Monday December 15th, 2008

Monday was the last day of official RADP meets, and we had to get an early start since we didn't want to miss the Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror meet just after park opening. I showered, and ate my last bagel for breakfast (which by now was almost rock hard, but still tasty). We drove over to the Studios, and right after we parked, we ran into Amanda, Brian, Sean, Pam and our new friend Steve in the parking lot! We'd all parked within just a few cars of each other, which was funny considering hown many hundreds of cars were in the lot. Steve also said that he'd had so much fun hanging out with us the day before that he told work he was sick so he could hang out again today! haha

We all walked up to the gate together, and got a nice "Look at us! We're early!" photo at the front gate hehe.

As soon as the gates opened, we went inside and headed directly for Toy Story Mania to pick up our Fastpasses. Along the way, we passed a shop and I heard someone yell my name. I paused to figure out where it came from when the person yelled my name again, and I spotted Jack M. inside a gift shop nearby. He frantically asked me if I would grab a Fastpass for him, so I took his pass and quickly caught back up with the group. When we got to the ride, we all got in different lines, but somehow my line moved way faster than everyone else's, so they all handed their passes to me and I got all the Fastpasses for the group. Afterwards, a couple of people said that they wanted to grab breakfast at Starring Rolls, so that was our next stop. I didn't get anything since I'd already eaten, but everyone else got cinnamon rolls or other such sweet treats. When everyone was done, it was time for the Rock N Roller Coaster meet, so we all went over there to meet up with the group.

When we arrived at Rock N Roller Coaster, there was a small group of people already assembled, so we joined the fun and waited for everyone else. After a while, we decided that everyone who was coming was probably already there, we decided to have our annual meet photo taken. The Photopass girl had her hands full with us since there were so many of us, and so many cameras to be used!

But she got a great shot. She also had some issues with her photopass machine timing out, so that photo only got onto a couple of people's Photopass cards. I didn't care since I had my own copy with my camera, but some people did have to make special trips to camera centers to have the photo added later. Afterwards, we got into the standby line for the ride since everyone already had an outstanding Fastpass, but the wait wasn't more than about 15 minutes or so.

Kevin had fun "launching Leonard" onto people, and soon we were approaching the preshow room.


The marble molester of the year...Leonard!

After the preshow was done, the doors opened, but the line was backed all the way up, so we weren't able to leave the room. We were goofing around, dancing, taking photos of the preshow room and everything, then the CM turned the music off, which garnered a nice boo from all of us haha. After a few more minutes, we made our way up to the loading area. Again, the group was so big that part of us had to go on one train, while the rest of us went on the next train. The ride was nice, and seemed to be less jerky than when I rode it last year.

After the ride, we discovered that the people who had ridden in the train ahead of the main group had some kind of malfunction and didn't get to hear the music. Don said that they pulled around to the launch area, the screen counted down, but the train didn't launch. Then the music for the whole ride played while they were sitting in the launch area. Finally, without warning, the train launched and went through the whole ride with no music! Don said it was frustrating because he didn't get a chance to coordinate his breathing so the launch wouldn't take his breath away! So once everyone from the second train got back outside, we waited for the first group to get their second ride.

Once everyone was outside, the group decided to go over to Tower of Terror. I still don't ride this ride, despite everyone trying to get me to ride every year! I hate hate hate this ride. But I went inside with everyone (well, everyone except Jaycie, who they wouldn't even let go through the queue and use the chicken exit). There was basically no wait, so we were into the preshow as quickly as we walked up to it. And inside the boiler room queue, I bet we didn't wait through two elevators full of people before it was our group's turn to ride.

I took my annual "Everyone riding Tower of Terror except me" photo inside the elevator, then rode the chicken elevator down to the exit area.

Once the ride was over, the group seemed to immediately go in a million different directions, so I stuck with my new buddy Steve. We went over to Rock N Roller Coaster but didn't find anyone there, so we went back over to Tower. We found Sean and Pam, then Kevin and Laura, so we all decided to try and round the group back up so we could go get our photo with Mickey done. We went back out to the fountain near the tip board, where Pam waited in line at guest relations to reconfirm her lunch ADR time. While she was there, she struck up a conversation with the CM at the window, and somehow the CM said that she read Laura's blog.

