10-06-2010, 05:18 AM
I'm calling this trip the "Sleepover" trip.
I'm going to be at the parks Friday and then spend the night (All-Star Sports) Friday night. Probably will end up hitting DTD on Saturday.
SO EXCITED!! Can't wait to play hooky for the day. Everyone else has been gone this week and I've been by myself. It's GWEN'S turn!!
I'm still not 100% on what my activities will be but, after watching a special on the Parks last night on the Travel Channel, I'm going to at least start at HS. I may just go and cruise the property to see what's up and then go over to Epcot.
I will FOR SURE end the evening at MK for the parade and fireworks!
SQUEEEEEE! CAN'T WAIT! :cheshire:
11-06-2010, 05:34 AM
Okay, y'all. It's supposed to be in the 90's tomorrow with a chance of rain so, even if I went back to the hotel to shower and change, I would still be a sweaty mess by the time I got to the restaurant so, I'm just going to be super-casual tomorrow. I will definitely post some MOTM pics!
It's going to be 104, Gwennie! :eek:
So, if you plan on seeing MSEP I don't think you can do Bistro at that time too. It's a leisurely meal and you'd normally plan on two hours. That would put you at 7:30 and then you need to get to MK. Hop the monorail and you could be there by 8:30 (to be safe). You'll be walking into a mob of people ...
Can you do it? Only if the MSEP is at 9:00 or later (last weekend they ran it twice at 9:00 and 11:00).
Depends upon how much you want to rush around! :yes:
Funny that you mention Tony's. We had a server in a local restaurant last night say that he works part time at Tony's and was horrified that we'd never been there. :lol:
He says it's an easy walk up for lunch? :unsure:
01-07-2010, 05:07 AM
“Summer Sleepover” – June 11, 2010
I started out leaving the house pretty much AT 7am. Due to the fact it was Friday, I was expecting to run into morning rush hour traffic going through Orlando. Turned out there was hardly any, and I arrived at the All-Star Sports by 8:30am. [I will also state at this point, I had forgotten to charge my phone so I didn’t take hardly any pics, which is highly unusual for me. Not even of my food which, as some of you know, is tradition].
I had done the ever-so convenient Online Check-In so all I had to do was walk up to the desk and hand the CM my ID and I was checked in! She handed me my folder of info and asked if I’d stayed at the resort before. I said, yes, several times, so she didn’t waste any time telling me what building I was in. Despite the fact my room was ready, I just decided to leave the Jeep where it was, threw the parking pass and the info folder in, and went and got in line for the bus.
I started out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For a number of reasons. #1. I had never gone before. #2. I was told I needed to go by several people on this forum (you know who you are!) #3. I always want to experience something new every time I visit. And #4. It was Star Wars Weekends.
First of all, the parking lot entrance to the park is a cluster. Now I know how so many accidents can happen at that location. I think there were only 2 or 3 ticketing gates for individual’s cars and 1 lane for busses. We were dropped off at the park just as the opening ceremonies were going on.
Second complaint. It takes SO LONG to get in. I don’t know if it was a combination of it being 9am and a special event day, but it literally took me 15 – 20 minutes just to go through the turnstile to get into the park. There was a lack of direction as to where to go, which line to get in, etc. People were cutting in lines, going back and forth in between lines, it was a general mess. Then there was the factor of people gawking at the Storm Troopers stationed on top of the roof, pointing and making fun of the “earthlings” in the cattle line below.
Once inside, I realized how tiny the park actually is. I wanted to get out of the way so I ducked into a gift shop right away to study the park map. After a couple minutes I gave up trying to map out a plan (should’ve done that online before I went…) and just started walking.
I noticed that the park is merchandise-heavy. For some reason it seemed like this park has more gift shops than the others but I know that’s probably not true. Every country in Epcot has one, plus they’re scattered throughout MK. Anyhow, I wandered past the Tower of Terror. I was NOT going to go on that one without a friend and ended up at the dead end at the Aerosmith Rockin’ Rollercoaster. I thought, well, why not? and hopped in line.
