Monday, June 1, 2020

Disney 2019 day 4: 21-Aug-2019

Fifteen Hours at Least ala Beast

The "not quite as long as last time but still insanely long day in the Magic Kingdom" started by making park opening time and having to rush anyway.

Yup, it's still us.

Thank you Disney for having Main Street Shopping be available an hour ahead of rope drop.  Even though we were on time, we had to high speed slalom through the crowd to see the welcome show, which was now in front of the Castle instead of at the Train Station.

We made it.  But the reason the Train Station show worked was it was the appropriate scale for what is basically, “Howdy, come on in!”  Hosting that moment on the Castle stage, where much larger shows are expected was a bit lacking. Plus Snow White’s prince weirdly came in alone.  Maybe she did bite the apple after all?  Still, overall it was fun-tastic, and we did see it again.

Being on Main Street in front of the Castle meant some PhotoPass ninja work was needed before we could advance into the park proper.  Having already rushed a bit, I overdid the Where Will We Go Next Guy planning to squeeze in a few too many things. 

This should surprise no one.

I put two FastPasses next to each other in Frontierland fairly early in the day so there wasn't  space between them- removing the need to rush if we timed the portion of the windows we used correctly.  Then I put other things in before that double shot, because to me Disney World is an endless series of, "Ooh shiny thing!" redirections.

We cut left into the back side of Adventureland to experience the updated Pirates of the Caribbean first. Now the auctioneer AND Red are two of the most advanced animatronics in the park!

I know I’m big on not changing Disney, and usually think they should keep the old ways until they reach a level of crustiness to rival my own. However, maybe this time  (since it transitions a family attraction away from Implications of kidnapping and rape) the switch was a good idea.  The only down side is knowing the animatronic parts came from the Great Movie Ride, I can’t unsee Jane’s face as Red. 
Avast and Ungawa!

We popped out through the tunnel into Frontierland with a bit too much time before the end of the first FastPass window in that Western Town. In what may be misconstrued as me taking revenge for Grandma pointing out the Lincoln Memorial was “just over there” from the Washington Monument when I had strep throat as a vacationing child, I noted the Haunted Mansion was “just over there” from the edge of the land we were in.

We waved to some free range Country Bears and hit the Mansion.
(Man, I know we didn't want to rush over and back across lands this trip, but still, 
Haunted Mansion, YAY!!!!)

On the way we passed a hidden nucleus.
(Maybe a Hidden Mickey? Veronica chose that as her Disney Obsession this trip.
I really need to stop taking notes while running.)

The Haunted Mansion was awesome as always. The armor next to the candelabra that I only noticed last time had a cat face…didn't have a cat face anymore.

Suitably haunted, Rosa went off to shop, and the rest of us went back to Frontierland for the dual mountain FastPasses.  Morgan added a couple of western pennies to his collection on the way in to Splash Mountain.
We were early enough in the day to grab a stash of the little Ziplocs with the Splash Mountain logo on them, to protect cell phones!  A Ziplock-a-dee-doo-dah, so to speak.  Cool! 
Sometimes corporate sponsorship can be a good thing!  YAY!

I sat with Grandma since I hate getting wet. She repeatedly mentioned we needed to sit in the front, because the Birnbaum’s Guide stated that the front right was the driest location.

This did not correlate with anything else I had read...


Or twenty-seven years of ride experience on my part. 

But Grandma’s faith in that guide could not be shaken. 

We were already kinda drippy on the way up to the HUGE, terrifying drop.  Once we came down, I shook off my head, squeezed out my shoes, adjusted seating to partially drain my underwear, and composed a letter out loud:

“Dear Mr. Birnbaum.
Up Yours.
The Wet People”

We’re so fun in public

Post Trip Note- I wish to apologize to Mr. Birnbaum for slighting him in earshot of multiple park guests in a humorous fashion. Anabelle checked the Guide several months after we returned, and the “front right” location was referenced for those “who really want to get soaked.”  Sometimes Grandma gets too excited about Disney to focus on the details of the negative and positive part of speech modifiers properly.  It was the menu update all over again, but wetter.

