Monday, October 28, 2013

Disney World 2013 Planning: Phase 3 -Challenges Appear

June 26, 2013: T-68
Ohhhh, that’s why Aurora’s cottage isn’t there.  The Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train is taking the place of several individual princess interactive meets, they get a new Fairy Tale Hall together.  I guess the Tangled Play and Greet wasn’t as successful as Belle after all. Nyah Nyah!
(OK, maybe I’m still bitter.)

June 27 2013: T-67
Upon seeing the Grid line of which of my standard Disney T-shirts goes on which day, and Anabelle’s for her costume selection, Rosa, despite usually saying, “I don’t care,” when asked about shirt choices, asks, “Where’s my shirt line?”  The call transforms all of us.

June 28 2013: T-66
Reading on-line reviews for Disney Restaurants is impossible. Half of the reviews are like I would write them,
“The awesomeness of being in Disney and dealing with amazing Happy Disney people overwhelms any negatives, and the food was good too!” 

The other half detail a string of horrible experiences of waiting and mistakes, but eventually indicate it was a party of twenty three, half of which were diabetic, six in scooters, and fifteen with varied food allergies.

This is how we decide to mostly stick with what we know.  The focus on not hopping and reviews that match our previous experience (the not seeing characters part, not the kid set on fire part) eliminate Chef Mickey’s, leading to the above Play and Dine choice.  No reason for this information on this day other than documenting “Handy Manny” is still stuck in my head, thanx to my daughter singing it to me constantly, and leaving me notes and books.

June 29, 2013: T-65
A reaction to cortisone shots lead to an ER visit, just in case, to make sure my heart can handle Anabelle’s part of the call that involves roller coasters.  More “just in cases” are suggested.

July 2, 2013: T-62
Sophia the First announced to appear in MGM at the end of the summer. Here’s hoping she’s also added to the Play n Dine meal to keep us off the inevitably crazy long line.

We got the “Disney Planning DVD” last night.  I have no idea why. By the time it arrives, we already have a fully populated Grid with our itinerary.  Mostly, we watch, enjoy seeing park images, and Anabelle points out which attractions we consider “must see” that they’ve left off completely.

July 3, 2013: T-61
Disney’s The Lone Ranger premiers.  It is a giant pile of awesome, which they unfortunately underpromote.  Even though it borders on completely unraveling as I bring it out of retirement for the showing, my old Lone Ranger shirt starts lobbying to be returned to the Disney World rotation.  Back in the eighties, it inspired an accordionist in the Italian pavilion restaurant to break into the “William Tell Overture” for a bit, then look at the opera singer he was accompanying and say,
“He’s-a gonna kill me.”

July 4, 2013: T-60
We are actually home instead of Up the Lake for the holiday, but forget there will be fireworks until it’s too late to go anywhere.  We comfort Anabelle on only being able to see fireworks on TV that we will be seeing a great many soon, and we won’t have to listen to Usher while viewing them.  A neighbor’s impromptu display also helps some.

July 5, 2013: T-59
The Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion, something I think of as, “one of the newer elements of World Showcase” reaches its twenty-fifth anniversary.  In other news, I’m freakin’ old.

July 9, 2013: T-55
Pop Century food court releases new menu. It includes egg white omelets, and two healthy burgers, black bean and salmon.  It’s nice that they know when we’re called!

July 11, 2013: T-53
Starbucks drinks can be purchased with Snacks on the Disney Dining Plan!  If I know my wife, this may be our first trip where we don’t stuff piles of extra snacks from the gift shop into our luggage on the last day.

July 15, 2013: T-49
Limited Time Magic brings more “long lost friends” to the Magic Kingdom this week. Costume characters that aren’t usually around include Robin Hood group, the Bre’r gang, and characters from Chicken Little and Princess and the Frog.  In what is increasing in frequency, they are handing out autograph cards instead of manually signing them.  This is to allow the guests to have more direct interaction time with the characters…which is what I’ve been saying about autographs since they started the silly things.  They really need to hire me as a consultant.

July 16, 2013: T-48
Just in Case stress test to obtain roller coaster clearance, leads to Just in Case cardiologist appointment the following day.

July 17, 2013: T-47
Just in Case Cardiologist appointment to review results of stress test.  We both think the anomaly isn’t serious, as it only shows an issue where we know I already have a blockage that isn’t doing anything, and I swam five freaking miles three days before the test.  He cites due diligence, I cite needing to be able to take my daughter on the Tower of Terror without thinking twice, and we agree on a Just in Case catheterization. 

Reviewed PhotoPass options. Decided to pursue PhotoPass Plus, yielding even more pictures. Considering the size albums we have from past trips (two to three each) we may need an extension on the house.

July 18, 2013: T-46
Anabelle and I reviewed the “custom maps” on line before ordering.  In a decision that makes her wanting to start with the Tower of Terror seem obvious and unsurprising, she says,
“Mark Expedition Everest so we know where it is…just in case.”

July 19, 2013: T-45
A combination of extended peeling due to the heat wave, and my Uncle’s threats to tear the thing off, forces me to cut my losses and my Disney bumper sticker, leaving only a section remaining.  Here’s hoping it can hang on another month and a half, and they actually stock the things.

July 22, 2013: T-42
Happy nineteenth Birthday Tower of Terror, or as I’ll always call it, the “Terror a’ Tower.”  This is because the first time I rode it (with my family as part of my college/my sister’s High school graduation trip) was after taking a bus from the Contemporary with a little girl from Texas who talked nonstop about riding that Terror a’ Tower, in her deep twang.  Yeah, I know no one else cares about this, but writing it down is the only way I’ll remember to tell my daughter the story when we go.

July 23, 2013: T-41
Realizing we’ve never gotten the flight confirmation number from Disney, we call to get it. When entering frequent flier information we learn that they’ve put Anabelle in a seat separate from the two of us.  Happy Disney People are good for all Disney Planning Help, not so much plane seat selections.  The Happy Disney Person we call admits as much, apologizes and gives us some suggestions about things to try to remedy this.  The benefit of deferred payment for the airline along with the rest of the vacation using the Disney Credit Card is probably not worth this hassle the next time the call rises.

July 24, 2013: T-40
Seriously, when did the Sci-fi Dine in Theater become a hot spot?  We’ve been checking availability for a month.  Up until recently it was the only MGM restaurant with no available times the whole day.  Glad we got what we did.

July 25, 2013: T-39

Looks like we lucked out, the Tiki Room is being refurbished before we get there, and Peter Pan afterwards.  The Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground will be closed all but our first day, which gives us only one shot at planning to see it, then forgetting and missing it anyway as per usual.  Also, due to a manufacturing defect, the decision to not rent a fridge has been made for us.  Looks like refillable mug trips for milk are in the cards.

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