So Pam said something like "Oh, Laura's right here" and pulled Laura over to meet the lady at the window. It was funny how something like that can randomly come up in a conversation, and it really reminds me of just how "internet famous" some of my friends really are!

Kevin managed to get in touch with Tracy and Jack, and we somehow got in touch with Jack M. too, so everyone decided to meet up at the animation building for our photo. We tried calling a few other people, but no one else was able to make it, so the nine of us decided to go in and get the photo with just us. Inside, they also had some characters from Bolt, which I had never seen so I didn't know who they were. The line to meet Mickey wasn't all that long, so we waited, figuring that we wouldn't have any other time to have it done! When it was our turn, we handed over all the cameras to the CM with Mickey, posed, and made it 4 for 4 with getting Mickey photos in the parks!

I really, really love the way that all the photos came out. I wish some of them had had more people in them, but I love them regardless.

When we were done, we wandered around inside the animation store for a long time, at which point Sean, Pam, Jack M., Laura and Steve all left and went over to 50s Prime Time for their lunch reservation. Kevin, Tracy, Jack and I hung around a little longer, but since none of us were making extremely high dollar artwork purchases, we left after a few more minutes.

We walked in the general direction of Mama Melrose's, which was where we were all having lunch in just a little while. Along the way, we saw that Toy Story Mania still had Fastpasses available, so we all stopped and got one so we could ride a second time later after the meet. Since we still had a few minutes to kill before lunchtime, we decided to ride Star Tours. The wait was posted at 20 minutes, but there was no wait in the queue at all. I really hope that all the rumors of an update for this ride are true, as it is getting a little stale after so long!

When our ride was done, it was just about time for lunch, so we all went over to Mama Melrose's.


Brian, Don and Big Brian wait patiently for their Mama Melrose's lunch

Most of the group was there already, with the exception of Donna and Andrea. Kevin stepped outside to call them but couldn't reach either of them. When it was time to be seated, we decided to go ahead and sit down without them, assuming that they could join the table later if they arrived a little late.

I had never eaten at Mama Melrose's before, so I was excited to get a chance to try something new at the Studios. A lot of people started off with a breads and spreads platter, but I opted for the bruschetta, which was little diced chunks of tomato on top of garlic bread. For my entree, I got a chicken flatbread which tasted very good. Lots of people got different stuff, all of which looked and smelled great. Our server was very friendly and very prompt with everything we needed, which isn't always the case when you have a large group in a sit down restaurant like that.

Time was ticking, and it was getting closer and closer to the time for the Great Movie Ride meet, which was the only meet of the year that I was hosting. While everyone else was ordering their dessert, I popped out and went over to Great Movie Ride to meet up with everyone else who was not at the Mama Melrose's lunch. When I arrived, most of the 50's Prime Time people were already there as well as a few other Mousefesters who were there just because. We all hung around chatting, and after a while, a few of the Mama Melrose's people started trickling over to the meet. It took quite a while for everyone to arrive, and by the time the last stragglers arrived, it was about half an hour past the meet's original start time.


Clash of the dino guys outside of Great Movie Ride!

Since we were running so late, Kevin offered to skip this meet and head on over to the Betty White bust so he wouldn't be late for the Betty White Bash at 3:00.

With everyone there, we quickly assembled and had the greeting CM take our group photo, then I led the charge inside the building. Once we got into the big room with the movie screen, we started hand slapping over the railings, but I could barely reach anyone! So I declared that I was too short to host this meet again! haha We had a little bit of a wait, but it could have been worse. Our tour guide was really thrown off by us since we were all so enthusiastic and happy to be there, and she kept forgetting her lines through important parts of the ride! Then, when it was time for her to reunite with us, we started chanting her name, and you could clearly see her laughing at us though she was trying to stay as still as she could. And at the end of the ride, when she asked for the "thunderous applause," boy did she get it! It was too funny!

