Monday, October 30, 2017

Disney 2016, Day 2- It’s a Big Bombed World (Showcase)

November 5, 2016

We were greeted from our POP Century television screen by the immortal Happy Super Fun Awesome Disney Stacy!!!!


Enjoying her welcome, we packed up the gear to get ready for EPCOT, or as the kids all called it:

To the other learned Where Will We Go Next Guys in the crowd, yes I realize that specifically choosing EPCOT near the final weekend of the Food and Wine Festival may seem insane on the surface.

However, it was the only way to avoid confining another park to weekends only, and the drunken mobs that surprised us previously were confined to World Showcase. The plan was to spend most of this day in Future World, leaving the fully detailed Epcot Death March to a point later in the vacation when we were all exhausted.

I did not say this was a perfect plan.

Once we passed through security, Anabelle’s random character like list updated and she yelled “Daisy!!” when she spotted the duck in the first greeting area.  The other kids joined in the celebration and the line was reasonable enough to start the day ignoring the Grid.

Wait times for the new additions to the Character Spot, Big Hero Six and Inside Out were never posted. We peeked in to get a “park opening” idea of the crowd level. The line wasn’t too bad, but once we got on realized it was only for Baymax, and Joy and Sadness had their own section and a much more massive collection of fans waiting to see them.

It was a cute visit, but we were all convinced that the inflated and near immobile costume must have been punishment for the Cast Members who offended a higher up at some point.

We cashed in the first FastPass of the day at the now “Eisner Free” Soarin’ Over the World.

The new movie’s variety more than made up for the loss, or more accurately the replacement with other scents, of the yummy orange smell.  Basically there was cheering by all ages of our family.


The Land Boat Ride had a twenty minute wait.  Based on my family’s normally empty September visits this was unacceptable.  Based on my sister’s family missing it completely on their last visit we waited anyway.  Anabelle entered full teenager mode, complaining about waiting for a ride she didn’t care about.  We had warned Kim that the awesome “Listen to the Land” song was no longer on the ride, but she assured us we had no worries:

Anabelle’s funk evaporated instantly when she realized the connection of the ride to her Gifted and Talented project on farming, and she and her Mother both changed their tune, became overly enthusiastic and had me photographing everything.

Once again I say, the Disney Magic strikes anywhere when you least expect it.

We had a bit of time before our lunch reservation, and decided to hit the Imagination ride on the way. We knew there wasn’t time for the playground or green screen pictures, meaning we’d have to come back to that pavilion at some point.

Oh, what a burden.

The Figmenty ride was loved by all.  Morgan continued to sing the Im-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-gin-a-tion song for the rest of the trip…or more accurately, the rest of the year. 

As did the rest of us.

Rosa prepared herself for the shock of the air blast that startles her every time…and was startled anyway.

And I didn’t move fast enough to get the whole multiple Figment scene in the panorama picture.

In other words, business as usual.

We gave the “conduct a Figment” in the playground a quick wave as a tribute to one of Dad’s favorites and proceeded to fight our way through the staggering, open container carrying mob to get to lunch in World Showcase.

Veronica donned her high end Snow White dress, provided by some awesome Florida cousins we happily got to see over the summer and I went up to the Akershus podium to announce our arrival for a Norwegian Princess filled lunch.

They told me to go away. 

The arrival time tolerances in Food and Wine Festival EPCOT are MUCH tighter than other areas of the park.

Fortunately, Mariachi Donald was due to come out soon, and my family all wore our Three Caballeros shirts in anticipation of this.  While we were waiting, we watched the Irish step dancer hoofing it to the Mariachi Band.

Drunken mobs aren’t always a bad thing. 

Rosa vanished for a bit while we were waiting and making friends with a very nice Australian family…
Because Instant Disney Friends, YAY!

A cast member came over with Rosa's Super Deluxe Magical Camera which concerned me as normally the only way to get my wife to relinquish it would be pry it from her cold dead fingers.  Instead it was because the mariachis were singing happy birthday to her, which we photographed, and then returned to a duck that was excessively excited to see himself on our shirts.

We then passed back to Norway, accompanied by a kazoo player. Again, drunken mobs are not always a bad thing.

Hey!  The flowers on Belle’s dress make a hidden Mickey!  How did I never notice this?

