Monday, July 13, 2020

Disney 2019 day 10: 27-Aug-2019

Lightning McQueen Policed ala Beast

As the vacation continued we got more tired but to balance that out...
we had more stuff going on. 

While end of the trip shenanigans went on, we picked up our Haunted Mansion delivery package and Anabelle had time to reletter everyone’s family badges before catching the bus to MGM.

Sure, we still made it by rope drop, even with my finger scanning fiasco delays, don’t be silly. Due to Disney’s new “Shop Before Drop” policy though, Rope Drop wasn’t what it used to be.
 We were at the back of the huge mob on Hollywood Boulevard, which included hordes of press getting a StarWarsland sneak peek.  My inability to get through the security scanning gate no matter what I did with my finger didn’t help matters.

Our initial thought of running to the Terror o’ Tower while everyone else stampeded to ToyStoryland didn’t pan out.  Somehow it had an hour long line before anyone was allowed to go down Sunset Boulevard.

I blame the tiered FastPass system.

Instead we started the day in the Star Wars Launch bay with Chewbacca!
Chewie was as awesome as always. I planned to wear my Muppet shirt for the day, and only wear my Wookie shirt when meeting him.  Yes our shirt planning for all ages maintains the insane complexity of costume planning for the little ones, what of it?  However, he was so happy about seeing himself on my outfit, insisting I stand next to him for the pictures, that I decided to wear it all day.  

My authentic ShriIwook growls and howls surprised him, but then he laughed along.  The handler decided that Morgan, in his Darth Vader shirt, must be a spy, undercover on the Dark Side.  (Awesome!) The scanner (auto PhotoPass thingy) didn’t work at first and Chewie applied some percussive maintenance. Of course he pet Ziggywig once we assured him the Porg wasn’t for food.
We’re so fun in public!

Rosa and Grandma weren’t with us the night we saw BB-8, meaning they each needed to see him alone.
Sometimes Disney cuteness is mechanical.

On the way through the exit store, a big guy who also had a Porg got a little too excited and scared Aurora.  
Sometimes Disney Friends aren’t completely instant.

While looking around the Launch Bay shop we saw Doc McStuffins outside in the (Probably Won't Be For much Longer) Animation Courtyard.  Most of the age appropriate kids in our family didn’t care. Anabelle, however, was frighteningly now old enough for Disney nostalgia and ran out to see her excitedly. Veronica came along.  They were the last ones on line, and there were hugs and stickers for everyone as Doc left, even Rosa and me.  Those coffee breaks mean a lot to them, I guess.

Rosa showed us where she found Edna Mode over in Municberg (formerly Pixar Place). It was way cool how they repurposed the old Buzz and Woody area to be Edna’s work shop.
She was crazy amounts of fun, guiding poses and crossing out all the capes in Morgan’s Avengers autograph book. Yay!
Since Incredibles is set in the LeeAndKirbyesque early Sixties, the music in the area was awesome, even by Disney standards.

Rosa wasn’t taking the Slinky Dog ride with us, and switched her FastPass for a return to the Frozen Sing Along. That performance was nice, and both Elsa and the guy historian waved to her, but the historians weren’t nearly as good (read-loopy) as the first run.  The rest of us got on the line to meet Mike and Sully. Since they use the “One Man’s Dream” museum to hold the line, it stretched outside a long way before the doors opened.

I was talking about how well Disney moves people and so were the group from Wimbledon, England behind us. TRANS CONTINENTAL INSTANT DISNEY FRIENDS!!!!  I gave them some of the Disney history in my bucket like head and we talked about feeling seven when we’re there and why that’s just dandy.

As we rounded a corner Anabelle stood next to a blank wall and said, “We’re meeting Randall!”
That’s my girl.
Everyone happily posed with “him.”
We’re so fun in public.

We met Mike and Sully: A giant eyeball and a HUGE blue, fanged and horned carpet with limited control of his massive arms.  They were fun, visually exciting, and marginally terrifying all at once.

Afterwards, in the back of the “Not One Man’s Dream but I still Call it MGM So There” was a display for Jack Kirby’s Eternals, upcoming stars of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film.  They’ve reached the point that they’re making movies about comics that a rabid comic addict like me has never read.  It’s a golden age of wonder I tell ya.