As soon as the ride was over, it was just after 3:00, so we all rushed our way over to the Betty White Bash. Along the way, there was a woman who was letting her kid lay down right in the crosswalk, then she got mad at us when we started to step over her. Well, that's what you get when you're being inconsiderate! Eventually the CM on the route led the rest of our group to another opening so we could all get to where we needed to go.

When we all arrived, the Betty White Bash was already in full swing. Kevin was taking photos of each person at the meet with the Betty White bust, and Catherine was sporting her Betty White head on a stick for everyone to see.


Catherine with the Betty White head on a sick

Scott had also made it to this meet, which was cool since he didn't make it to any others. The parade came by almost as soon as we arrived, and was actually much more fun than I was expecting. We got the Mr. Potato Head in our section, so of course I was perfectly fine with that hehe. There was a large segment of dancing and stuff, but once the parade started moving again, it seemed like someone on every float made a comment about the Betty White head on a stick hahaha.

One of the Green Army Men even said "That's the spirit, Private White!" I got quite a few hilarious photos of the people on the floats being puzzled at the sight of the Betty White head on a stick.


Everyone having a blast at the Betty White Bash!

Of all the meets we had during RADP 13, I am pretty sure that the Betty White Bash was the most fun! It was just randomly awesome, and seeing how the float performers interacted with us was hilarious! It was just plain fun, and that's what RADP is all about. When the parade was almost past us, a bunch of people threw a bunch of little squishy stress balls out into the audience, and I caught a blue one. Of course this led into many inappropriate, non-Disney comments :-) When the parade was over, we decided to herd everyone over toward the archway into the Animation Courtyard so we could take another group photo. Last year, we got a fantastic group photo with the arch that said Disney-MGM Studios, so this year we wanted one when the arch said Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Luckily, as soon as we got there, a Photopass photographer appeared out of nowhere to help us out. He was a lot of fun, and arranged us really well to get a great photo.

Afterward, we hung around with him and he was being so funny. He was following Jaycie around yelling "Hi princess!" any time she would come near him. We were also standing around and playing catch with Jaycie with the little Block Party Bash balls that we'd gotten.

It was too cute...then every now and then the ball would roll over toward the Photopass guy and he'd yell "Hi princess!" when she'd go to get it!

We all hung around for quite a while just having fun and playing catch, and eventually we decided to move over to Toy Story Mania for the meet there.

When we arrived, Kevin spotted this little tiny alcove in the area just across from the entrance, so he decided to shove himself into it.

Of course as soon as he did this, a million RADPers swarmed up to him with cameras flashing...it was funny. After everyone had their fill of "Kevin shoving himself into an alcove" photos, there was more randomness with playing with the props in the area.


Awww! Too cute! Jaycie shoved herself into the alcove just like Kevin!


Kevin and Jack act like monkeys while Catherine tries in vain to keep the peace


Dave ponders Leonard (and Kevin's sanity!)

Pretty soon, Catherine decided that it was time for the meet to start, so we all went inside. I hate that the standby queue is so cute but the Fastpass queue bypasses so much of it, since I didn't get to see the Mr. Potato Head that everyone talks about. During the queue, Kevin entertained everyone with Leonard, including a few random families near us in the queue!

As for the ride, I really didn't know what to expect, but I thought it was very, very cute, and very rerideable. I rode with Catherine, and actually beat her on my first ride through! There are obviously some tricks to getting the high scores since I can't imagine that anyone can get scores as high as the daily scores on speed alone. Supposedly there are lower point targets that will reveal other larger point targets when you hit them, but I didn't catch very many of them. The ride was actually tiring too, since you spend so much of the ride repeatedly pulling the little string trigger as fast as you can. In general, I think it is a great addition, and a respectable substitute for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Play It.


My score...respectable for a first timer, I'd say!

