Monday, June 8, 2020

Disney 2019 day 5: 22-Aug-2019

Ziggywig’s Happiness Ceased ala Beast

At some point we transitioned from meeting outside the room an hour before the park opened to meeting at the bus stop an hour before.  This barely mattered since our rooms were next to each other.  It also barely mattered because despite chaos and disorder involved in getting everyone together and transported, we made rope drop every day.

At the bus stop, an Awesome Happy pin trader and Instant Disney Friend gave Anabelle and extra Duffy in a Peter Pan hat she had. NEAT!  (And YAY!)

Making it to MGM before it opened wasn’t the problem. Being mashed in with the horde of humanity on Hollywood Boulevard was, since MGM did the same “shop on Main Street before opening” allowance that the Magic Kingdom did.  Most guest's didn't give a non-anthropomorphic mouse turd about shopping, they were queuing to get into the then newest land in the park.

Almost the ENTIRE HORDE made a bee line for ToyStoryland, under perfect Andy’s wallpaper like clouds. (In later pictures...honest.) YAY!  
Even within those masses, the feeling of shrinking to the size of a toy was impressive as we entered the area. Most of the horde I wasn't related to went to the Slinky Dog Dash line, which stretched all the way out of the land, and was controlled by Awesome, Happy (but strict) Disney Cast Members with signs.

We made a bee line for the only meeting in the World for Woody and Bo Peep, and were only about a dozen people behind the start of that line.  (Nice predictions of rope drop crowd movement Mr. Where Will We Go Next Guy!) Woody was a bit on the controlled side.  The total lack of shade anywhere in Andy’s backyard may have been the reason for that. Bo’s enthusiastic approach to life made up for it, though.  Uncle Dave visibly increased the reactions by greeting her with, “Hi, Jessie!”

He tries to be so fun in public, he really does.

They were fans of Anabelle’s pins only pouting a little when their “Where’s me” was answered by Anabelle saying, “I can’t find one.” They also loved Morgan’s Buzz ears.  I was saving my Buzz shirt for meeting the man himself.  Priorities, people, priorities.

Next we went deeper into the land for an other “only" meeting in this park, Jessie.  The trend of frequent coffee breaks in the sun drenched area continued. We made it to our session just before one. YAY!

The need for using the awesomely themed Scrabble and Cooties rest room (and following the Green Army Men pseudo parade and Sarge Says show) drew us deeper into the land. 
Although being distracted by the giant sized Buzz Lightyear statue may have contributed to us ending up next to Alien Swirling Saucers.  The wait time was fairly low when we started in its direction, increasing to thirty-five minutes once we had all gotten stabilized and rest roomed. 

No one expressed interest in riding “teacups towed by claw aliens” when I brought it up in planning, and I figured the increased wait time would reinforce that decision.

The next thing I know, I’m on line for the Alien Swirling Saucers…

Luckily, Disney is fantastic at over stating wait times, and we got on much quicker than posted.  The towing aspect added some surprise motions to the paths and the kids all had a fantastic time.  The techno-pop version of Jessie’s heart rending “When She Loved Me” was a bit odd however.

Rosa neither spins, nor gets slammed from side to side, so she wandered off to shop and also continue her streak of meandering into hidden Chip and Dale meetings that no one else can find.  Additionally she found Edna Mode before she met up with the rest of us at the only intricately planned (and sadly only semi-successful) split FastPass of the trip.

The high level Thrill Riders went to the Rock n Roller Coaster, while the more sedate group lined up at the entrance to the Beauty and the Beast FastPass entrance across Sunset Boulevard.

In theory we would have gotten there early in the window, and zipped through the FastPass line to the coaster. Meanwhile, they would have been admitted to sit in the shade while awaiting the show and we’d pop in the back of the auditorium at the start of Beauty and the Beast.

Theories are not our friends.