With our Slinky Dog FastPass time approaching, we didn’t want to be late since it was the hardest one to get on this trip.  We reentered ToyStoryland, under perfect Andy’s wallpaper like clouds once more. 
Those Imagineers are good.

Slinky Dog himself read the warnings in English and Spanish. Due to inflection differences, the Jim Varney impression by Farmer Fran from the Waterboy  in Spanish sounded more like Cookie from Atlantis than Slink. 
Anabelle kept yelling, “LETTUCE!!” and frightening the locals.
We’re so fun in public.

The ride was…OK, but definitely not “hardest FastPass in the park to get” level.  It’s an incredibly long coaster, and yet also highly family friendly (translation- S-L-O-W).  The best parts were:
A) At the end where you get to jam to Wheezy singing “You Got a Friend in Me.”
B) The high curves where we could peek into StarWarsland! 
(I may have wept a bit at the sight of the Millennium Falcon.)

Finishing the ride we met Rosa over near the massively guarded by Cast Members entrance to StarWarsland, and Muppetvision 3D!!!!
Veronica and Morgan got an extra thrill:  "The Bunny's name is BA-EEN?!?!?!?!"

Side note- I’ve been hung up on the fact that Muppetvision is the last performances of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt together that I never noticed…
There are no Jerry Nelson Muppets except possibly Camilla the Chicken.  I think that was years before he stopped performing everyone else to save his voice for the Count. Therefore, I have no idea why.
Sometimes, the bucket is bare.

The store with some Muppet theming outside, a few bits inside but should really have way more Muppet stuff was our next destination. That place probably has a shorter official name.  The Cast Member at the desk called Grandma by name (she always forgot it was on her button, helping the magic) and said there was a message for her.  On the phone was Goofy wishing her a Happy Birthday. This display of a common Awesome Happy Disney bit was done with such extreme smoothness and perfection in presentation that we all decided this was the official only time it happened and ignored possible other ones that may have come before.

I found another totally me all over print shirt of smiling Disney attractions.  I didn't figure out its scarcity there until we got home and I realized it was a Disneyland shirt.  It’s far too awesome for that to matter, and I’ve been to California a couple of times anyway…as can be seen in Grandma’s list. See, there are reasons for all these Disney obsessions.

I was also looking at the Haunted Mansion cap with the eye wallpaper on it yet again.  My Pirates hat was starting to fray, there was no good piratical replacement and it did need some relief.  I kept thinking the Mansion hat would be perfect if it glowed in the dark. Luckily this was the store of awesome Cast Members that day. One guy grabbed it when I asked, ran over to a corner and cupped his face over it yelling triumphantly, “YES IT DOES!”

I love Disney people.

To continue the awesome theme, a Cast Member who would be soon departing for Batuu judging by his Hoth hometown on his badge kept trying to use the force when ringing people up.

By this point, we needed lunch.  Reading the menus, and having gone down to Kioskland on Sunset the last day we were in MGM, the Commissary was our choice.  It was also the choice of every living soul in Florida. The lines and mob were insane. We got there in shifts.  Rosa and I hunted for seats while Anabelle went to order, the rest of the gang showed up right after us and got on line. 

Luckily, we were in Disney World and an Awesome Happy Janitor asked if we needed help. We told him there were nine of us and he immediately pushed a couple of tables together. I squatted on those while Rosa sat at a two seat place next to some people who looked like speedy eaters.
Rosa’s hunch payed off and she commandeered the rest of her area. While everyone else was queuing and ordering, Rosa tried using MyDisneyExperience to order online for us.  As our food was ready before any of theirs was it shows online orders were clearly the way to go.  Anabelle returned with her veggie burger and (Awesome Disney) apple juice while I was picking up Rosa’s ribs and my chicken club.  Rosa also tried the specially, fruity, rum filled offering to help with end of trip fatigue.  (We’re all a hundred percent sold on that updated dining plan, let me tell you.)