We got to our table, and my Wife, Mother and Sister constantly made, “Ooh ooh ooh!” Horshack like noises any time they saw a princess- just in case any of you thought the meal bookings I set up were based on what the kids wanted.

Ariel and Mary Poppins both came through fairly quickly. They completely focused on and interacted with all the children, signed the pile of books, and hugged everyone. Disney excels at efficiency.

Cinderella had a similar visit, with an addition.  Mom asked about sending a picture to Cousin Maddalena for her Fiftieth anniversary, since she had a Cinderella themed Fortieth Anniversary party in the Grand Floridian.  (We are an extended Disney family.)

We borrowed the idea we had for Kim’s kids on our last trip, and I asked Cindy to record a message for them, which she did, and we e-mailed.  This all lined up because both Disney people and our cousins are awesome.


There was a quick break in the princessing to hit the appetizer buffet, followed by the athletic trial of photo dodging while carrying a plate of giant asparagus.  I’m waiting for that to be an Olympic event.

The kids were reluctant to participate in the Princess Procession, but they eventually relented and joined in the line of Snow White.   Imagine our surprise when said princess returned without our children.  Somewhere in the middle of the restaurant, the Disney royalty crossed the streams and they ended up on Mary Poppins’s line which finished processing in a whole other section of the dining room.

Snow White came by, fussed over Veronica’s dress a great deal, and was totally and completely Snow White…
Awesome! YAY!

Lunch was like the fancier entries of Chopped causing Anabelle and Rosa to begin their tradition of entrée switching.  I was proud that my Norwegian lunch consisted of both Fish and Potatoes, proving our horrendously executed oral report in Eighth Grade Geography correct after all these years.

The dessert sampler contained a Chocolate Mousse.  Confusion as to its nature led to, "I can make a moose face," complete with antler hands.  Multiple Moose Faces would follow us throughout the week.

Coming out into the inebriated hordes we saw Anna and Elsa’s line, normally hanging at well over a hundred minutes back when they were in the Magic Kingdom, was a quarter of an hour.  It was hard to get to the entrance, because we had to pass through one to two hour lines for food and beer to get there.

I will never understand the Food and Wine Festival heathen crowd mentality, but it appears to be, “How can I get stupidly drunk and fat while at the same time inconveniencing people trying to have wholesome family fun?”

It was a wonderful meeting (Duh) and I was mightily impressed by Elsa’s ability to wield her giant dress train without tripping or battering small children.  Veronica’s dress sense was a big hit a second time in a row, since she had Anna boots under her Snow White dress. 

A stop in the inevitable gift shop let Kim grab Mom’s Christmas present (shhhhhh) before we fought our way further out of the mobbed areas.

With our appropriately themed shirts on, we needed to hit the Mexico ride before completely freeing ourselves.  Plus, the even more fun than it used to be “Mexican Small World” is a critical hit for any kid.

The beer crowd in the pyramid was just as unpleasant as the one outside, but we made it to the still lineless attraction. 
The new animatronics at the end of the ride were an awesome surprise.  YAY!

Considering the insane details of research I do for these things, the occasional pleasant surprise is always more than welcome.

I guess some of the kids weren’t used to authentic Mexican accents. After the announcement about checking for belongings, Aurora asked, “Why did they say, ‘Gather your baloney?’”

Since the beer heathens ignore the regular shops too, we snuck out through the stores, stopping to watch some glass sculpting, and for Morgan to play Tic Tac Toe with a nifty Awesome Happy Mexican Disney person, and get a couple of stickers. 

I noticed as we left and passed the Kidcot station, that even though Duffy was gone, and there were still remnants of the Perry the Platypus mystery thing in the pavilions, Duffy outlasted Perry in the “thing to carry around to each country and get stamped" that none of us cared about this time around.

Ducking the mob, we went Back to the Future(world).

We used our second FastPass at the Big Ball.  The Spaceship Earth set up was marginally improved from our last visit, but I still think they should let FastPass people directly into the building instead of skipping only a couple of turns.

The ride continued to be the last wonderful remnant of old EPCOT, but the trip was a little wonky that time with enough break downs to let Rosa enjoy a well-deserved nap.


Grandma also took a series of well-deserved naps on this vacation, but it was hard to document them all in dark theaters.