There was more penny hunting in the shop afterwards, and Anabelle exchanged the Pinocchio hat (see? - bizz-ness!) for a chubby Eeyore, which was immediately then swapped at the other door for an Eskimo small world pin.

It is really more about the interaction with Cast Members and talking about favorite Disney films and characters than it is trying to get a keeper.  

A quick stop at the soggy potty (from all the people who sat on the front right no doubt) and it was time for the mountain next door.

The Wildest Ride in the West was an excellent blow drier.  Grandma sat with Kim so she could share both rides she doesn’t like all that much with her children. Anabelle and Aurora teamed up to be goofy together, like they needed an excuse. Veronica went with Dave, and the two least mature riders finished out the group.

When coming off the ride, we rushed (Again, nice planning there Where Will We Go Next Guy.) over to meet Rosa at the Country Bears. We just made it in.

The reason we just made it was the Awesome Happy older Disney guy running it. He had a HUGE family and understood the burden of herding one across the park.

It was (and always remains) awesome, even with the surgically removed fat joke still visible.

The one issue we had was that Morgan was afraid of bears. Yes, unlike most of the rest of this family, he had a rational fear.  Anabelle talked him through it by telling him: 
“Uncle Jeff is just as big and hairy, so picture him doing all of this stuff.”

Aurora got her finger squished in the Country Door, and we went to the First Aid station, near the land transition bridge and Crystal Palace, to continue our zig zagging of the day.

As she finished up we walked over to the Out Infidel circle in front of the Castle for the arrival of the Move It Shake It, Suck Up the Crowd with It Celebration. The rest of the gang caught up early on in the festiveness.

The kids (and wives, I believe) danced around with Jose’ Carioca and Panchito Pistoles. Anabelle was thrilled to get recognition from Clarabelle Cow (along with a “Moo” pun) and Horace Horsecollar from their float.  
At the end they threw out Happy Disney Pom-Poms.  The gang all scooped up a bunch; Anabelle only wanted one blue one that she keeps in a Lenox snowman, because it holds important things, in her Disney drawer.


Less zig zagging, and more stepping directly over to the Castle for the show was next.  Anna and Elsa didn’t have a song this time out. I don't know if it was because of it not being the Christmas version, or because the inextricable growth of Queen Elsa’s coup was finally slowing.

Another zig, or maybe zag, and we were back at the Crystal Palace.  It was way early for the reservation, but close enough that we couldn’t make it to anything else without rushing beyond our remaining capacity. The staggering size and underrated nature of the place allowed us immediate seating. 
(Yes, Anabelle, I'm aware you're the reason we eat here. Thank you.)

Aurora entered and asked why there were two Tiggers walking around. One of them was a reflection in the wall mirrors giving the “Crystal” name to the Palace.  Yup, Aurora pulled a Tigger on Tigger.

We split between a kids' table and adults' table. At a buffet this guaranteed them having an insane amount of fun and silliness going well off the charts.  They made up their own version of the “Three Caballeros” song, ending with- “We always eat breaaaaaaaaaaad together!”
We’re so fun in public.

This song followed us throughout the vacation.
OK, sometimes a little less fun in public.

Eeyore popped up between Grandma and me, to preserve his Lurking Horror reputation, before heading over to the kids for fun with them. Pooh came toward our table, but had to leave for the “celebration.”
It was a “Pooh-rade” HA HA!!

Anabelle got a little confused with the Princess version of this from Monday and called it a "Pooh-cession." 
Ha Ha?

He took a well needed coffee break after dancing around the room and then came over for many hugs with the kids...and some kids at heart. YAY!

