Sunday, August 16, 2009

July Trip Report #4

Perhaps I should wrap up this report huh? Life is just so busy. Oh well here we go.

Wednesday we headed out the door to Animal Kingdom. On this day the weather turned much warmer so after grabbing fast passes for Everest we decided to head straight to Kali River Rapids. This was another ride which I had not been on for 7 years. The line move fairly quickly and I was trying to take in all the details of the surrounding atmosphere. Once again I noticed that vandals had been carving names. This time in the trees along the queue line. Seeing this stuff just makes me ill. What the heck is with people? The ride itself was a lot of fun. Going up the first hill you can see the geyser spraying and your thinking "oh it will quit before we get to it." Wrong! Just as we approached the geyser sprayer high into the air drenching half the raft. From that point on we all got wetter and wetter. We hit every possible thing that could soak us. At first it felt refreshing but walking around in spongy socks is not fun. We talked about going right back to the room even though it was early. The only trouble was we had an early ADR at Rainforest Cafe. So we browsed around for a bit, took in a showing of Nemo, grabbed more fast passes for Everest, and made our way up front. As we approach the front of the park we noticed that Devine was out. This was the first time we had seen her in the park. She was really cool to watch.

Lunch was OK and I mean exactly that OK. Due to our wet clothes we froze in the A/C.
Afterward we went straight back to the room to change and dry our shoes. Arriving back at the park we found it quite busy. At some point a mass of Brazilian tourists groups had descended in upon the park. It was nuts. We made use of our fast passes and then waited an eternity to ride Kilamanjaro Safari. After the safari we felt hungry so we stopped in to Pizzafari. I did not expected this to be very good. To my surprise it was far better than the pizza over at Pinocchio Haus in the Magic Kingdom. Next stop was Festival of the Lion King. This is a great show and one we always try to make time for. During the last song the park suffered a power outage that affected all of Camp Minnie Mickey.

Next we took in Its Tough to be a Bug and Dinosaur. While waiting for Dinosaur we noticed the clouds were getting very dark. Upon exiting the ride Disney cast members began sending guests back into gift shops and into queue line due to the approaching storm. We were stranded for nearly an hour in Chester and Hester's Gift Shop. It became apparent that even though the park had extra magic hours that no rides would be running so we began hopping from gift shop to gift shop on the way out. Interestingly we found that although Disney was had been herding guests into buildings they were still running the parking lot trams. The storm had cut the day short but managed to get some extra sleep that night.

Thursday was our open day. We had not made plans on were to go. Our Son decided that he wanted to try out for the American Idol Experience so we decided to go back to the studios. This suited me just fine because Fantasmic was showing that night. We arrived and discovered that all of Brazil had decided upon the studios as well. This mornings experience over at midway mania was very different. The line for fast passes was a block long when we got back there. The return time changed by 40 minutes by the time we made it up to the machines. After grabbing the passes we made our way over to Idol where my son tried out and was selected as one out of 21 people that would take the stage that day. Being that he is only 17 I got to see the entire process. It began with a brief interview and him singing a song of his choice acapella. He sang "Purpose" from Avenue Q. They like his singing and he advanced to the coke a cola lounge where he was able to pick to songs. After making choices it was time for a second audition. His choices were "Your Song" and "You Really Got Me"
The producer also liked what he heard and invited my son to sing "You Really Got Me" at the 4 o'clock show.

We had to return to the stage door at 2:50. At this time we entered the Green Room and my son received some vocal and performance coaching and took his turn in hair and make up. Two other contestants were there and when everyone was ready they each got to rehearse one time on stage. During the show my wife and daughter had VIP seating and I watched backstage on a monitor. This was neat because it was like watching the show on TV. He did not move on to the finals at 7:00 but the experience was something he enjoyed and we are proud of how he did.

We made our way back to RNR Coaster to use some fast passes from earlier in the day. Getting those fast passes earlier in the day had been a trip. As we made it up the the machine I noticed that one machine had been roped off and two Brazilian men were busy feeding tickets into the machine. They had at least two stacked of tickets as thick as a deck of cards. As a family we even opted to try the single rider line. This was still a long line and when we finally got to the door I looked down and those same two guys were feeding more tickets into the machines. I think Disney could handle these groups much better. One idea would be that they give everyone on these tours the equivalent of a Dream Fast Past to go with the admission for which ever park they are in that day. There just has to be a better way.

