 20 or 25. We were given seats 1 and 2 (current roomie wont ride this one) and I figured with lanky and his long long legs, he might be better off in front. So I took seat two, and almost imdiately upon sitting discovered we made the bad gamble again. On Space Mtn., the guy in back actually has more legroom (I think) because you straddle the seat in front of you. The guy in front only has as much space as there is car available, which isn't much. In order to keep his legs in the car and his feet on the floor, he had to bend his knees quite a bit and spread his legs a good deal, but now the lapbar only came partway up his thighs and just barely held him in. Throughout the entire ride, every time we crested a hill or made a quick turn (which was a lot), I could hear "Ow!... Ow!...Ow!" as his bouncing frame slammed his thighs into the ill-fitting lapbar. He got off that one and gave it a very similar critique to that of RnRC... he wanted it to be fun, but he just didn't fit!

    While we had been on that, the current roomie had taken a spin on the TTA. We met back up and decided to run back across the hub to Frontierland and make good on out BTMRR fastpasses. We got as far as Stich's Great Escape before we realized "Duh!... 8:06pm. We're not going to be getting special permission to cross SpectroMagic anytime soon". Well, the two guys didn't feel like sprinting around the back of the park again, so we opted on Stitch's Great Escape, seeing as we were right there. Now, I know there is a great deal of criticism of Stitch's Great Mistake here on this board, and I agree that AE was much better, but I still think it is a very well done attraction. Apparently my former roommate agreed, because I heard him laughing and shrieking more in that show than I had all day. For the rest of the night he kept getting a kick out of putting his face an inch from one of our ears and saying (in his best Stitch voice... which wasn't all that good) "Will you be my friend?"

    We emerged from that with still some time to spare before Wishes, so we jumped on Buzz and rode that once through. My score was pathetic considering how much I've ridden it and the fact that I know all the big point targets, but my guests was even lower than mine, so I didn't feel too bad. He gave this ride a so-so rating, saying it was fun, but he liked Men In Black at Universal better because the gun wasn't mounted to the car, as well as a few other things that mattered not to me.

    By now it was time for Wishes, and we headed over to the Plaze Rose Garden, my favorite spot for watching my favorite nighttime spectacular, only to find it unusually full. We still found a spot to watch from, but we were further down, closer to the old Swan Boat Launch, so the fireworks were a bit off center.

    Following the show, we played the game that all Disney guests get to play upon leaving the MK (unless you are in no hurry to leave, like myself when I go alone) called "push harder and the guy/girl/grandma in front of you will fall forward up Main Street faster", and ran into my favorite CMs (well, I can't really say their may favs... I just know them by face and name) Rudy and Cathy, who I met a few weeks ago on 9/11. They both remembered me and said hi and gave handshakes, which I was thrilled about, as my two friends gave each other that look that I knew meant "you know you go to WDW too much when...". I didn't care, I love most CMs.

    We stopped at City Hall to get some info on Downtown Disney because the guys wanted to head to DtD after we got back to our car. Both of them are Lego freaks (I mean that in a good way... some of the lego creations my former roomie used to have displayed in our room were awesome to say the least), and current roomie wanted to see if he could find anything Soarin' themed over at World of Disney. I needed a road map and a list of how late things were open because, as it was dawning on me now, I almost never venture outside the parks. There is soooo much to do at WDW!

    So after waving goodnight to Mickey, hopping my super-secret resort monorail shortcut to avoid the massive lines at the express to the TTC (shhh... don't tell), catching a bus back to MGM, finding my car one of the last in the lot, and driving over to DtD to play the "Drive around in circles until you find a parking spot or get all turned about" game, we browsed through bazillions of Legos, sniffed the fantastic aroma of greasy grimy fatty MickeyD's burgers which made me wish I wasn't so broke even though I'd jsut eaten not long ago, and all managed to get seperated and lost in the World of Disney store. Dang that place is big! I could spend my lifesavings in there if I was ever foolish enough to bring it in with me! Turns out though that they didn't have anything Soarin' themed (with all that, go figure...). So we eventually decided we were all fatigued enough for one day, and we all piled back into my Mickey-Mobile (ok, it's a Focus with a Mickey/Donald/Goofy steering wheel cover my girlfriend bought me) and made the hour twenty drive back to Daytona.