Between the entertainment there were bunches of food.  Anabelle fell in love with the pirogis to an unnatural degree.  There were several tasty wing flavors.  The one she liked the best kept falling out of the tongs. When she finally got one on the plate, the Awesome Happy Disney guy behind the counter said, “That was a struggle.”

Desserts were not well received at the kids' table, and there was some discreet, (and maybe some not so discreet) spitting out of sweets themed to Hundred Acre Wood residents into various napkins and things.

I liked the mousse, but that goes without saying.

Another Pooh-rade happened and we still had no connection with Piglet. He approached and left so many times that the action of vanishing before an expected character meeting became known as “Pulling a Piglet.”

Piglet finally came by. Anabelle had mentioned he was kind of creepy looking and Rosa countered with, "But you like pork chops."
Yeah, loads of fun in public.

Since it’s next door, and my favorite land, we returned to Adventureland, to find the Aladdin and Jasmine meet and greet closed for the day.  Alas.

We were "forced" to step into the nearby Tiki Room since it never has a wait. 

Kim ad Dave then rode the Magic Carpets with the kids while Rosa and Grandma picked some resting spots and I kept in constant motion between all parties and the supposed Captain Jack meeting place. He didn’t show up either. (Alas, again.)  This was the period where we noticed the distinct lack of shade trees in Adventureland to foster a tropical feel.  

We were more than fostered enough and went back to some air conditioned FastPasses in Fantasyland.

The Tiana meeting was outstandingly wonderful, magical and princessy, as all of those kinds of meeting are.  The Rapunzel meeting was a step above. 
This has nothing to do with the normal levels of Disney awesome the long haired princess had. She was amazing, and referred to her guy as “Eugene” something that was an error in the Castle Show.  The aboveness, however, came from Andy, the PhotoPass guy. 
He was a hoot and a half, talked about “Grandma Moneybags” taking all of us down there, and based on his general demeanor and name, and her Toy Story fandom, asked for and earned a photo with Grandma.  Another Awesome Happy Disney Cast Member that got a compliment via Guest Services from us!  YAY!

Exiting the Princess Fairy Tale Hall, we crossed the center of classic Fantasyland, passing the requisite occasional panicked adult, to "Prince Charming’s Might as Well Name Something After Him And Add An Extra R For No Reason Carrousel."  Our usual levels of confusion and bad luck faced off against one of the simplest and least crowded rides, winning handily.  A rude family jumped on multiple horses, cutting me off as I was trying to get on near my relatives. The bell rang and I still didn't have a mount, leading to rushing and walking face first into one of the shiny brass rods.  This made my own clanging bell noise both externally and in my head.  A Cast Member eventually found me a spot on the world's tiniest steed.  Then Grandma got stuck getting off.

The kids had a quick Sword in the Stone stop before we were crossing Fantasyland once more. On the way we met a woman who was the Where Will We Go Next Gal for her group.  She was leading them in a handholding chain parade through the section of the park yelling, “Follow Me.” We said we’d come along, and she invited us to join the train. Sadly, we were going in the opposite direction and had to decline.

Kim, Anabelle and I headed over to the kiosks to try to add a new FastPass onto the schedule for everyone now that we’d used all three for the day and the phone connections were "iffy." There was confusion, clunkiness, and a giant bug,  but eventually we scored an Ariel ride for a bit later.  Then, because it’s us, we missed the attempted three way high five.
So much fun in public.

We split to shop for a bit. Anabelle traded her Bambi stamp pin(she has a regular one at home) as her first trade with a nice collector instead of a Cast Member. Getting the Miss Bianca pin for our underrated Disney Move fan was a highlight of the trip.

We met back up for the newly acquired Ariel Ride FastPass, and the kids enhanced the journey with Veronica’s hidden Mickey book and a chicken.  (I really needed to stop taking notes while running.)

Post frolicking under the sea (with a chicken apparently) it was dinner time at Cosmic Ray’s. YAY!!!!

