Monday, June 15, 2020

Disney 2019 day 6: 23-Aug-2019

Storybook Dining at the Point of the Arteest ala Beast

Tired schmired!  Extra Magic morning hours in the Magic Kingdom here we come!
We made it on time to see the opening show again. Instead of right up front, we were angled to allow appropriate rope drop runs.

"Experience is the best teacher."

Most of the gang went to Space Mountain. Veronica’s clearly subpar clasping Magic Band disconnected midflight, fortunately being recovered. However, overall they had a ride categorized as “more fun than usual.”

Grandma made a bee line for Fantasyland to ride the Carrousel on her own without the disasters of our group trip, and also to get in an extra Peter Pan.  Most of life needs an extra Peter Pan.

Rosa missed Anabelle’s trip to see Ariel on the crazy long day, creating a requirement for the two of us to drop in Under the Sea, for both the grotto and the ride.

After the initial split, we all met up at Peter Pan.  See, most of life does need an extra Peter Pan!

We always make sure to take at least one Extra Magic ride to Neverland with the new line. It’s ridiculous fun and changes regularly. There were new interactive shadows we’d never seen before.
And once again, I failed to photograph them, so enjoy the pre-ride version of the  "crosses."

This was an important trip for Anabelle. After the last time on it she commented that it was odd the Lost Boys didn't appear on the ride. Most of us pointed out they were in Neverland, and a bit of discussion before and after revealed that her complete focus on the mermaids prevented her from looking in the Boys’ direction.

This run became the first time she spotted them. The spotting was assisted by Veronica leaning out of her ship and yelling frantically, “THERE THEY ARE!” back to Anabelle while pointing downwards.

We’re so fun in public.

Just over the land border was the Haunted Mansion. We found the ghostly hitchhiker PhotoPass location this time, as well as the addition of Maximus’s hoof prints in the transition zone between the spooky carriage of the Mansion, and the Rapunzel Potty.

We fragmented a bit en route, and planned on meeting up in the store.  In this case it was too early, and the shop was closed. Any other time we passed the gateway between Fantasyland and Liberty Square, it is safe to assume at least a few of us got lost in Memento Mori, looking at a world of Haunted Mansion swag.

We entered the Mansion (YAY!) and it continued to be awesome.(YAY!) The trend of awesome rides we’ll do over and over again forever continued back in Fantasyland on the small world.  This time, the kids maintained a “broken report” as to which little dollies were not performing as expected.

We may have ridden that one a bit too extensively.

Morgan brought his shirt with the Frenetic Four (or whatever you call the Big Five minus Minnie) on the front and their butts on the back, so he could wear it for Fillmore’s Magic, where you see Donald’s butt at the end of the show.  He wore it the day it broke down and had to make sure he wore it to the attraction.  Disney shirt planning struggles are quite real in our family.

Peter Pan was flitting about along our path through Fantasyland as he left his meeting area near the ride.  We worked our way back into Tomorrowland for the start of Ordinary Time.  Yes, Disney is one of our religions.

Considering he’s right there at the start of both the FastPass and regular line, I should have easily netted multiple photos of the Buzz Lightyear animatronic.  My unsuccessful streak continued as I lined up for a perfect shot when the line had a brief pause, and Grandma walked directly into my arm. 
(Eye Rolling Buzz captured later on.)

The total score of our group continued to drop.  Rosa and Grandma both decided to give up shooting to take in the scenery.  Anabelle and Morgan were shooting, but since they also decided to spin the car the entire time and yell “WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” they didn’t add to the sum either.  

The Space Ranger himself had a short line outside his ride, and we skedaddled over to meet him in the park where he’s real.  Buzz knowing he’s a toy is an example of expertly crafted character development in the films, but Buzz thinking he’s really a Space Ranger is a much greater source of comedy material in both movies and theme parks.

Hey, he’s standing on a video game controller! How about that?!

There was a major cross functional effort for all the needed photo equipment and autograph supplies to make it out of the back packs on time.  The kids had a great meeting, and then I approached in my Buzz Lightyear shirt. Once again, it was a highlight of my trip.