The wait wasn’t bad on standby. Maybe 30 minutes? Once I got inside, the queue is positioned so you see the coaster taking off. And BOY! does it take off! My stomach flipped in anticipation but there was no time to think about it. I was told “Row 11” before I knew it and hopped in the ride. You get a short countdown and then ZOOM!, you’re off speeding through the nighttime streets of L.A. with the sounds of Aerosmith blasting in your ears (“Dude Looks Like A Lady” for me). Let me tell you, I’m not a screamer when it comes to rollercoasters but, when we took off…I SCREAMED! I highly recommend this coaster to any thrill-seeker.
Next, I caught the “Beauty & the Beast” live show. It was fantastic. They did a really awesome job. They hold it in a covered outdoor amphitheater with long bleachers. Don’t sit where you know people can walk in front of you because the CM’s continued to let people in throughout the performance. Even during the very last song, people were still coming in. I didn’t understand that one. Oh, well. On your way into the amphitheater, look for your favorite star’s handprints on the ground!
Next I went and saw the “Little Mermaid” live show (can’t get enough of my princesses!). I wasn’t as impressed with this one. It was definitely fun and colorful but it just didn’t seem as polished or updated as the others (Nemo, Lion King, B&TB). The other thing is, a little boy behind me cried the ENTIRE show. Craziness.
I wandered through the Walt Disney museum (can’t remember the name of it) which was pretty neat. They had pictures and artifacts and models and replicas of every stage of Walt’s creative beginnings to the present. I stared at the original plans of Epcot for quite some time.
After that, I breezed past through the Pixar area (aka the monument to Toy Story). It was clogged with too many youngsters and angry-looking parents for my liking. I decided I didn’t care about Stunt Shows or going on the Behind the Scenes tour and realized I was almost to the Star Wars area.
I heard music and got pretty excited to see some characters but when I walked up, there were so many people I couldn’t see ANYTHING. It totally sucked. All I wanted to do was see the REAL Chewbacca. L It was also getting pretty hot at this point (it was almost noon). I tried to take the best picture I could of the cast (which didn’t turn out. Peter’s back is to the camera) and then elbowed my way out of the absolute mob of people.
I tried to walk into the Prime Time Diner to get a table but this family was blocking the entire entrance while the dad was arguing with the hostess and so I moved on. I moved right on out of the park, to be exact. DHS did not meet any of my expectations and it was getting SO hot.
I decided to take the boat over to Epcot. YUP! You can take a boat between DHS & Epcot. I had just missed the ferry when I walked up but was lucky enough to be able to wait under the canopy for the next boat. The family behind me was tossing Goldfish crackers into the water for the fish & ducks (anyone else think it’s ironic that a fish would eat a Goldfish? HA!). We also saw a turtle. No gators.
The boat arrived and we had stops at The Swan/Dolphin, the Yacht/Beach Club, and the Boardwalk Resorts. I noticed on our journey that there is also a sidewalk connecting all of these resorts with DHS & Epcot so anyone staying in those resorts could possibly just WALK. Brilliant!
We pulled up to Epcot at the International Gateway between UK & France. The IG has its own tiny ticketing center, security check, and turnstiles to enter (and gift shop!, of course). Once in (first in, this time!), I decided I was absolutely STARVING as it was already almost 1pm and I hadn’t eaten breakfast, even. I had planned on getting a snack at DHS but, well, anyway.
I walked up to the Rose & Crown (why not? It was closest) and put my name in. The CM told me I’d be seated inside, which I was very excited about (yes! A/C!) I hopped over to the beer stand and ordered a Strongbow. I hadn’t taken two sips when my pager went off. Another CM showed me to my seat which, on a beautiful day, I would’ve been pleased with, outside by the water. Gorgeous view of World Showcase around the lake. However, I was absolutely ready to melt at this point.
I ended up having the same waitress my parents and I had when they visited in frigid January. (Hi, Rebecca!) She’s so sweet. Anyway, I further made the mistake of ordering the ever-always delicious chicken & mushroom pot pie. SO GOOD! Creamy chicken, mushroom, and peas covered by a flaky, salt-sprinkled puff pastry. However, it was boiling hot and so was the weather. I soaked through my napkin dabbing my forehead and was grateful every time someone went in or out of the door behind me, giving me a blast of much needed cool air. After lunch, I decided to go into the bar to cool off and have another cold one. A Boddington’s this time, for mom.