Sonny Eclipse, recently returned from refurbishment, was still and silent.


Oh well, not like I need extra reasons to go back.

I know I love Sonny Eclipse, but every time I go up to order at Cosmic Ray’s, I look at the basic sandwiches and burgers and wonder why I insist on eating in the place, instead of only peeking in for a song.  Then we get our food, wander over to the massive and diverse fixin's bar and I am reminded. It’s good to have Disney traditions, even when they’re based around me being a nincompoop.

Anabelle and Veronica ordered the special edition burgers that had a Mickey face stamped on them and came with “cheese dust.”  They wisely chose the “dust on the side” version.  It turned out to be pulverized, spicy Fritos. I have a vision of the source of this Cheese Dust being a zaftig version of Tinker Bell with one of those Green Bay Packer Hats on saying, “We’re so happy to be feedin’ ya here at the Magic Kingdom doncha know?”

I used one of my snacks for the “s’more” dessert, possibly due to remembering the freshly made, bigger than my head version that the Prime Time Cafe used to sell when I was a young Disney Guest. Awesome fixin's bar or no, Ray’s is not table service.  The s’more looked like an undersized, inflated pop tart.  However, it tasted- according to Anabelle and Aurora- like “chocolate covered wall.”

Well, they cant be great at everything.

We’d finished eating and couldn't bear watching the two teenaged girls in the booth nearby wasting a day in the Magic Kingdom by texting and napping any longer.  Before travelling, naturally there was a bathroom break. The bathroom hall had all kinds of little lights and mirroring inside and out, adding to the Tomorrowlandyness of the environment. This was counteracted by a pair of old school pay phones on the wall.

Aurora used the shininess to enhance something of her own, beat boxing:
“Wiki wiki wiki wee ba-eeeeen.”
We’re so fun in public.

Note- for some reason, well before this trip the kids started calling their relatives different “beans.” It started with Morgan and Anabelle saying “Big Bean” and “Small Bean” to each other. It didn't take long after that for Veronica and Aurora to become “Jelly Bean” and “Thirteen the Wee Bean.”

I have no idea why.

I have less idea why it always had to be said in an extended southern drawl…”ba-eeeeen.”
‘Cause kids always keep you guessing.

Our restful post dinner attraction was across the land in Walt’s favorite, the Carousel of Progress.

Hey, I always forget every scene is holiday based.

I also never noticed the Lon Chaney Junior Wolfman picture on the wall in the Halloween one where the kid is doing his own werewolf make up.  A rare “hidden Universal” in the Kingdom of the Mouse.

In a nearby shop Anabelle had a valuable learning experience, as her first and last “blind board” pin trade, ending up with “Nerdy Mickey.” A select few Disney people lack Awesome Happiness.

The kids fiddled with the “wet black ball” in the middle of Tomorrowland and became trend setters. No one was anywhere near it before they started playing, and by the time they left there was a horde of less experienced Disney acolytes to keep the thing spinning. We’re not just fun in public, and super Disney nerds, we’re trainers.

The Teacups touch Tomorrowland, and the kids (plus Kim and Dave) ran to touch the Teacups.  Rosa’s injured toes had long passed their dally expiration limit, and she went home to ice them while the rest of us prepared to Magic our Extras.

Following what may have been spinning too much, Anabelle jumped up on a streetlight to sing along with Quasimodo on “Out There” playing during the night show.  Aurora wisely made sure that was shut down before most people could see it.
We’re so fun in public.

I’m not sure what was planned next, because a majority of the group became super excited by our proximity to the Pooh ride and ran to it under the sporadic fireworks light.  The Cast Member did some odd shifting and a broken car had the adults going through first, with all of us staring back at our children standing abandoned on the platform. 

We enjoyed the ride anyway, and then went back to panicking while waiting for them to come out.
Priorities are important.

We moved further into Fantasyland, specifically the circus part. With a cry of “Everyone grab an adult” it was time for the once a trip Dumbo ride.