See- Space Ranger meetings are way better than Toy meetings.

He began by getting excited about the shirt and then wanted to push the buttons to see what happened. The handler explained but, as usual, Buzz's mime was spot on.  We goofed around with this for a bit, and then the handler asked about Spanish mode.

Now, after a lifetime of listening to comedy, and eighteen years of marriage to a woman born in Peru, there are a myriad of Spanish punch lines or running gags I could have chosen, such as:

As usual, I blanked in the heat of the moment and when he pushed the button I said, 



Somehow, that was funnier than anything else I could have come up with.  We posed in Spanish (awesome) and then he left me in his place while he wandered off, like he did to Anabelle six years ago.

Leaving that part of the day’s Disney Magic behind us, I filled the water bottles at the newfangled station before leading the troops up the ramp to the People Mover.

Grandma got in one of the best jokes/ references of the trip by stating that traffic cones placed on the seats of out of service cars were “Buzz and Woody sneaking on the ride.”  Awesome! 

The kids rode together, and we could hear them whooping and laughing the whole way through.  Rosa saw someone riding solo with their feet up, and asked if she could do the same.  That worked great for her toes, but since it was last minute, it left me with nowhere to go and in my confusion; I barely squeezed in with the rest of the adults, including Grandma’s knees, my Plant Fishiness and Kim’s…everything.  Our car made a fair amount of “whoop” noises on the ride as well.
On the plus side, we could see the impending TRON-ness!

Continuing my paying more attention to geography on this trip, New Fantasyland was next door to Tomorrowland allowing a relatively short trip to the scheduled lunch at Be Our Guest.

We were delayed by having to order there instead of online.  It wasn’t the ordering itself that caused a delay, but rather the excessively entitled and grouchy woman ahead of us insisting that her party of twenty-one be given the utmost attention and speed through the registration process. Anabelle used the time wisely by trading a Pumba pin for her Andrina. She got the shared magic satisfaction of seeing a very excited little girl grab the Andrina pin before we left the room.  YAY!

One side effect of my menu printing obsession was that all the kids were aware of what Morgan’s choice off the children’s menu was going to be weeks in advance- Feast Ala Beast.

While somewhat disappointing in flavor, the name retained its awesomeness and was used as multiple parts of speech throughout our adventures.  The most common one was a direct expletive, and calling someone a “feast ala beast” remained a common practice well after the end of the trip.  This is what led to each day having an “ala Beast” rhyme, helpfully thought up by Anabelle.

We went for variety this time and sat in the Music Box room.  The need for a large table ended up getting us an obscured view of the giant music box the room was named for. However, we were in a direct visibility line to the painting of Belle and the Beast trying on various FANCY sunhats. According to my daughter this was the far better view, and the FANCY must be stressed…yet again in a southern accent.

Aurora posed Ziggywig for many photos while we were waiting for our magically delivered meals, including peering out of several cups in a devastatingly cute fashion.  Veronica handing someone a knife in a way clearly not approved by the Mouse safety inspectors added an extra thrill to the tasty meal.

After lunch we split up our merry band. Kim took her family for their traditional silhouettes. We made a bee line to Circusland…

OOH LOOK, there’s no wait for the Ariel ride!

Then we made a bee line for Circusland.

Pete’s Silly Sideshow had short waits as well. Anabelle and I took turns being flustered with Donald and Goofy.  On the other side, much fun was had with Daisy and Pluto. Pluto covered Anabelle’s face with his enormous, enthusiastic schnozz. We applauded Daisy’s Daisiness as instructed and were told by the handler, “You can do better.”  