I did briefly visit Paris but nothing was really going on and so I traversed back to Canada to catch Off-Kilter’s first show. They were entertaining as usual. The usual bassist wasn’t playing but they had added a fiddle player (he was great).
At this point I decided to make my way over to MK for the evening (park #3, here I come!) I hopped on the monorail and rode in the very last car with a family of 4 very cute little girls and a CM. It was a relaxing ride, nice to be in the a/c! At the transportation center I went down and got on the Ferry to arrive at the MK.
I took it very leisurely that afternoon. The afternoon parade had just gotten over so Main Street was pretty cleared out. Neither Epcot, nor MK were very busy. The first thing I did was duck into the Main Street Bakery and grab a Diet Coke. I was parched! After that, I wandered over to Tomorrowland because I wanted to ride the TTA. Turned out it was down, for some reason. Instead I went in the Carousel of Progress. Ahhh…A/C…after that, I strolled through to Fantasyland and went into Philharmagic. Ahhh…more A/C. And It’s A Small World.
I should say, at this point it was cooling down a little so, wasn’t as bad. I walked back through the castle to Main Street and wondered what to do about supper. It was about 5pm at this point and I never did secure an ADR at Tony’s. I decided to try the Plaza Restaurant. The exterior (and Casey’s) is being cleaned or painted or something so there are partition walls up. The Hostess stand is tucked back in a cubby in the partition. Just as I walked up, a half of a family butted in line in front of me. RUDE! The hostess told them the entire party had to be there in order for her to check them in. HA! When they scurried away to get the rest of their party on the phone, it was my turn.
After waiting ~10 minutes, my pager went off and a CM showed me to an intimate table for 5, just inside the door. I felt a little silly sitting at a 5-top by myself but I was just grateful to be indoors and with a prospect of food. The Plaza is “famous” for its shakes, malts, and ice cream, with the ice cream shop being just next door. The restaurant itself was tiny. I didn’t see people going in and out of any other door so I think it just consisted of the room I was in which only had about 15-20 tables. The décor was fancy, modeled after the early 1900’s. Gold, mirrors, glass, art-nouveau, white metal tables & chairs.
My waitress turned out to be totally spacey. She didn’t have any cocktail napkins so she pushed one of the spare dinner napkins over to me to set my water on. I told her I didn’t mind, I wasn’t a fancy person. When she came back with my water, she set the glass down on the big napkin but then said, oh, I found a small napkin! And then set the small napkin down. I wanted to laugh so hard but just smiled and thought “whatever, weirdo…”
The menu, besides ice cream, consisted mostly of sandwiches, a couple salads, and soup. Kind of pricey sandwiches ($10-$12), but they all looked good. I settled on the equivalent of a chicken cordon blue sandwich. It was a chicken breast with sliced ham and swiss cheese on a flour-dusted sourdough bun. I ordered the broccoli slaw on the side (in lieu of fries or homemade chips).
While I was waiting on my food (which did not take long at all), a family of 6 came in. They were noisy, took forever to get settled in their seats, the kids played with everything on the tables, and after a couple minutes got up and left! The baffled manager and head waitress came out and I heard someone at the next table say I heard them say they didn’t like the food. I thought, are you kidding?! There is a menu posted outside that they could’ve looked at before they came in and took some other family’s chance for a seat. Then the waitstaff had to completely clean and reset the table.
My sandwich was delicious. The bun was soft, the chicken juicy, the only thing missing was some Dijon mustard, which I doubted they had and didn’t want to send my dingbat waitress running to get. My broccoli slaw was also delicious. I could’ve just eaten a giant plate of that! The slaw was delicately dressed, and not swamped, in dressing. Perfect! After I ate, I was SO out of there.