When the ride was over, we started to go back to where the little alcove was, under the See N Say, but there was a woman standing there absolutely puking her guts out, so we went in the other direction quickly! We all stood around for a while and tried to figure out what to do next. While we were there, I saw my friends Steve and Karen walk by, who are people that I know from a roller coaster board that I frequent. We exchanged pleasantries, and once they went on their way, I saw that almost everyone else had dispersed. I called Kevin to see where he went (since we had to stick together because we had to ride to the mini golf meet together) but his phone was going directly to voicemail. I hung around and chatted with Steve and Catherine for a little while longer, then decided to start walking and see if I would randomly run into him. We still had a while before the mini golf meet, so it wasn't critical that I find him that second.

Steve stuck with me, so as we walked, I called Tracy, and she said that Kevin was with her. They were watching Streetmosphere, so we both walked in that direction and arrived right at the end of a show. One of the actors was one of the former AC actors, so again it was great to be able to see one of them performing again. When that show was over, we all followed the crowd over to another Streetmosphere show near Hollywood and Vine. During this show, the lead actor started pulling people out of the crowd, and eventually pulled Tracy up to the front. She didn't have to do anything embarassing...just stand there and sing something along with the hundred or so other people they'd pulled out of the audience.

After the show, we all walked through some of the shops in the area since so much stuff was on sale, but none of us bought very much. It was approaching time for the Osborne Lights to be lit, so we all decided to go over there and watch the show. When we arrived, we ducked into the little bookstore around the corner from Sci-Fi Dine In. I said that I didn't think I'd ever been in there before, but Kevin quickly corrected me by saying that I'd said that the last time I went in there. D'oh! hahaha. They all browsed the books and mugs, while I sat down in a comfy chair and rested for a moment. When everyone was done, it was dark outside and the lights were just a few minutes away from being lit, so we hurried outside and onto Streets of America for the show.

We ran into Big Brian as we were headed into the Streets of America, so we all tagged along together. We were only there for a minute or two before they told a little story about the Osborne family and how they had all these lights all over their lawn. Then, they lit all of the lights all at once, which was just awesome! Eventhough I had seen them many times before, going from dark to completely covered in lights of every color was pretty cool! After the first song, we walked all the way through all the lights, and made it to the plaza down by Lights, Motors, Action before another song started and the lights began to dance again.

While we were in that area, I ran into Steve and Karen again, but I only lingered long enough to get a nice photo of them with the lights before all my fiends moved on and I had to run catch up with them!

As we wandered around, someone mentioned the cat that is hidden in the lights every year, and I said that I'd never even heard about it, much less seen it. Brian explained that when the Osbornes were packing up the lights to send them to Disney, they accidentally packed up a Halloween cat with them, and Disney has worked the cat into the display every year. It didn't take us long to find it this year since it was "hidden" prominently in an alley behind some snack carts. He also mentioned that last year it was on a roof, so it was a "cat on a hot tin roof." I will have to make sure to look for it from now on!

When we had our fill of the Osborne Lights, Kevin said that he wanted to go inside the Muppet Stuff store and see what kind of T-shirts that had for sale. I love this store, and could spend a ton of money in there if I had it to spend. We all wandered around and browsed, and I even caught Jack in a compromising situation haha. He was bending down and tying his shoe, but I thought he was intently looking at something on a lower shelf. When I went to see what he was looking at, it was panties! So of course he was quick to say "I was just tying my shoe! I wasn't looking at panties!" haha

We already had the four seats in our car spoken for (me, Kevin, Tracy and Jack) so when Brian asked if he could have a ride to the mini golf, I felt bad that I couldn't offer him a ride :-( So he left at that point so he could get over there in time, and the rest of us hung around until Kevin was done making his purchases. Afterward, we went back over to Toy Story Mania since we all had valid Fastpasses and caught another ride. Well, everyone except Steve, who had to stand outside like a sad little puppy dog and wait for us haha.


Kevin uses Leonard to entertain a kid in line

This time I rode with Tracy and won handily over her, but still didn't do as well as Kevin. I came in second place out of the five of us, which I thought was pretty good considering that it was only my second ride.

