Monday, May 18, 2020

Disney 2019 day 2 19-Aug-2019

Scandinavian Yeast ala Beast

Early on in the trip we were naive enough to think meeting outside the room doors an hour before the parks opened would work.  I mean, its not like we missed any park openings, though. I guess my standards are too high.
The mystery of my instantly lost Grid revealed itself while we assembled there. I handed it to Grandma as I was adjusting pocket orientation (a real problem in my life) on Main Street  and she put it away with the oversized ones she naturally printed for each single day.

We’re so fun in public.

The bus brought our multiple dwarf like party (Sleepy, Happy and a little Dopey) over to EPCOT for Grandma’s birthday. (YAY!) We achieved our usual pace by needing a mass bathroom stop well before approaching security.  

As usual, Awesome Happy Disney people were everywhere. In this case the security guy was having fun telling guests without laces that their shoes were untied, and watching them look. He told victims to not feel bad as he fooled a guy wearing crocks with socks earlier in the week.  Then he made fun of “crocks with socks,” as one should.

The Awesome and Happy PhotoPass guy from Yonkers handled our ninja shenanigans well in front of the Big Ball before we entered it to see the history of communication in animatronics, YAY!  We got to see Anabelle and Aurora dancing in their little “time machine” throughout the trip as well. YAY!
We’re so fun in public.

Anabelle aced the Brain Game in the post-show area, while I commented on the trend of individual little screens more and more taking over from large communal ones on rides as well as in normal life. Crusty old Disney Fan Alert!

I tried the brain game as well and totally tanked on the “follow the pattern” portion, that is not only basic, but also unchanging. This means- I watched Anabelle do it five minutes before.  Yes, embarrassingly, I failed Simon.

The antibiotics Rosa got for our standard pre-trip illness were having weird side effects. Grandma had local pharmacy contacts (because she’s Grandma) and we were under the Big Ball making multiple trans-state calls to get her a new one.  Through the general confusion that is us, our asking for the alternate language operators and the need for yet another rest room break led to the rarely heard question:
“How do you pee in Spanish?”

Working our way towards World Showcase, several members of our group wanted to peek into the Imagination post show area to see Ralph and Vanellope.  Since none of those members were children, we settled for taking photos of them with stunt kids. 
Then we came out and accidentally went on the Figment ride!


We had plenty of time before our scheduled Norwegian activities, and without the drunken Food and Wine Festival mobs in the way, passing through World Showcase was as pleasant as those of us ancient enough to pre-date the thing remembered. 
A fun, pyramidy, internal detour on the Fiesta Tour Mexico ride later, (YAY!) and we strolled happily into the Norway pavilion with time to do a little shop browsing before the Frozen Ride FastPass.

Whoah, those animatronics are outstanding. I don't think I noticed before because of the overall spectacle of the ride. Plus I think they tweaked the “face projection” as they seemed less “uncanny valley creepy” and more “living animation.”

We came out with some spare time (wow!) before our Akershus reservation, and discovered a drop in character wait time.  

(Old fogey me- by running across the Norway pavilion. 
Just about everyone else in the group- by checking their phones.)  

The twenty minute wait posted when we entered this particular country dropped to ten.  Meeting Anna and Elsa was more awesome as usual.  This was because Elsa was much more insane than most Disney royalty.  She made jokes about Olaf throwing off his arm during snowball fights, and asked about Morgan’s carrot nose.  The standard PhotoPass ninja work was augmented by Dave jumping in for a shot as well.  Even those whose Disney shirtness was rated “All hope is lost” at one point, succumb to the magic.

So no one thinks I forgot- We love you too, Anna!!!!  In fact- we love you so much so that I couldn't find a picture of her without one of our kid's faces in it.  I'm not sure why I continue to follow my rule about not showing people, but after nearly a decade, it's too late to change now.

Interacting with the handlers and photographers made me realize that a lifetime of Disney World training is why I tend to be overly friendly and engaging in conversations to strangers in public settings with a shared focus.  Any effort to make the world more Disnified is a good one.

Yes, Disney World traditions are highly important to all of us. This is probably why we decided to squeeze in the visit with Anna and Elsa.  It insured that we’d need to rush over to barely make the Akershus reservation time in spite of aligning it with the Backwards in a Boat FastPass to make sure we were in close proximity.

As usual, Belle greeted us on our entry.
As usual, the kids were seasoned Disney Pros and had their autograph books well prepared and stacked.
As usual, I got overwhelmed with meeting Belle and became extra stupid.