Our meals for the day included the ABC commissary which was decent and pizza sounded good again so later on we stopped into Pizza Planet. This time the pizza was just like over at Pinocchio's and we were disappointed. Note to Disney, if you can consistently serve the same burger from park to park, where does the Pizza break down occur?

Late in the afternoon I received a text from Glenn asking where we were. Glenn met up with us and hung out to do TOT and Fantasmic. It was great to see and hang out with Glenn. Like myself Glenn grew up watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" on TV as a kid. Its nice to wax nostalgia over the old live action shows and share some common memories. I can't thank Glenn enough for take the time out of his day to come see us. Thanks Pal.

That wraps up the Disney trip itself. The next day we drove up to Sanford to catch our return flight on Allegiant Air. Our gate was changed 7 times and our flight was delayed by two hours. The delay was caused by a mechanical problem with another aircraft. Other passengers bound for North Carolina were given our plane and we had to wait while our flight crew was reassigned to another aircraft. Evidently Sanford is considered a hub for Allegiant so they had more planes. Once on board everything went fine.

I have to report that I really dragged my feet over the past few days but tonight I made it outside and put in 5 miles. 4 miles of that was jogging. My best pace hit about a 12.5 when I was warmed up. Consistency is going to be the key to success down the road and I simply must work on that. My foot has been pain free and is doing really good. As a precaution I did take some Ibuprofen post run and iced my foot.


MikeF. said...

I know this might sound wrong, but those Brazilian tour groups make or break my trip. I know they shouldn't, but I have had bad encounters with one of those groups everytime I go. Last trip we were in Club Cool and a group had just came running in and swarmed all the soda machines. Well we had our daughter in her stroller and it was next too one of the machines. Megan and I turned to throw our cups out and get the hell out of there when all of a sudden I hear Makayla scream for me. One of these punks started to move my daughters stroller away from the machine when our backs were turned. And that was only for a few seconds. I pushed the kid away from the stroller and ran my daughter out of there. I said something to a castmember. But he did and said absolutly nothing. Which as of late had been typical of my castmember experiences. Oh well. Glad to see you guys had a good trip. Thanks for the report.

Heath said...

I'm finally getting around to catching up on the blogs and I loved the whole trip report. I've got just over two weeks until my next trip to the World, and reading your report is getting me more excited.

I don't know if you ever listen to the Mouse Lounge Podcast, but you should check out the most recent episode. It's a show entireley dedicated to the 3 Caballeros.

Chris said...

Ahhh, the Brazillian tour groups...To tell you the truth, I don't think I've experienced this phenomenon (probably would know if I had, right?). Although I do recall many podcasts discussing these groups. The DisUnplugged were talking about how they felt they were more courteous in recent years and that Disney must have said something to least I think it was a DU chat... Anyhow, loved the trip report, great detail and obviously a product of a great plan. :-)

Keep it up on the training, you're doing great!

DisHippy said...

You know, I think Animal Kingdom is just super hot everyday of the year. I haven't been where it hasn't been ridiculously hot. I think it's mainly due to the thick vegetation and the lack of breeze because of that. Still makes me want to go back down to the world. See ya. :)

Amanda said...

Sounds like you had a great trip! Brazilian tour groups-yikes.

Sounds like your doing good on your training. Keep it up. Glad to hear your foot's feeling good.

Craig Wheeler said...

I never encountered the Brazilians until this past January. They annoyed me once or twice, but nothing major.

Nice song choice with Purpose. I love that song. Though I wouldn't have gone into a Disney audition singing a song with bad language and drug references. Kudos to him for making it to the stage.

Jeff W. said...

Craig, Believe me when I say that Disney got a "G" rated version of the song.

Avenue Q is coming here in March

DebWDW said...

Loved the trip report! How did you like a DVC stay versus your previous stays?

Craig Wheeler said...

I saw the show in New York and Cleveland and must say that I LOVE it. It's one of my favorites.

MikeF. said...

Singing "The internet is really really great." My wife loves Ave. Q.

[rich] said...

Hi Jeff - Will read through all the posts I've missed out on - hope all is well with you and yours.

Cheers from the UK

Rae! said...

I voted!!! haha
ya know if seems that people just don't get it.
New shoes. try Newtons.