One of the kids tried the Sorcerers Hat cupcake, which I believe I heard Anabelle call “vile.” Can’t win 'em all I guess.  It was hard to tell exactly as the kids were all in the island of tables I initially was guarding and having far too much fun together to pay any attention to us at all. 

A second Awesome Happy Disney janitor started cleaning as we were finishing, confessing that she cleans tables when she goes out as well.  We were able to pay some Awesome Happiness forward. Exhausted and overwhelmed members of a party of eleven came in as we were finishing up. We helped them stake out our former eating spots to have their group together as well.


Since I blew the early closing the other day at MGM, and it was still nearby, we went back to MuppetVision 3D.  Comfy seats in an air conditioned theater may have been a mistake this late in the trip. 

There was much napping.

Anabelle was awakened by a bubble she thought was a bug.  Sometimes that “4D” movie technology gets expanded by tiredness.  On the way back we passed the last vestige of New York Street. Sadly, “Youse Guys” is no more.

The plan was to catch the center stage Star Wars show. It was a fine plan with only one flaw. I misread the show times when the break was and there was no center stage Star Wars show then.


We took a few PhotoPasses on Main Street Hollywood Boulevard with some dark clouds ominously collecting.  I mentioned to a Cast Member they needed to work on the Disney Weather Control and he assured me the shield generators would be ready for StarWarsland.


We had an Indiana Jones FastPass due, the great guaranteed seats keeping us from rushing to it like we would any other time.  Yeah, that worked too. 

There was enough time for a couple of detours, although the cloudy ominousness continued to increase.

Detour one was longer than it should have been to get PowerAde and Mickey Ice creams at Disney World’s slowest slushy kiosk around Echo Lake.  We also took some quick PhotoPass pictures by the boat there. 
I’m sure it has a name, but if I don’t care, I'm sure no one else does.

We got to Indiana Jones just in time to be shielded from the rain storm, and were once again seated way down front, facing the dead guy. 

The show started on time, with a proper English director.  Though the rain stopped, the wetness meant a much shorter show with no rooftop leap or exploding plane.  They did not tell us this, until the rather abrupt start of the closing music.


Since it cleared up, we went back to Municberg to see what the Super Shindig was we’d seen listed on all the guides. I thought it was a plain meet and greet with the Incredibles.

It was a succession of various street dances and games (Mr. Incredible balloon “weight” bouncing, Elastigirl limbo, Frozone conga) to Grandma’s 50's & 60's rock and roll music. I could see her dancing in the background while the kids (and Kim, cause everyone is a kid in Disney) joined in the fun.

We left a little early to make it to the correct time of the Center Stage Star Wars show.  Actually, we left in bits.  A couple adults went over first while a massive potty break was in session. I stayed behind to direct everyone in little groups to the stage, finally bringing up the rear with Grandma once I was sure everyone made it.

The Mantle of Where Will We Go Next Guy is a serious one.

The show was updated, incorporating scenes and characters from Rogue One and the first two of the sequel trilogy.  It started and ended with the droids, as it should be since they are a constant of the franchise.
The original cast was highlighted on screen as legends, but Rey came out on stage as the hero, as it also should be since the franchise should always be geared to the current kids watching it.  I blew the picture of her (I know, big surprise) but there's a good one from the "parade" later on.

Grandma booed Kylo Ren. 
Out loud.  

She was really upset about him killing Han Solo. I think the only other person she’s ever booed out loud is Scotty Pippen.  These were deep seated feelings.
We’re so fun in public.

Kylo had a bunch of force generated flames with him on stage. When Darth Vader came out I overheard two of the kids in conversation.
“Why doesn’t Vader have flames?”
“He doesn’t need them.”
You have learned well my young Padawan.

High off cheering for the universe I’ve been obsessed with since age seven, (YAAY!) it was time for our Star Tours FastPass.  Rosa can’t do that one and netted a fantastic hundred-and-fifty-one-thousand (a cat) on Toy Story Mania. 

The rest of us went to journey on the Starspeeder 3000. As always, new stuff was seen on the line. I could hang out there forever.  Luggage went by tagged “TK-421” (look it up non Star Wars geeks) with a Stormtrooper helmet showing on the x-ray and the droids freaking out.