Park crowds slowed us down to begin with, and due to the FastPass tier system packing certain attractions, there was a significant wait on the “zipped through” FastPass line, minimizing the zippiness.  Simultaneously, across Sunset, there were technical issues with the Beauty and the Beast show. 

Given the nature of that show, “technical issues” narrows down to the sound system, or Cogsworth got his head stuck on and passed out from the heat.

They did let them in eventually, and we were only a couple of rows behind most of our family after the multiple delays on both sides.  Rosa was sitting closer up, since her secret passage by Chip and Dale was far shorter than the rest of the gang's route.

There was a fair amount of happy screaming on the Rock n Roller.  I remember being able to see more, though.  Anabelle commented that she would have liked to see anything, but Veronica loved it.  I don’t know if my first memory was improved by the novelty of the Magnetic Levitation Man launch power, or there really were reduced visual cues this time around that took away from the experience. 

I know that if it’s going to live on the same top FastPass tier as the Terror o’ Tower, we ain’t goin’ on it again.

Luckily, the awesomeness of the Beauty and the Beast show remained.  Gaston was far sillier than usual, adding an interesting twist. Anabelle gave me tissues when the Beast says, “You came back,” because I am pathetic, and the smart-ass genes run strong in my family.

As always, I peeked at the hand prints on the way out. I never noticed Tim Conway had an extra finger. He was awesome. Thanks for pointing that out, Kim.

Re-assembled, we went back down into the little alcove area that used to only have the Rock n Roller coaster.  The occasionally occupied dance party building had been turned into a full time Lightning McQueen attraction!

Outside was DJ (the car), to continue the occasional dance party tradition, and Cruz Ramirez, to continue giving us additional reasons to take more PhotoPass pictures tradition.

The show was fantastically funny and a cool combination of technologies.  Lightning himself was a high end animatronic with projections, the “simulator” he shared with us worked like an almost 360° theater. The combination put us in the action, and the script and cast put us in hysterics.

All the kids (of all ages) said we must see this show again.  And in theory, we would have. 

Theories continued to not be our friends.

It’s not an MGM day without a park crossing for a FastPass. This time it was for Toy Story Mania.  Uncle Jesse definitely made this ride too well. Adding two extra tracks didn't take it too far off the “longest line in the park” spot.  We were a family of Beavers as far as scoring went for the three of us.  Grandma, as usual with these, just watched and enjoyed seeing her family interact with Disneyness, which is why she brings us with her.  YAY!

Exiting the wall paper clouded ToyStoryLand (see?) we reached the Sci Fi a little early for our lunch reservation and decided to round the corner for the short line to meet Olaf. 

Then there was a bathroom break, along with some other stuff, and the line length went up.

We reached the Sci Fi a little less early for our lunch but checked in anyway.  During the transitions, Anabelle traded her Nerdy Mickey pin for the little mushroom from Fantasia. That one went straight into the keeper bin.

The popcorn they handed out in the check in area was thematically correct and a nifty appetizer.

YAAAY! The Sci FI!!!!!  I missed this place oodles! We were seated in two cars next to each other and began taking in the glorious insanity of old science fiction.

Rosa happily jumped on the “Alcohol on the dining plan” bandwagon when she found out they could make Pina Coladas. (Yes, I know there should be a tilde over the 'n'  blogger updated again and I can't find anything, as I have moved past "crusty old and traditional Disney guest" and reached plain "crusty old man.")  

Anabelle meanwhile, started to learn the value of going with her original instincts when a last minute shift to the wheat pasta dish made her sad.  She was able to steal some awesomeness from my barbecue combo platter. While nowhere near the alpaca filled goodness of the Andes mountains one, it was quite tasty and lacked any rodents.  
My vegan shake for dessert led to severe finger itchiness. In theory this would help figure out what I was allergic to. 

We were pretty consistent when it came to theories this day.

Following lunch, we retraced our steps, the short posted wait time returned and there were a large number of warm hugs with Olaf, YAY!!!!