Anabelle picked out a leather bracelet with the Big Five on it in the circus tent gift shop.  The main draw was they could burn her name into it. She never finds stuff with her name on it, especially spelled correctly. Therefore she was devastated when it disappeared shortly after we got home.  We looked everywhere, and figured it got thrown out.  For Christmas I got her a replacement (Because I’m a softie like that.) along with a ornament featuring the year for Rosa (Because we forgot one, and I’m a softie like that.) plus glow in the dark Haunted Mansion singing bust ears that were released after we left for Anabelle. (Because, awesome!) Less than a week after Christmas, when vacuuming under her bed in the same manner I and Rosa had done multiple times, the original band showed up, and now lives in the Disney Drawer.  Disney Magic is a mysterious force.

Anabelle continued enjoying interacting with Cast Members to trade pins, searching for some “keepers” in Fantasyland stores as we targeted our meeting place.  She swapped the Alice dress for Horace Horsecollar in the Fillmore’s Magic store. For some reason she has an attachment to the really old characters.  Being spawned from a crusty old Disney fan had an effect after all.   In the princess store, she traded the nerdy Chip for her favorite Mer-sister- Alana. 

Yes, as noted, she has a favorite Mer-sister. Our Disney addictions are both deep and wide.

We all coalesced together for the Winnie the Pooh FastPass.  YAY!!!!

After that we split again. Rosa continued her determination to never go on any roller coasters and switched her FastPass for Pirates of the Caribbean.  While she was working through the line, Captain Jack popped out of the jail area and scared the heck out of everyone.

She also bought her daughter the Peter Pan and his shadow pin Anabelle looked at in every single store we passed.
(Because she is also a softie like that.)

The rest of us had an entertaining ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. That is, it was entertaining after the initial boarding where Grandma and I had some complex backpack issues trying to get it into the storage location which almost resulted in me taking the ride in a surfing position with one foot on the seat while leaning on my Mom’s head.

We’re so fun in public.

Anabelle showed her Disney past sense tingled appropriately by getting a picture of the witch animatronic from the original Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride at the tail end of the brief pass by the display area.

The Fairy Godmother was spending time in the middle of Fantasyland and we walked over there only to learn that she was shortly going on a coffee break to be replaced by The Stepsisters, who we’d be eating dinner with in a couple of days.  While the rest of us were deciding to meet up with Rosa in Adventureland and take a ride on Pirates, because you can never have too many rides on Pirates, Dave was busy with the handlers nearby.

Due to this we interacted with Cameron, an amazing Cast Member that really personified the magic of Disney.  Dave was talking to Cameron when the switching out was happening, and Aurora was disappointed as she really wanted to meet the Fairy Godmother. After chatting for a bit, Cameron kept asking where we were going next, and I thought he was trying to give us directions. We explained we were meeting my wife at Pirates of the Caribbean, and he almost chanted, “Follow me!” and began escorting us. 

As we were about to cross into Liberty Square, I noticed Grandma was falling behind. We told Cameron that the reason we were there was she brought us for her birthday.  Grandma said she could follow at a distance, but he waited until she reached him, asked if she liked chicken and then said, “Grab a wing” extending his elbow.
Then he walked arm in arm and keeping pace with her, having a conversation the whole way about our stay, and the family in general. He was amazed we were staying eleven days, and Grandma told him walking with a much shorter escort reminded her of traversing the parks with my Dad. 

We didn't have one, but he escorted her (and us) straight to and through the FastPass entrance. His enthusiasm and friendliness ended up as one of her biggest highlights of the entire vacation.  I sent along many thanks to both him and whoever trained him via customer service when we got home and they said they’d be passing it along.  Rosa kept texting me to ask which direction she should be looking, and all I could say was, “I’m pretty sure you’ll see us coming.”

Disney customer service once again surpassed itself making a Pirates of the Caribbean ride even better than usual.

After the ride we encountered Jamie Lee, a woman in costume working for the Pirate League. (That’s a much cooler and better armed version of the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique.) Kim thought she was a mannequin until she said hi to us. I think her scream is still echoing through Adventureland.

Anabelle used this opportunity, and her Disney enhanced interpersonal skills to help out a Duffy collector lady. YAY instant Disney friends!