When the Cast Member asked who each kid’s favorite characters were, Morgan answered “EVERYONE FROM THE DARK SIDE!”
Though he’s not mine, I feel I should take some pride and embarrassment for that.

Then the Cast Member increased his Awesome Happiness rating immeasurably by making Star Wars number puns for each row.

WE had the same scenes from Last Jedi as our first trip but it didn't matter because ANABELLE WAS THE REBEL SPY!!!!!  The whole row (our family and a few others) cheered wildly, and she yelled, “This is the best day of my life!!!!!”

As soon as we got to Tattooine Traders I asked about buying her the “I was the Rebel Spy” shirt we saw on an older trip.  They were a limited time offer and stopped about seven years ago.

We’ve been Disneying for a very long time, haven’t we?

Kim’s other kids got Porgs.  Veronica’s was named Winnie the Porg, because of course it was, and Morgan named his Jeff.
I was deeply honored.

We collected ourselves together over by center stage. They’d put votes for varied Star Wars things up there, where you could text in to reply. Anabelle voted first for Darth Maul as her favorite Sith (Vader wasn’t a choice) and Aurora helped bolster the score.  There were few enough votes for them to both get to say, “Ooh, that’s me” when it changed. 
Democracy in action.

Rosa saw the Star Wars people leaving behind the stage after the last show, and Kim saw some going in.
Therefore we knew where to hang around to watch the whole parade go by this time.

Grandma went with Kim’s family for their second round of the Frozen Sing Along.  Anabelle didn't care enough to see it twice and went shopping with Rosa.

I stayed and watched the Star Wars show again. Without the need to photograph it this time, I could happily enjoy it, cheer constantly and Wookie howl.

I watched the leaving parade before finding my family and noticed something. The droids are the only ones that don’t enter or leave the area.  I figured BB-8 and R2 are plugged in below the stage somewhere but I feel bad for the person in the C-3PO costume who has to live down there. Either that or the free standing Animatronics technology has leapt ahead light years.

Rosa wanted to buy a bag she saw at a stand just outside the main gate. I stayed by the in park stores with Anabelle.  Then Rosa remembered I had the credit card we needed for the discount and I ran out to find she was buying a different bag than she originally said.

It should be clear now why I watched the Star Wars show while they went shopping.

On the good side, my finger and band which were a complete disaster in the morning let me right back in.

All of us were working our way down Sunset Boulevard, and all took PhotoPass pictures before meeting up without seeing each other on the way. 
Disney Magic!

We had wanted to see the Lightning McQueen show again all day, but also didn't want to do a double run across the whole park to do it, since it never has a line.

Finally we all went in, ready to enjoy the phenomenally fun and funny show.

There was a bit of smoke in front of Lightning’s tire that I didn't remember. Suddenly, he went away, the doors opened and they asked us to leave the attraction. We were ready to get on line again, but they asked us to leave the Cars area. Then they asked us to leave the entire courtyard with the Rock n' Roller coaster evacuating too and we thought we heard a siren in the distance.

I have no idea what happened.  Riding the Terror O Tower was out since everyone else evacuated right into it.  Most of us were not really ready to have the last night in a park end like that.  

We split into three groups.

Morgan and Grandma were, in fact, tired enough to be ready to end their last night in the park like that and went to the hotel.  The rest of us were about to do the first McGinley Park Hops in eleven years.

In keeping with previous McGinley park hopping tradition, the key reason was dinner in World Showcase.

Kim and Dave took their girls shopping and went over before us. It turned out they hit the same attractions we did, (Big Ball, Imagination, and Soarin’) but at different times and orders.

We had some confusing issues to deal with first.

I had stayed behind in the kiosk meeting place to tell everyone what options were between MGM night shows and EPCOT having Extra Magic Hours.  My family went off to shop because Anabelle wanted to make build-a-droids. (That would be the old 3.75 inch action figure size, not the StarWarsland electronic, need a second mortgage size.)