I took a trip on the train and then went back over to see if the TTA was up and running (it wasn’t) so I journeyed back around through Fantasyland and took a whirl on the Teacups. I also strolled through and took a few pics of the “coming soon” attraction posters and rode It’s a Small World…again. J
At this point, I just wanted to sit and people-watch for a while. I grabbed a bench in the circle by the Walt and Mickey statue in front of the castle. Not long after, a lady asked if she could join me and we started chatting. She and her husband had brought one of their granddaughters, as they had a standing tradition of bringing a grandkid for their 6th birthday. While grandpa and granddaughter were off exploring, the grandma and I talked about everything Disney. We even gave advice to a first-timer family that came and stood beside us, waiting for the parade.
The Main Street Electrical Parade was pretty neat. The circle became clogged up with people so it was difficult to see any street performers. We stayed-put for the fireworks since we were in such a great location, and BOY! am I glad I did! The fireworks were PHENOMENAL!!! O! M! G! They do everything but blow up the castle. AMAAAAAZING! Best show I’ve seen in my life. I don’t want to give too much away in case people want to be surprised but there are princesses, pirates, and TINK!
After the fireworks, I bid adieu to my adopted families and went off in search of some liquid refreshment. The Enchanted Grove closed at 10pm so I scooted into the Lunching Pad for a Coke. I was surprised to see people ordering Bacon Cheeseburgers so dang late at night. I’d have a total case of heartburn.
After purchasing my bev, I went back out to the castle and decided to watch the 11pm showing of the MSEP. Curbside. Why not? It’s not like I’ll probably get another chance! I HIGHLY recommend grabbing a curbside location for the parade. There is a lot that goes on at the street level. Illuminated bugs, turtles, dwarves, and a princess may come up and greet you! Alice is perched atop a giant mushroom, Pete rides Elliot, and the Stepsisters attempt to steal Cinderella’s slipper from the Prince!
After the parade (it was obviously extra-magic hours), I followed the tail-end of the parade through Liberty Square and part of Frontierland and cut over to Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean once (or twice… ;) At this point it was straight-up midnight. I remember because I was sitting on the little portico where Captain Jack performs, just sitting there enjoying being at the park. I looked up at the clock and saw it was exactly midnight and thought it was creepy sitting in an almost deserted park by a dead pirates ride. OOH! I was outta there!
On the way back down Main Street I cut through the various shops but didn’t make any purchases. I thought, Man! What a great day! and exited the park on a high note. I made it onto the monorail and was halfway to the Contemporary before I realized….OOPS! I didn’t drive!! The car I was in emptied between the Contemporary, Transportation Center, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. When the monorail circled me back alone to the MK station and I got off, I was the ONLY one who got off. But, I figured it had to have happened to someone else at some point. HA! At least I got to spend a smidgen more time at the Kingdom.
I went over to the buses and there happened to be a bus for All-Star Sports waiting and I hopped on, relieved to be going to crash in a bed. I retrieved my Jeep and drove to the lot for my building (Baseball-themed, I think?) and found my room. It was 1am so I didn’t even bother with showering. I donned my pj’s, brushed my teeth and crawled in bed and dreamed magical dreams.
The next morning, I did not get to sleep in to the desired 10am. I was on the 1st floor and happened to be on the main sidewalk from the parking lot to the pool so families started banging around pretty early. I snoozed off and on from 7 when it started to about 9, when it quieted down. I got up and noticed how clean the room was and what good condition it was in. I was very pleased. I had an extra-good shower and packed up and was ready to go when my wake-up call from Mickey rang at 10am. I said good bye to Mickey and headed out.
I stopped at Downtown Disney. One of my friends and I have been discussing making matching shirts to wear to Epcot for a while now. I found out that they have a “Make your own Disney Tee” shop there and thought I’d stop by to check it out. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. First of all, it’s $30 for an adult shirt so, that turned me off real fast. Then, I tried to “design” a shirt, just to try it out, and there’s only a certain number of pictures or logos you can put on and can only place the pic and lettering in certain designated spots so…Not worth it for me. I got back onto I-4 and headed back to good ol’ PO to see what my kittycats had destroyed while I was gone.
All-in-all, an EXCELLENT trip! 1 day, 3 parks, 5 different modes of transportation, 2 meals, 2 cokes, 6 hours of sleep, 1 Darth Vadar…HA! Summer Sleepover 2010 was amazing! And I’m going back in August…...stay tuned! ;)
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