Bathroom breaks required some splitting up after fiddling about in the post-show area. Anabelle and Rosa waited on the longest line in Future World- Starbucks.  It was kind of like the food and wine lines, but with caffeine addiction replacing alcoholism.

While waiting for them I found one of the old EPCOT signs from my “Hidden Disney” book.
YAY pointless research!

We reformed again around the back side of Imagination for the new Visa Picture spot.  It was a teeny little room, that due to Disney Magic, Mickey was able to stay hidden in while we greeted Goofy.  Mickey gave us a detailed mime demonstration about his disapproval of the Minion on one of the autograph books.  He then signed next to it after drawing a line of separation. This caused the handler to totally freak out because the Characters are not supposed to sign “competitor” images.  The PhotoPass guy tried to diffuse the situation, stating someone had to be the first to make friends.

We did our PhotoPass ninja-ing after playing, goofing and getting signatures, and then went back outside to further goof around with the jumping fountains.

Then, since it was there, we went on the Figment ride again…just ‘cause.


We had more time to play around in Imageworks, with a large amount of conducting and Design a Figment by everyone involved.  Disney efficiency hiccuped a bit, and the images were emailed to us a week and a half ago, for a very nice surprise reminder. 
The children (and Kim) ran around on the sound steps for a bit as well.

All of us got many and varied green screen photos, and wandered around the gift shop for a while, looking at stuff and chatting with Awesome Happy Disney people.

The next plan was to cross the nearly empty Future World (heathens) to reach Mission Space.  We tended to split the group when we travelled place to place, not to mention the children grabbing the hands any random older relatives.  This led to a bit of a panic moment and some running about on the way across which generated the new “yell whoever is with you” policy when transitioning locations. 

Grandma also purchased a refillable popcorn bucket, but I don’t think there was a cause and effect there.

Once calm, collected and finished with bathroom breaks, something that was inevitably near constant with nine of us, we had a cheer filled experience on the Non Cardiac Danger Line at Mission Space.

What followed was a mass amount of waffling from all the kids and a few adults.  The Universe of Energy has the reverse problems of most Disney attractions. There is never any line, but the ride itself lasts forty-five minutes.

The dinosaurs were awesome, the stuff with Ellen and Bill Nye was funny, but the ride was stuck on the original track and without the Exxon advertising film at the end (not in any way a bad thing) the radio broadcast is over long, and not cute enough to warrant sitting there in the dark.  Bring on Guardians of the Galaxy!

Morgan passed out cold after the dinosaurs.  Rosa did too.  Grandma may have, but it was hard for me to tell while I was napping.

Morgan arose as we left, cancelling our plan to hit Mission Space again, since he was too short.  I switched the FastPass and it was time to go to the Living Seas!  YAY!!!!!!

There was no line, but we used the FastPass anyway, just to try it. YAY!

Sorry, I like fish.


Morgan did too, as he chose Anabelle and me to be his continuing Disney buddies and danced for most of the Nemo themed ride.

My tank gazing period was delayed a bit since there was a Turtle Talk show starting soon.

Anabelle helped me to do the “That’s A Moray” gag with her cousins while we waited.

That’s my Girl!

The little updates from Finding Dory added even more freshness to a mostly ad libbed show.


Both Veronica and Dave got asked questions, but the loopy child who tried to explain an Xbox to Crush ended up the star of the show.

Finally, it was time for the big tank.  A gang of people with far more disposable cash than I have were in the tank for mass scuba time, causing the fish to choose some interesting patterns.

Anabelle humors me, but prefers to steer clear of large tanks.  We did have a great deal of bonding time in the smaller tanks, so still, YAY!

She loves manatees, and found and received a stuffed one after watching the real ones for a while.  She shared some seahorse moments with her Mom and she and I paired up again looking at some texturally cool and colorful poisonous cuttlefish.  YAY!

Once the unruly group of boys practicing to be Food and Wine Festival Heathens when they grew up finally got out of the way, our kids could play in the Bruce’s shark area before we left.

We’d all built up an insanely hearty Disney appetite, and went next door to the largely heathen free Land pavilion.

The Four Seasons continued to provide fantastic, but also crazy diverse selections.  I switched from Where Will We Go Next Guy mode to full on Air Traffic Controller. 