She asked us what we had prepared for the Invention Convention, and I stared blankly and wittily replied, “Uhhhh…”
As we walked away, Anabelle observed, “Nice answer about inventions MISTER ENGINEER!”

In my defense, my goal is to forget about work when I'm down there.

They sat us near the mega appetizer buffet (YAY!) which we could eagerly attend to while awaiting the “Big Four” of the Disney Princess Squad. (YAY!!! Again!)

The giant, and amazingly good asparagus had left the layout. (When is asparagus season? Does Elmer Fudd know?) But it was still fantastical.

The kids reviewed the menu and made attempts to learn to pronounce Norwegian properly. I can’t say they were successful as I’m almost positive “raspy-baller” is not what the Norse chefs were going for.

Snow White was the first one to come by, and was patient enough for us to get back in the groove of our numerical photograph system. She generated added excitement for Veronica who dressed for her favorite.

Cinderella followed shortly afterward, and generated an extreme goofy grin on Morgan. 

The quality of the food was such that only Veronica decided to join the day’s Princess Procession around the restaurant.  The other kids were content with waving while stuffing their faces.

It was Anabelle’s turn for a favorite princess visit when Ariel showed up. Our mermaid friend spouted a constant stream of fish puns. Yay!

The Luer family favorite- Princess Aurora was next.  She looked kind of Latin, but there was too much excitement to dwell on such things.  She was seriously thrilled at meeting her namesake. (And other inspired name children)  Morgan’s enthusiastic smile got him some Official Disney Princess level squished cheeks.

She commented on how the mouse ears most of our gang was wearing must mean they were good listeners.

The food started coming with the server asking, "Who got the kid’s pizza?"  Anabelle answered, “Morgan,” immediately followed by, “like they know who that is,” before transitioning to pointing. 

I think Anabelle ordered her selection, not out of any culinary curiosity, but to be able to say,
“There’s a leek in my plate…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!”

We’re so fun in public.

While enjoying some outstanding pork, I also enjoyed Aurora’s sudden, inexplicable delight in the “stringy mushrooms” in her dish.  What was even more enjoyable was the rest of the gang's sudden, inexplicable delight in saying, “stringy mushrooms” in a southern twang.
We are so fun in public.

Our waitress, Amanda was outstandingly fun and incredibly informative about the food, drinks and experiences of Norway. This included an awesomely flavored brown cheese that worked with multiple kinds of bread.  YAY!
When she brought over Grandma’s birthday card, she revealed our over full and confusing bunch served as her “Earning My Ears” review table.  We assured her she should pass with flying colors and gave a big thumbs up to her supervisors sitting at a nearby booth.

Since my family had our matching Three Caballero shirts on (kudos to Anabelle’s shirt grid) we back tracked a bit to the Aztec looking lane between countries to meet Mariachi Donald.  He was naturally thrilled with our outfits, because we’re awesome Disney people.  In fact he was thrilled with all of us, because of general Disney awesomeness on both sides.

For the first time in forever…

No I’m not breaking into song here, it just seemed appropriate.

For the first time in forever, the Stave Church Gallery was open when we reached that portion of EPCOT back in Norway. It was a single room with a mini mythology museum. Occurring just after Anabelle read Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book, and any point at all in my life, the timing was perfect. 
We adopted Aurora for a bit, which frequently happens in EPCOT. This time was due to her recognizing the Mead of Poetry story in there, which Anabelle had told her about not liking in detail.
Thanx Neil!

Moving along into China, we went to the circle vision movie, because it’s awesome.

The amazing Chinese stores prompted shopping, as always.  The last black, Chinese style shirt I bought there was nine years old, which means I am old and decrepit.  Sorry, I mean, it is old and decrepit.  A replacement one with shiny red printing was a cool find, and Rosa grabbed a red one for herself.  She also got a fan, because August in Florida is insane.  

Once everyone was finished in one of the two highly awesome Asian shopping locations in World Showcase we moved forward to Germany.

It was a short stop in that land when we learned the pretzels increased in size, right out of snack credit eligibility. Following a quick view of the lizard infested tiny train village, featuring a giant monster duck this time, we continued.

Since it was EPCOT, we got hit with a quick rainstorm in the market between Germany and Italy. Since we’re so fun in public, we all sang about the “Rains down in AAAAfffricaaaaa!”