I accidentally went the wrong way (it’s dangerous to leave the Where Will We Go Next Guy alone) and circumnavigated Echo Lake to get to Tattooine Traders.  Sadly, they were shopping in the Launch Bay gift shop.  I crossed the park to meet them there in time for Rosa to go see Kylo Ren, since she missed our meeting. She was afraid to go alone as he is larger and scarier that her husband.  I was fried from running around like a Tauntaun with his head cut off and forgot I left my Chewbacca shirt on.  The Supreme Leader was not impressed with my wardrobe.  He didn’t want to let me in at first. I tried miming my pirate had showed I was on the Dark Side, but I am not as good a mime as a millionaire anthropomorphic duck.   It was a pretty tense character meet and greet overall.

Anabelle went in for another BB-8 hug. He’s a much more huggable sphere than wandering eyeball Mike Wazowski.

Then we got to the gift shop. With all that cool Star Wars stuff, reaching intended destinations is tough. I can’t imagine what navigating Batuu through tears of joy will be like.  They increased the droid building area. Alas it was at the expense of the life size Vader figure.  More weeping.

As we were checking out I tried and failed to make an impulse purchase.  I liked the “My other vehicle is a TIE fighter” car magnet, but was told it still had to be ordered and printed through the customizer, even though it was not custom.  The Where Will We Go Next Guy is not allowed to do anything without planning in Disney World.

Anabelle made two figures, a protocol droid: P-3RL (Pearl) and an R2 unit: HU*B3R7 (Hubert, his sorcerer Mickey hat makes him “Hidden Undercover”).  This would lead to the Saga of the Leg when we returned home.  

She discovered P-3RL had two left legs.  Because of general Disney Awesomeness, I told her to contact the Disney Park Shopping folks and try to remedy it.  They told her to send a picture of the receipt…the day after we shredded all the Disney receipts.  Fortunately awesomeness prevailed, and they said she could send a picture of the figure, since they are only available in the parks.  She did, and in a couple short weeks an oversized box arrived holding one excessively well packed protocol droid limb. 

It was another left leg. 

We researched returns and under reason she pointed out she asked for a RIGHT leg and received another LEFT leg and could they please send the proper RIGHT leg. A couple more weeks later and with much celebration and fanfare in our home the RIGHT leg arrived.

On the way out, she traded Alan A Dale (exciting but ugly) for a Mayor Bellwether pin. (A semi keeper, it came home but will be first to go on the next trip.) 

About all this pin trading detailing: Since her first trip when she was two, the whole point of my Disney Stories is to give my daughter documentation of her vacations. The fact that it ends up funny and entertaining for anyone else is a pleasant side effect.

Speaking of trading… I traded my sopping with sweat Chewbacca shirt for my Electric Mayhem Muppet shirt still in the backpack to get a little freshness before an extended continuation of the day. Since that shirt had served as an EPCOT selection in the years before the Three Caballeros line up on the shirt grid, it seemed appropriate.

We executed our first hop in ages.  Due to the heavy refurbishments to the entrance, our first thought was, “They moved EPCOT?”  The finger scan thing worked eventually and we entered the park a bit before Extra Magic kicked in.

Articles had been published while we were on the trip stating that Spaceship Earth would be renovated as part of nuEPCOT. That was one of the main reasons we hopped, honestly.  We started with one final visit to the last bastion of original Future World before we couldn’t anymore.  Alas.

Hey, the cave painting moved!  I think the lighting was messed up on all the previous rides on this trip.  We could see the caveman animatronic scenes much more clearly, as well as the outlines of the outside big ball surface triangles in the Space section.  The narration conked out a bit allowing us to hear the audio of most of the displays much more clearly than usual. It’s like two rides in one!  

It finished and we bid goodbye to the huge collection of non-cheating, full motion animatronics.  With the shutting down of the Great Movie Ride, here’s hoping they don’t change too much in there.

We managed to grab a FastPass for Soarin’ as we were in proto-hop, location choosing mode, and were in that window after leaving Spaceship Earth.  Not only were we FastPassed, but our smaller group of three got us pulled ahead of some larger groups on line to fill in space. YAAAAY!!!

I never looked straight down on that ride before. It’s a cool effect!  This journey transitioned us into true Extra Magic Hours as the filmed fireworks over EPCOT went off in time with the real ones outside as we finished our flight!  Disn-chronicity!