As each child would get a meal, I’d steer them to the table, and Rosa would settle them in.  Kim and Dave helped with selections and brought up the rear to make sure there were no stragglers.

Anabelle had pizza this time, but Rosa and I went back to the chicken and tuna we discovered on our last trip.

Soarin’ must have come off a break down, as it had a one hour standby line, but a two hour FastPass Line.  At one point during dinner, the wait dropped to twenty minutes. 

This lasted for all of thirty seconds, and then leapt back up to two hours, raising and quickly dashing our hopes of an end of the day sneak on.

Morgan and Veronica had passed the point of mobility, as did Grandma. She took them home, and the newly reenergized rest of us crossed Future World to hit Mission Space once more.

The Green line never had a wait.  I only had a FastPass there because it didn’t fit anywhere else.

The two girls went into space together, which probably could have won the award for the silliest space flight in history…

That is, if Dave and I weren’t travelling with a sudden appearance of “The Funny Wives Club.”

Disney Deliriousness hits just as hard and randomly as Disney Magic.
Everyone played a few videogames in the post-show area, with Aurora’s epic last second bonus time finish putting the rest of us to shame.

Hoping to avoid heathen exodus, we made for the exit, pausing for some super crazy high speed PhotoPass ninja-ing on the way out.

Back at the POP, the sticker granting trivia board in the gift shop was focused on Run Disney, it being a mini marathon weekend.  The kids had no idea about this, so taking a cue from an immortal quote from Hitchhiker’s, when they realized none of them knew about it, they did it together, and earned a pile of stickers anyway.

I went on a mug run, which shifted away from the “varied hot chocolates” of the previous trip.  Rosa needed hot water for her tea; I was clearly not drinking enough PowerAde during the day, but Anabelle remained traditional and went the Hot Chocolate route.

I returned, arranged a squid’s tentacles like set up of charging cables, and insured that the Mass we intended to watch on TV the next morning was still scheduled.

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Dina Roberts said...

I'm really into the Disney-attraction naps.

Funny about the Minions and Mickey breaking the rules. I hope he wasn't sent to Disney jail.

The drunk people in World Showcase exhaust me. I think crowds would probably be more tolerable if no one was over-drinking.

I'm confused about the ending. You got Power Aid? And now I'm wondering what kind of tea Rosa got. Is she into herbal tea or regular tea? I'm very nosy sometimes. I love all these details you provide. I guess maybe it makes me want to know even more.

Jeff McGinley said...

With the schedule we keep, acceptable attraction naps are key.

It was funny how the handler knew it was wrong, but continued to treat Mickey as "the boss." I'm sure he was fine.

Going last summer (2019) was the first time in ages that we missed the entire Festival in World Showcase. We all were amazed at hoe much it felt like the "old days" when we enjoyed that area so much more. The kids all concurred.

Nosy is fine! Thank you for enjoying the details, and engaging. Its fun to revisit these, and also means a lot that someone who isn't related to me gets into them. Rosa brought chamomile and chamomile with anise bags down to have at the end of the days. We started with the nightly hot chocolate runs when Anabelle was little, she keeps that up. I tend to forget to hydrate at times. (Many times at our pace, in fact.) Having PowerAde on the mug approved soda machines was a HUGE help. I often use them as snack credits in the parks as well. Thanx again!

Dina Roberts said...

Yes! I love all the details.

I've never had chamomile tea with Anise. It sounds interesting. I'm glad you're about to get your Powerade and stay hydrated.

We have really loved the festivals (especially Jack) and I feel a lot of our trips have been centered on them. But a few trips ago, we started to realize that we're kind of getting over it. The crowds. But also we end up eating so much festival food, I feel we neglect all the permanent counter food places. I think there's enough good food at Epcot that the festivals aren't needed. I wish they'd go back to having one festival a year. Or have short versions of the three festivals.

Jeff McGinley said...

Rosa and Anabelle both have a variety of tea's they like. In Disney, Rosa uses the "settling" types. I don't need help settling in Disney. Once I stop moving, I pass out.

I think if we went more often we'd try the festivals more. We go every three to four years and are real creatures of habit with both table and counter service favorites. Plus World Showcase is such a great leisurely experience when its not mobbed.

Thanx again for playing, "the home game."