Italy was similarly short lived. Anabelle did her mandatory dance and poses on the statueless podium in the center.  Disney traditions are important, as is being fun in public.

We did most of our Asian shopping in China, but Kim did theirs in Japan.  I'm not sure why we passed America, and then came back but we did.  It is also possible that she was shopping in Italy and my notes are out of order, and that we split up more before and after America than I remember. It was that kind of day.

Hey, Japan and China have pressed pennies in their pavilions now! I guess it wasn't a cultural reason they didn't have them when Anabelle collected them after all. Or it was, and Disney doesn’t care anymore. Anyway, YAY, Pennies!

I took Anabelle and Aurora into the little Bijutsu-kan Gallery there, which has had mythological and tin toy exhibits other times. Lucky me, it was Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture. The manliest thing in the room was Hello Kitty. It even smelled cute.

The group fragmented a bit further, and as we returned to the American Pavilion it started to thunder. I noted the next American Adventure show started in three minutes, a perfect way to get out of the rain! 

Or it would be if the whole group was together, or had any possible way of getting together.

More importantly, this would have been possible if the Where Will We Go Next Guy remembered to check the times guide before (or heck, even during) the EPCOT death march.

Luckily Disney is awesome and there was fun stuff to do, places to stay dry, and a squirrel to chat with…

Anabelle decided to try pin trading for real. She put on her lanyard with the tradeable pins she bought from home and entered the little shop. The start of what became an adventure in opening up and talking to new people began with swapping one Good Dinosaur pin for a Pinocchio.  Then she crossed the store to what looked like the Duff Beer lady and traded the other for “Nerdy Dale.”
Dale barely made it into the next room before he was swapped with the Cast Member at the door for Minnie and a whole new hobby was well and truly on its way.

It is interesting to note that in THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE building, the Native American display has been shoved off into a little, less decorated room on the side of the impressive colonial architecture.  Disney does always strive for accuracy.

Since we couldn’t run right in to the show, we got to see the entire Voices of Liberty performance which was very cool. Their vocals were outstanding, and the train thing they did for one song was quite cute.

Then it was time to visit with some true, old school EPCOT animatronics in The American Adventure.  Since it was at the start of the vacation this time, there was only minimal napping and the many history nerds in our group enjoyed the experience.

The Disney awesomeness continued, as the timing of catching the show we did meant the rain had stopped when we emerged and continued on to Morocco.  We confirmed Aladdin was rehired, but with dinner thoughts growing, only did a minor sight see in that land before moving on.  Anabelle continued her artsy photograph hobby in the abstract mosaic filled pavilion, drafting Morgan as a subject to reflectively look at some of those mosaics.
We’re so fun, and artistic, in public.

My plan was to get a snack at the patisserie in France to stave off becoming a RAVING LUNATIC on the EPCOT Death March. (No specific link needed, just check any past Disney Trip on EPCOT Days.)  It was an excellent plan, with the exception of the fact that several of the kids picked out snack items there as well, and I foolishly decided to serve as a good example and not eat dessert before dinner.  Balancing that with serving as a good example by not becoming a RAVING LUNATIC would be a neat trick. 

We PhotoPassed on the way out of France, peered off the bridge to see if there were any characters in training down at the International Gateway, and entered England.  The band in the gazebo totally rocked making shopping a more pleasurable experience than it normally is, which is significant.   Anabelle traded her new Minnie pin for Ortensia in a burst of excitement that startled the English Cast Member lass.  The Monty Python stuff had been moved into the store focusing on rock bands, which seemed oddly appropriate.

At a stand between England and Canada, there were some quick souvenir assessments, and Anabelle bought a “blind box” stamp themed pin, ending up with Bambi.  That’s Grandpa’s favorite Disney movie and a sure positive sign if there ever was one.

In Canada while others checked the stores, I moped about a lack of Martin Short near the closed theater entrance and made use of the picture spot as per my usual requirements.

Anabelle traded a Cast Member her duplicate Tinker Bell for a Mickey and Donald pin.  I had reached well into crazy hungry land, but walking towards dinner, and it being early in the trip allowed me to cleanly (or slightly dirtily) avoid RAVING LUNATIC.  There are few things more effective at breaking crazy hungry than the knowledge of upcoming draft beer and tacos.

Yes, we made it over to our “go to” counter service in World Showcase in time, the Mexican place on the lagoon that I always forget the name of now that there’s a table service place attached. I think it's the Cantina one. Just about every eatery in the Mexico Pavilion is named “San Angel” which increases the challenge. The Cast Member taking our order got a little choked up when he saw our buttons saying we were celebrating family.  It was a Disney bonding moment, which may have led to him letting us use a snack to order guacamole. Either that or the rules had changed yet again.