Outside we got on line for Aladdin and Jasmine right before they were going to come back from a coffee break. Time was filled by Deidre, the Awesome Happy Disney PhotoPass lady who told us many behind the scenes stories, including a hysterical one about endangered Sandhill cranes travelling the monorail tracks like they owned them.

The royal couple came out to much fanfare, and went straight outside the line to pull in and meet with a Make A Wish Kid. We’d seen the same thing happen waiting for Buzz.  Disney is awesome!

We heard people ahead of us on line discussing how Aladdin and Jasmine are like Belle with Gaston.  Sometimes I still need to be physically restrained in Disney World.

The meeting was a hoot and the couple decided Ziggywig was some kind of weird parrot. Due to how well trained (or magnetized) he was, they asked Aurora if he could give lessons to Iago.  When she told him his name, Aladdin said, “Gesundheit.”  And when Anabelle shifted to the back after collecting the autograph books he said, “Don’t treat her like Abu.”
Jasmine was oddly silent for the meeting, which was a large contrast to when we saw this specific Jasmine in the Castle on our last trip.

I don’t think the fact that we regularly recognize face characters means we go too often. It means we’re a comfortable part of the Disney family.

Hey, we’ve got some free time; let’s hit the Tiki Room again. YAAAY!!!!

Hey we got some more free time; let’s hit the Country Bears again! YAAAAAY!

Note- All free time brought to us by the Where Will We Go Next Guy losing the times guide…again.

The deer on the wall had some eye control issue prompting Anabelle to state as we left,
“Max looks high as a kite!”

We’re so fun in public.

Kim likes Frontierland as much as I like Adventureland and her family parked at the shooting gallery for a bit.  The rest of us worked down Main Street to get ready to be unceremoniously thrown out for the Halloween Party.

Anabelle traded for an Eeyore pin, and was thrilled to get a wave from Judy Hopps up on the train station. YAY!  (This marked the only interaction with the "special appearance" characters during our stay.  Alas.)

We hung around watching all the Halloween costumes coming in the main gate (along with the guest's wearing them), while Kim worked on her own awesome aim and training her family in theirs, for a while.

Disney is a lot less strict than they used to be about unceremoniously throwing people out.

Once everyone was together, we hit the boat dock for the Wilderness Lodge and Jeff the boat guy ferried us over. YAY!

Anabelle celebrated her triumphant return after almost ten years to the Bridge of Wahs.  She expected Disney Magic to make her suddenly remember why she named it that. 

Sadly, there are still some limits to Disney Magic.

Yes, we decided not to Monorail around or resort hop to kill time prior to our late Artist Point reservation after all. There was changing, shopping and a bit of looking at the lobby Hidden Mickey list.  The bit was short lived as the Mickeys were hidden all over the entire resort, not just the lobby. Since even the kids approached too tired to move by this point, they rested in chairs instead.  It wasn’t a Mickey, but we did find an enormous dragonfly, near the rest room, on the wall!  Neat!

Grandma bought souvenirs for the kids, because that’s what she does. YAY!  Anabelle was fully into pin trading now, including one of its weirdest parts. Grandma got her a set of Disney snack pins, none of which she wanted to keep, solely for trade. It's a strange system, but if it increased her interpersonal skills, I surely am not going to question it. This purchase was appropriate here as the Awesome Happy Disney guy running the pin trading kiosk next to the historic and oddly named site was our first encounter with the whole pin phenomenon back during the Bridge of Wahs visit.

When all of us reached dangerous fidgeting levels, I went up to the desk for this new and hard to get reservation, and was astounded and thrilled to get seated early.  YAY Disney luck of the draw!

As soon as we were settled in, Dopey came to see us.
He was appropriately, extremely silly. For a change, the character’s silence was a positive in the recreation of the film.

Grumpy followed up, and Anabelle told him that her Dad, “Acts a lot like you sometimes, but we love him anyway.”

Then the “one each for everyone” appetizer tiered trays came out.