While Rosa and Anabelle took a break after flying, I bought a Chip and Dale plush to thank them for helping with the planning and such.  We crossed the bridge to World Showcase and embarked on the first ever Night EPCOT Death March I’d ever done. YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

It was a fantastic feeling, with all the plans and schedules done, to wander through one of my “Truly just BE in Disney” places.  We took selfies in each country, but other than that, roamed freely.

There was a slight issue that I passed Crazy Hungry somewhere around entering the Big Ball. However, due to the overall atmosphere and location, it was much more of an unbridled goofball version than the RAVING LUNATIC type.
I was so fun in public.

None of the ample food selections were triggering my interest, and I maintained my loopyness.  Anabelle definitely wanted sushi, as did the other night Death Marching portion of the family who we met in there.
We ordered her's to go and she told them, “We need to keep going and feed Daddy before he hurts himself.”  Then we all waved as we left Japan.

Based on past history, it seemed correct and historically accurate to park hop and eat Chinese Food in EPCOT.  I ordered the Orange Chicken Grandma raves about and was not disappointed. There was one minor low note, though.  I thought I was going to find out what the “Foo Beer” I joked about on the menu list was, or possibly be more adventurous and try a Foo Beer Cocktail.  Sadly, the Foo-ing dispenser was broken. Alas. 

Instead I tried Jasmine Beer which was very nice and a highly unusual new flavor. Coupled with a return to an old favorite it was a nice farewell meal to World Showcase.  After eating I ran backwards a bit because of the announcement that they were opening the drawbridge at the Outpost to let the Illuminations floats out of World Showcase lagoon. As I had no idea it was a drawbridge, seeing it open was a cool bonus.

Next door in Norway, with almost no crowds anywhere, the Frozen ride added itself to the list of broken attractions we dealt with this day. 
Alas, again.

Instead we went to our usual favorite Death March counter service place in Mexico to allow Rosa to get some churros.  Every other restaurant was a ghost town, but this place was packed. I guess we have good taste after all.  Following some cinnamonny deliciousness, we rode the Three Caballeros ride again.  

We left the Death March loop one final time, stopping to dip our hats and fingers in the bridge laminar flow fountain as a cooling parting gift. 
We did a crossing exit into Future World to get one last ride with Figment.


In the Imageworks we did some quick conducting for Dad and I loped through the sound effects once as they were throwing us out, to bid it farewell.

I waved to the pretty floor lights and the fish building, but my family kept pointing out that the Cast Members were getting adamant about people leaving.  I tried to check again and confirmed that our old sitting PhotoPass spot was gone. 

Fixing crazy hungry didn’t completely cure my loopyness and I was still quite wobbly as we left.

I shared an exhausted expression with a stranger on the bus who might have been an Instant Disney Friend if either of us had the strength to converse.  I barely was able to stand on the ride to let some older folks and kids sit, he said he didn’t think he could, but I'm pretty sure he did as well.

Back at the All Star Sports we learned the daily little washcloth sculptures that showed up on other trips were replaced with bigger fancy ones at the end of the stay.  We got a swan in the bathroom, and fancy shell folded towels with an impressive multiple washcloth elephant standing proudly on the bed.  They were larger and more complex than the old ones, but much less stable.  The other rooms had similar surprises.

The checkout packet was signed my Minnie, which softened the blow a tad…

a very small tad.

After accidentally tearing Rosa’s family button off the backpack at the height of my loopyness, I got her a replacement at the front desk when I went on the final mug run of the trip.


I asked a Cast Member for hot chocolate packets to make Anabelle’s concoction, and he patiently showed me how to push the button and get it out of the machine that was finally fixed.

We all washed up and packed for leaving. 


10.8 miles 
25,842 steps 
1 floor

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Dina Roberts said...

Poetic ending with the hot chocolate!

I'm with you on hoping they don't change Spaceship Earth too much.

Jeff McGinley said...

Thank you. Shows they're always fixing stuff. The shut down got the refurbishment delayed so here's hoping it stays closer to its original form.

Thanx again for reading