We adopted both Aurora and Veronica for this meal, while the rest of the gang went to the Lotus Blossom in China to get Grandma’s orange chicken and other “go to” items.  We have a great many “go to”s where Disney is involved, hence our need to “go to” there in general. Dave grabbed some tacos for Morgan and brought him back to China to provide the assistance he still needed at meal time. We’re great at international relations.

Our group assembled together at the lagoon side Mexico table, after charging the different rooms for our faire, and tried to figure out where the mystery apple slices came from.  Aurora and Anabelle started sharing selections, per usual. However, it was Anabelle and Veronica who had the greatest trades when each decided they should have gotten the other’s meal: Tacos for Veronica and Pollo Cascabel (literal translation: burrito bowl…I'm paraphrasing) for Anabelle.

Veronica had some left overs leading to Anabelle going up to ask for a take-out box in Spanish. Then Veronica wore it as a hat before using it because we’re so fun in public.

Full of Mexican goodness, we opened our French desserts. That is we, except for Rosa opened them. There’s no way she was missing out on churros. 

Aurora was fine, but Anabelle’s pastry filling slipped out all over the plate, while Veronica basically macarroned herself.   I was highly content with my mousse party as an ending to the RAVING LUNATIC thwarting meal.

Of course, with the three tired, but overly excited girls together, there were many taco and moose face selfies throughout the dinner. 
We’re so fun in public.

Dressed in our shirts for the attraction, we brought the girls on the Three Caballeros ride inside the pyramid after finishing and cleaning up. The time of day, our shirts and Rosa’s Spanish netted us a second ride through without disembarking yet again.  On the second pass, a rare, fortuitous break down occurred.  The pumps for the current that propel the boats through the ride stopped working, but everything else inside ran fine. The result was a slower, coasting trip through the attraction, allowing longer views of the various videos and animatronics.

I’m not sure where everyone split up to, but we met in fragments in the massive merchandise retailer that is MouseWorks.  Grandma was enjoying peace and quiet shopping on her birthday and having a fantastic time.  Morgan snapped out of second day exhaustion long enough to have very mature composure and request staying to see Illuminations. Dave found a spot with him, while Kim came to pick up Veronica so she could buy a wallet.

We adopted Aurora once more for the trip home, after sighting a highly cool shirt that would be a target, and generate a fun in public tale, on our return.

The post EPCOT Death March burn out and the multiple languages available led to some confusion for which is which location at the bus stops.  There was some mixing of Portuguese and Spanish for Rosa.  I barely have enough English to get through most days, and descended into Donald Duck rant noises before long.

Aurora and Anabelle, per usual, became an insane, singing, fun in public duo on the bus, to no one’s surprise.

Back at the All-Star Sports, Aurora MagicBanded into her own room to shower.  I went on the nightly mug run and, in what was becoming a new tradition, used the hot chocolate packet next to the broken machine.  

The rest of the gang got back later than expected, since there was no price tag on Veronica’s wallet, leading to a merry hunt while Morgan had a fantastic time with Illuminations.

Awesome Happy Immortal Stacy’s “must do”s was on in all rooms that evening. Anabelle noticed a shift, however.  For the newest attractions, there was no footage of Stacy riding them or touring the parks near them. She only provided the voice over.  We may need to start a petition to return Stacy to her former levels of Awesome Happy Disneyness. 

8.1 miles 
18,284 steps 
no floors

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Dina Roberts said...

"It is interesting to note that in THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE building, the Native American display has been shoved off into a little, less decorated room on the side of the impressive colonial architecture. Disney does always strive for accuracy."

This made me laugh...a lot.

We have never seen the China movie. I think mainly because I don't like standing.

I love the Kawaii exhibit. I hope it's still there. Or if not, I hope it's replaced with something amazing.

Very sweet about the cast member choking up over your buttons.

I am REALLY missing Disney World today...and how everything used to be. Well, not everything. But the fun stuff.

Jeff McGinley said...

Glad I made you laugh, that's the main point of these.

I have found myself hanging on the railings for dear life when tired in the China and Canada films, but I really enjoy the impressive 360 presentations so we usually hit them.

Its been some rough times. Knowing Disney is there, even when we don't have a trip planned can usually help.