I gotta admit, when I saw mushroom soup on the menu, I was less than enthused. However, the whole family thought it was awesome. And that’s not only because of the return of the never-ending southern accented “stringy mushroom” references.

There was also some weird meat and ginger cracker thing that had tasty elements.  The kids (and me) couldn't pronounce Charcuterie Plate, therefore they all called it the “Chugga Chugga Choo Choo Plate,” with appropriate (or inappropriate) train noises.

We’re so fun in public.

The shrimp were massive and in a fantastically seasoned sauce.  YAY!

At this point the drink orders came in, continuing Disney levels of awesome.  Rosa worked out a series of "steal third" like hand signals with the waiter to keep her cranberry juice refills coming. Kim had the transformation potion, which was basically lemonade with a chemistry class mixer that made cool color changes.

I got the Antidote- a fantastic rum concoction with a heck of a kick and a bit of confusion.  
My complaints about alcohol on the meal plan were long gone by this point. 
My bit of confusion came from two sources. 
A) The name- Antidote- had no connotations with it.
B) There was an herb in the drink not identified on the menu.
I asked around and it was identified by Grandma and other more experience chefs at the table. 

It was thyme.

The drink was the antidote.

"Thyme heals all wounds."

I love Disney.

While we were enjoying the appetizers, Anabelle was having a great time making faces at a baby, and keeping it entertained, for about twenty minutes. That runs in the family too.  Her cousins also filled time by noticing when she smiled and her forehead crinkled; she had a Hidden Mickey on her face.  She reacted to this by putting a heart confetti on her nose, to say “I heart Mickey.”

We’re a very Disney family, and so fun in public.

The main course came.

Rosa made a yummy face for the duration of her interaction with the oso bucco pork shank. Most of the rest of the table had amazing prime rib with an equally amazing popover.  Anabelle and I had pork with clams.  On retrospective review it must have been Bashful’s fish of the day- weird choice, but very tasty.

Snow White skipped everywhere she went but continually “pulled a Piglet,” by being distracted before reaching our table.  At one point she almost reached us, and then “Whistle While you Work” played to a huge fanfare. We expected a procession, or some kind of napkin spinning celebration.

No, Snow just frolicked around the room all by herself.  YAY!

Her frolicking was to such a level that I was unable to capture an unblurry picture...alas.

The Queen didn’t come to the tables. She is the Queen after all. Tables were summoned to see her one at a time.

She was freakin’ terrifying. 

Kim had the guts to ask her to send a message one of the kid’s teachers at home who is a huge fan.

I just stared, cowered and burbled a lot.  The Queen did look confused at my Snow White and a Xenomorph shirt, but the handler thought it was hysterical.

Dessert came on the same kind of “one for all” trays as the appetizers. It was up to the standards of the rest of the meal, if not beyond.  Once again Disney provided table conversation you don’t get anywhere else.’
“The hat is delicious!”
“Hey, there’s chocolate rocks in here!”

Snow White finally came, and Veronica was overwhelmed with Snow Whiteness to the point that afterwards, she ran into the “pull” bathroom door and pushed for way longer than it should have taken her to notice after bouncing off of it.  

Grumpy returned, forgetting he'd been to our table already and was...himself I guess, since the kids were more focused on eating dessert than him.  I gave him another hug though. YAY!

For some reason, it seemed to me that taking a bus Downtown, and then home would be shorter than facing the Halloween party crowds. In hindsight, with the awful reviews of the party due to it being overcrowded this year, this was probably the right choice.  However, it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time.

It took a long time to get to Disney Springs. (We believe the new motto is, “Can’t you just smell the snooty?”)
Then it took what felt like a longer time switching from one “Downtown” bus stop to the other.

Veronica passed the time by singing a Bean song. I guess there was leftover Snow White magic there.

We thought we were finally free of it when we reached our hotel and the kids were too tired to be silly.
If you know our kids, that is mind bogglingly tired.

However, Grandma was just tired enough to be silly and launched into another chorus of the bean song as we staggered back to our rooms.

9.3 miles 
20,658 steps 
1 floor

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