    So, after all was said and done, my efforts to sway the opinions of my non-believer friend had done little. He enjoyed his time there, which is at least a step in the right direction. He was never bored or felt that there wasn't anything to do (except when we started running out of things at MGM early in the day). He was impressed by a few of the rides, exceptionally impressed by a select few (ie ToT, Stich's G.E.), and was impressed with the CMs. Yet his overall opinion about the "Disney Magic" remained the same. He expressed it best over our dinner at Cosmic Rays.

    "It's neat, and I'm glad to be able to cross it off my list of things to say I've done. But pretty scenery and stories just don't really do it for me. I'm much more impressed by natural scenery than anything Disney can create."

    The rides, atlhough not bad, were just too far and few between to make it worth his time and money. And seeing as we just didn't have the time for all the other stuff that I think really creates the Disney Magic, I can see why he didn't feel like he got $100 worth out of the day. I too feel kind of short changed on that day, but it was because I tried to cater to his thrill ride addiction by park hopping like a madman. I almost wish I could go back in time and do it all over again, but this time make him do it my way, spending the entire day at MK, forgetting reality, living fantasy, and just finding neat new things to entertain you all day. But I guess that wouldn't have kept his interest either. Sigh... I guess not everyone can be made to see eye-to-eye with the mouse. The Disney Magic just wasn't strong enough in this one.

    Thats ok though... it's got me hooked, and I'm never letting go of that.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

  9. #9
    Jiminy Cricket's Avatar
    Jiminy Cricket is offline Ultimate Park "Hopper"
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainStreet, USA
    Last we left our hero... The Disney Magic just wasn't strong enough in this one.

    Thats ok though... it's got me hooked, and I'm never letting go of that.
    Grrreat story/report. Remember, Rome wasn't converted in a day. Your friend will come around--just give him time!!!
    Last edited by MickeyBabe; 09-29-2005 at 10:08 PM.
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    Don't have time to read this huge story right now, but I will be back tomorrow to soak it all in!!!!

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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiminy Cricket
    Grrreat story/report. Remember, Rome wasn't converted in a day. Your friend will come around--just give him time!!!
    That's hilarious! He's originally from Rome, NY!
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

  12. #12
    JEDIPRINCESS's Avatar
    JEDIPRINCESS is offline I'm going back to the World YAHOO
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    Great Report Don. To bad you didn't have enough time to show him Disney the right way. I think he may have enjoyed it better. OH well




    YES I"M GOING BACK AGAIN FOR HALLOWEEN

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    MickeyBabe's Avatar
    MickeyBabe is offline Lady Administrator..................... Sassy but Humble Parks Game Player
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainStreet, USA
    Thats ok though... it's got me hooked, and I'm never letting go of that.
    That really is all that matters, now, isn't it?


    I am glad you got to enjoy a nice day with your friends and maybe you will convince him to do it your way someday.

    Thanks for sharing your day with us.

    ~ Valerie
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    GrmGrnningGhost is offline Friends Call Me Snow Miser...
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    great story cuz it reminds me of my brother.he is just the same way.but the only bad thing was i missed wishes and spectro magic cuz of him
    Josh

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    shadesofgreen is offline I can write whatever I want up here now? Cool!
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    Some people just will never have the Disney Magic. When we lived in Oceanside, CA in my younger years, my family went to Disneyland a couple of times a year. I loved every minute of it and still have some souvenirs from those visits. My brother, on the other hand, could have cared less. . . . he still doesn't understand, even though he has been down here to WDW with his kids a couple of times.
    Great story!
    What I say 100 times each day:
    "It's not a Disney Resort even though it's on Disney property!"

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