After the ride, we were trying to decide what to have for dinner, when Steve piped up and mentioned CiCi's Pizza. I LOVE Cici's, though I try not to eat there very often since it's so fattening. Kevin, Tracy and Jack had never been there before, so Steve and I talked them into trying CiCi's! We all left the park and headed out to our cars. Along the way, there was much discussion about which CiCi's to go to...I had seen one near the Walmart on 535, but Steve's cell phone was saying that there was one near Crossroads that was closer. Ultimately, he said he would follow me to the one on 535.

I found the 535 one easily, despite not knowing exactly where it was. When we pulled up, we noticed that it was right next door to a Dunkin Donuts, which made Tracy very happy since she would be able to get a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee! hehe Inside, we all paid for our buffet and drinks, then started to descend upon the buffet. My favorite thing they make is the cheese bread, so I loaded up on that, as well as with a few slices of pizza. After a little while, Steve reported back that they had added a buffalo chicken pizza to the buffet, at which point I went up and grabbed enough pieces for our whole table! haha Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal, especially considering what we paid for it. Tracy ducked out near the end to go get her coffee while the rest of us finished up, then we were on our way.

I led the way back onto property, and we found our way over to Winter Summerland mini golf. I initially turned into the Winter Summerland entrance, but that lot only had spots for a few cars, so we ended up turning around and parking in the main Blizzard Beach parking lot, which was just a short walk away from the entrance to Winter Summerland. A ton of people were already there...not surprising considering that this was the very last meet of Mousefest.


Catherine, playing the role of "goodies on Santa's sleigh"

The man working at the window was obviously not used to dealing with large groups, and was sort of surly with us when it came to dividing us up and dispatching us onto the course. We all chose to play the winter side, and had to be split into groups of five. My team was Carol, Steve, Big Brian and another man who's name I don't remember.

Starting at the first hole, I was falling behind, and Steve was quickly kicking my butt. But starting about 5 or 6 holes in, I rallied from behind with a streak of holes in one! Steve and I also had a blast posing in silly ways at each hole.


Me and Steve with a little bitty igloo


Steve in a tiny litte chair by a tiny little Airstream trailer


Steve shoving himself into a tiny hockey goal...this was so funny, I was just about peeing myself!


Peek-a-boo!


Carol gets in on the action and climbs up on a castle


Steve also climbs the castle and claims victory!


And how many times did we have to trigger this hole before we got this photo?

At one of the holes, getting the ball into the hole made a big stream of water shoot out at the next player, so we had a good time triggering that when we thought people behind us weren't looking. Also, for some reason, my club would trigger the water way easier than anyone else's club, so they kept getting me to trigger it. We also kept triggering this one hole that had a big Mickey Mouse head that popped out of a box so that we could pose with it. The biggest laugh came at Carol's expense (once again) when she was posing for a photo on a little ski jump hole.

She had two clubs under her arms like ski poles, and was squatting down like she was coming down the ski jump. Well, Kenny started laughing because, from behind, it just looking like she was standing in the middle of the golf hole and squatting down haha So again, we were all laughing to tears, and Carol ended up on the ground again since she was laughing so hard!


Steve checks out Santa porn on the Winter Summerland computer

When we were done with our course, we tallied up the scores and Steve was the winner from our team. Jack M. ended up being the overall winner, with a score at least 3 lower than anyone else! While everyone was mingling and chatting, Steve and I decided to sneak off onto the summer course and take a few photos there.

There was a tiny little barbecue with a little chair and a tiny little beer, so I got a photo of him in the middle of it all.

There was also a lifeguard stand with a tiny little fruity drink, so I have a picture of him on top of that too. After a little while longer, everyone started to disperse for the evening, so Kevin, Tracy, Jack, Steve and I walked back to our cars in the Typhoon Lagoon parking lot. After discussing the outline of some plans for the next day, we bid Steve goodnight and the rest of us went back to Pop Century and headed for bed.

Go to RADP 13, Day 8
Return to the RADP 13 index