There was some brief running through the Splash and Soak train station. I heard a guy tell his kid what must be one of the official Disney Mottos, “Don’t tell mommy we did this,” in the soggier portion of the play area.

Anabelle had been carrying a picture of a previous meeting with Mermaid Ariel to get signed during both visits to this park.  The line was either prohibitive or not listed at all on this day. Suddenly, it reappeared with virtually no wait.  Veronica was busy soaking herself and Morgan needed a pit stop, so I ran Anabelle and Aurora down for an awesome under the sea visit and signing.  

Trying to meet up was far more difficult than one would imagine for only two groups in a lower attendance time of day.  Trying to coordinate with Dave when I was in hyper-cross the park mode and he was still one of the less experienced family members may have added to the mistakes. 

Or it could simply be that I confused the statement, “We’re going to Tomorrowland,” with the statement, “We’re in Tomorrowland.”

After a few teacup and stinky lawn mower car passing reversals, we met up in front of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  The line stretched WAAAAY out into Tomorrowland.  This was because of the new Extra Magic policy where they’d allow anyone to hang around and spend money on Disney stuff, but only let Disney hotel guests on the rides.  As we navigated to the end of the line, Grandma kidnapped a child.

Okay, not exactly.  

She mistook a boy for one of our group (I'd guess Veronica based on height and hair length) and put a hand on his shoulder to steer him away from his family and toward the end of the line with us.  We sorted it out quickly enough that it only led to confusion, not a felony arrest.  Then their family ended up on the Buzz line a bit behind us, meaning we’d pass them repeatedly as it wound back and forth, with Grandma apologizing to him and his kin at every pass.

It wasn't as late, or a long a day as our seventeen hour marathon session on the previous trip, though given Grandma’s near snatching, clearly we were tired.  We definitely didn’t plan the sprint around the Kingdom, ride hopping ending that we had last time.

We didn’t plan it, but we did it anyway.

Back in Fantasyland, they tried to squeeze us into a small world boat in the back seats, which are smaller than the other rows. Several of us got out and took the next trip. 

Still- small world!  YAY!

We did plan on a visit to the nearby Fillmore’s Magic, however, the Ariel ride wait took a nosedive, and we knew we’d have to return to the location we were at. We crossed Fantasylands and the same Cast Member who let us into Ariel’s Grotto was there. 

Animatronic Ariel looked like she had as long and tiring day as we did, and was a bit walleyed in the final wedding scene. Creepy, but still finny fun!

We returned to Fillmore’s Magic, and the show broke down as soon as we reached the waiting area. 


Aurora was devastated, and wanted to go on Pirates.  Therefore we did follow the same half park arc from Fantasyland through Liberty Square and across all of Adventureland to reach Pirates of the Caribbean before it closed.


Anabelle rode a special limited version of the attraction. Either that or she conked out and missed most of the middle.  She did trade for a nice Fred Owl pin in the shop afterwards while waiting for a Cast Member to unlock the gate and let us out. Yes, we had made it from pre-rope drop to post Extra Magic closing yet again for a total of fifteen hours of Magic Kingdomness.

We were all too tired and wasted to stop for a celebratory PhotoPass, or even to turn around and look back at the “Kiss Goodnight” playing on the Castle as we left.

All of us, that is, except Veronica who was running on pure rock candy by that point and was scatting at the bus stop after performing an unusual leap/ skip all the way there. The silly twins (Anabelle and Aurora)  returned in force on the bus, including Anabelle telling anyone who would listen that the reason I needed pads in my sneakers was because of “Plant Fishiness” on my feet.  Morgan was reduced to a soulless deep eyed stare for the trip.
We’re so fun when tired in public.

I don't remember making it back to the room, but we must have since we woke up there the next morning.

Estimate, as it overlapped into the next day:
11.8+ miles
28,629 steps 
1 floor

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