Then, right next to us, there was a short wait posted for Star Tours. YAY!  

I think they add more and funnier gags to the line every time we go.  The Last Jedi inspired journey started with an escape to Jakku, with a message from Maz Kanata leading us to the red dust filled battle of Krait before ending at Batuu!  YAY!

I wonder how long before they move the entrance to this attraction to StarWarsLand like they did with Toy Story Mania?

THat is they moved the Toy Story Mania entrance to ToyStoryLand...not StarWarsLand.  Keep up, people.

On the way out, in the always tempting Tattooine Traders gift shop, I grabbed a “work shirt” covered with Star Wars ships. (I have a “work shirt” reputation to uphold.) Aurora picked up a magnetic Porg. It was named Ziggywig, for reasons which are unlikely to ever be made clear, and lived on her shoulder for a majority of the remainder of the trip.

We were using Commissary Lane to begin a leisurely crossing of the park this time.  The sign for Mickey and Minnie’s Red Carpet Dreams was dramatically lower than usual. Anabelle and I had recently discussed being bummed at how the new set-up kept us from seeing Sorcerer Mickey for an extended stretch. 

The Disney sign people did some unusual reverse lying.  The wait was much longer than posted.  Part of the problem came from one family entering the room and the line not moving at all for a painful chunk of time. I think they were trying to sell Mickey insurance.

They jacked the wait time notification up significantly while we were in the barren courtyard of despair, but luckily went back to overestimating.  Grandma used the delay to her advantage and go recharge on a bench for a bit.  

The interactions were the full levels of awesome that meeting the Lead Mice of the Kingdom in their super special outfits should be.

Continuing our delayed by awesomeness cross, Vampirina was spotted in the animation courtyard.  There is a strong link to this character with the kids, and not with the ones of the ages one might expect.  However, they all like her.  Morgan starting singing the theme song as they approached the head of the line, and the handler joined in. Veronica rocked out to the music to join in the fun.  Aurora dropped her pre-teen shield momentarily to show enthusiasm, and Anabelle gave up caring about what age she really was and happily posed for a solo picture.
We’re so fun in public.

Placing our gang in an open area with sales booths, rest rooms and penny machines is an open invitation to mass futzing about. And futz we did.

Morgan added to his penny collection, Anabelle traded her Fred Owl pin for Andrina. (That would be another of Ariel’s sisters for the non-Disney person reading this.  If you are a non-Disney person reading this...seriously, how do you have any idea what I’m talking about?) 
Just about everyone ran for the can.

Post futzing, it was Terror o’ Tower FastPass time.  Rosa reversed course for early entrance into the Frozen Singalong and the rest of us used our FastPass to enter…

The Twilight Zone…


Someday that bit will get old.

This is not that day.


There was far more happy screaming than on the coaster, mostly by the girls and Grandma bonding again.  Morgan graduated into tolerating the ride, and Veronica graduated to “I love it and need a shiny hat” status.  While the hatting was completing, Anabelle traded her “Nerdy Dale” for Bailey from Finding Dory.


By the big street doors at the Terror o' Tower exit, a rare Wild Poppins was sighted.  We had an impromptu Jolly Holiday with Mary.  Well, technically we had an impromptu chat that my Bow TIE Fighter tuxedo shirt looked like an odd penguin with Mary, but I don’t think that song made the final cut.

Speaking of songs, he said transitioning seamlessly; it was time to experience the Frozen Sing Along.

The show has a basic concept: Arendelle historians telling the story of Frozen.  It is inter-cut with musical clips from the film that the audience sings along to.  Because it is Disney World, Kristoff, Ana, Olaf and Elsa show up at various appropriate times.

However, the best part of the show comes from pure, concentrated Awesome Happy Disneyness. 

The historians are completely insane- entertaining, enthusiastic and one hundred percent totally loopy.

Also, there is real snow…inside, because that’s how awesome Disney is.

The kids all sang “Let It Bean” when they sang along to "Let It Go," because we’re so fun in public.

The show finished and I guided everyone over to Muppet Vision 3D, for I love it so.

Then I guided everyone away from Muppet Vision 3D because I never remember that it closes well before the rest of the park.


Hunger loomed, which can be dangerous when I’m involved. Fortunately, passing in front of the Chinese Theater we discovered the secret churro cart of MGM.  It also sold Mickey Pretzels, and Dave grabbed a rare out of Animal Kingdom Safari Ale. 
Frankly, it's a miracle we didn’t move in next to the cart.

Having enough fuel to finish crossing the park to have dinner in the Sunset Boulevard Kiosk Farm…


We finished crossing the park to have dinner in the Sunset Boulevard Kiosk Farm.

We had a pretzels and churros party, because you CAN have dessert first to avoid Crazy Hungry in Disney World.  Fairfax Faire added empañadas, (found the tilde!  I'm not as crusty as I thought!) pulled pork and seven layer rice bowls making the party festive indeed.  The small, over-iced and fragile cup based rum and coke I ordered did not add to the festiveness.  Even Where Will We Go Next Guys have to learn things as systems change- 
things such as “awesome mixed drinks are for table service only.”

Kim and Dave took Morgan to see the Little Mermaid Show, as he was the only family member who had not been emotionally scarred by the giant Ursula puppet surrounded by laser effects at a young age.

Anabelle traded an extra Belle pin, of only her face, for an Alice dress one.  Rosa went home to ice her toes. Grandma went home...probably in search of a moment's piece and quiet away from her lunatic family and to rest up for Extra Magicing.  They both did some shopping on the way, because it's Disney and there's a law requiring that.

The rest of us met up at the Star Wars Launch bay.  It was far too late to use the secret Disney Visa card meeting, but Kylo Ren’s tiny line meant we could see him anyway.  He was huge and imposing.  My imperial tuxedo shirt earned a compliment. As he glared over the group he fixated on Aurora’s Porg, until he flicked it off of her shoulder onto the floor.
It was done suddenly and out of nowhere, leading to all the kids into screaming incoherently at once before coalescing into cries of, “You killed Ziggywig!!!!”

Kylo’s friend who let us in to see him was excessively peppy. I think we discovered who it is on the Dark Side that makes the cookies.

When it was time to go see BB-8 in a nearby area, the Rebel   Resistance themed handler wanted to first make sure we weren’t aligned with the Dark Side. Given mine, and a few other family members’ shirts and attitudes, the best we could muster was, “eeeeeh.”

As usual, there was a store on the way out.

As not usual, the store had a life size Kenner Darth Vader Action Figure.
That is all.

No one really wanted to see the less than Castle level projection show, and with the Star Wars one running after park closing, a rare showing of sense the night before an Early Extra Magic targeted us on our hotel rooms. (Or "home" as we awesomely call them there.)

Anabelle swapped her Duffy pin for one with a Mad Hatter hat on the way out of the Launch Bay.

When we approached the hotel, the bus lights came up and Morgan started singing “Illumination” to the tune of "Imaaaaaaaaa-gination!" Then he broke into the “McMuffin” song, created on the spot. It was his turn to scat on the bus. 
We’re so fun in public.

We found a Hidden Mickey not in any guide book!

It was strategically placed bird poop on the walkway back at the All Star Sports.

At the room we learned Anabelle bought us presents this day. A Chip and Dale pin for Mami, and a “Best Dad” Goofy pin for me. What a sweetie!!!

I ended up making multiple runs to the food court, and stopping to give Hot Chocolate creation lessons to others being faced with the broken machines.  A Disney Trainer in Action!

Since I hadn’t had one yet, I picked up a Mickey ice cream because…Disney.

Since I was completely dehydrated to the point I was sweating dust, I picked up a PowerAde as well.
(Or more simply, because…Disney.)

10 miles
20,211 steps 
1 floor

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