Julie, a 19 year old Cast Member from Nashville, Tennessee, college sophomore, total Disney addict and writer of the trip report!
Debbie, Julie's mom, a 44 year old Disneyholic, Sunday School teacher, craft nut and lover of all things Piglet!
Friday, February 5, 1999
Not really being a morning person, I had to drag myself out of bed. Actually, I just sort of dragged myself to a sitting position while still in bed at about 8:00am. Mom had gotten up a bit earlier and taken a shower. I had my spinach bagel with cream cheese and fruit punch for breakfast, and mom had two donuts and a couple of cups of coffee. We had planned on doing Magic Kingdom today, with possibly a trip over to Epcot if Test Track was running. We were up and out of the hotel by about 9:10 and were at the Transportation and Ticket Center by 9:30. We took the ferry across the lagoon and entered without a problem.
Our first stop (which it seems has become a recurring element of all our trips) was under the Main Street train station for a stop at the ATM. While we were there, I remembered that someone had said that the hand crank movies had been moved from the arcade to the upper level of the train station, so I went up there while mom pressed some quarters. I spent a whole five cents and watched four of the five movies (one of them took my penny then wouldn't work). I thought they were really really cool and was going to watch them all again as well as make mom watch them, but alas the train pulled up. I said I wanted to come back to them, but we never did.
We rode the train over to Mickey's ToonTown Fair (every time we ride the train, as it goes through Splash Mountain, mom always says, "Oh I don't remember being able to see inside there!") and when we got off, we took the secret path over to Tomorrowland. It was a nice walk, but there were people in front of us and behind us, so I guess it isn't really a secret. The first stop since Space Mountain was down for rehab was Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Once again, I loved it as much as last time, except I noticed that some of the sounds weren't working. Unless they took them out all together, the aliens weren't saying "Zurg escapes! Through the escape hatch! Follow Zurg!" as you go into the spinning "engine", and at the end, it didn't say "Joystick disabled! Joystick disabled!" But I knew they were supposed to be there. My score wasn't as good as it has been, but I guess that was because I needed to warm up my trigger finger.
I declared that the next stop had to be on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority so we could try to see Space Mountain with the lights on. I was really hoping that people would be working on it so since I couldn't ride it, at least I could see it with the lights on. So as we were approaching Space Mountain, I had my fingers crossed and my camera ready. Once we got inside the building, I knew we were in luck because it was dead silent. Normally there is some kind of music or something as well as the sound of the cars on the track. But this time...nothing. Silent.
When we got to the part where you pass the uphill climbs, you could tell the lights were on because you could see straight through the track. COOL!!!!! So then we went through this little dark tunnel, then emerged into complete light inside the Space Mountain dome! I was freaking out, but not too loudly because mom was videotaping it. The thing that struck me, like so many other people, is just how little of the building the track takes up. There's a lot of space above the tracks and above the waiting area. Lets hope we see a track expansion sometime. So we just rode through in complete silence, waving at the workers and oohhing and aahhing at the track. I even broke the rules and stood up a bit to get a better look at one of the drops. Well, it wasn't really standing, per se, but more of a lifting slightly off my seat. Yeah, that's it! Lifting slightly off my seat!
Once we left Space Mountain, we decided that we wanted to stay on again to get a better look at it, so we stayed on for another circuit. After that, we stopped in Mickey's Star Traders on the way to Fantasyland. I realized that my life wouldn't be complete without a Pumbaa beanie, so I bought one and mom bought two magnets.
Then we were on our way to Fantasyland. We saw the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts signing autographs, but I already had both of them, so we walked on by. The guy playing the Mad Hatter was the same one as in November. He is an awesome Mad Hatter. He's so funny.
Once we got close to the wall around Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, I made mom pause for a moment of silence. I thought about how I really wished I could muster up the courage to look under the wall and see what was going on. As I was watching the wall, I saw someone walking around inside it. Well, that was all the incentive I needed to take a look see. I literally laid down right there in the pathway and looked under the wall. I couldn't see much, but I did see a big dumpster. I bet it was full of Mr. Toad parts. *sob* Right as I got up, I saw a suit walking by, so I stopped him and asked if there were any ride parts left. I figured he would tell me no, which he did, so it was no shock to me. He also told me that he wasn't even allowed back there, so even if there were any, he couldn't get to them.
Not letting it phase me, we quickly continued over to Snow White's Adventures and rode it. After that came It's a Small World. I'd decided that I wanted some It's a Small World ride water, so I had brought three antacid bottles with screw-on caps with me. I had planned on filling one with It's a Small World, another with Pirates of the Carribean and the third with either Splash Mountain or Rivers of America water. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get Splash Mountain water having only ridden it once before. So when we were launched into the ride and cruised past the windows, I discretely reached into my bag and pulled out one of the bottles. Right as we made the first left turn into the ride, we passed a solid black wall, and that's where I dipped my hand in and got my water. Then I slowly screwed the cap back on, dried it off with my hands, slipped it into a small bag and put it in my backpack. I also made note of the fact that my hand smelled really bad afterwards. Eeewww...
Next was Cinderella's Golden Carousel. Mom loves carousels, so we rode it. It's a very nice carousel, but I'm just as into it as she is. I would have skipped it if it was up to me. So we rode, and after we got off, we decided that it was time for lunch at one of our favorite spots in all of Disney World, Pinocchio's Village Haus. And of course I, who just happens to be the former TDC Keeper of the Monstro table in Pinocchio's Village Haus, had to make sure my beloved Monstro table was available. I gave mom some money and told her to get me a burger, fries and water while I went to stake out the Monstro table.
If you don't know, the Monstro table is the table in the room that overlooks the It's a Small World loading area with a giant Monstro painted above it. We sat there quite by accident on two separate trips in 1997. Since then, I've always tried to sit there. In November, mom wouldn't sit there TWICE because a table at the window was available. And it was the same table both times. I was so mad. But this time, the prospect of getting the Monstro table looked pretty good. A family was sitting there with empty plates in front of them looking like they were packing up their stuff and getting ready to leave, so I sat down across the aisle from them.
When they got up, I jumped over to their table, without even letting the CM wipe off it off first. Yay! I got the Monstro table! A few minutes later, mom knew exactly where to look for me. She doesn't like the Monstro table because it's right next to the kitchen, but I like it. Our burgers and fries were heavenly as always, further assuring me that they are the best burgers onsite.
After lunch, I said that I wanted to make one more try at getting Mr. Toad parts, so we went back over there. I decided that I should just ask a random CM if they could help me so I stopped at the little gift shop next to the wall. When I asked them, they both looked at me like I was a criminal and said really condescendingly "Uh, no. There are no parts left." I wasn't rude or demanding or anything. I had simply asked if there were any parts and they were acting like they wanted me thrown out of the park! Not wanting to deal with their explanation of why there were no parts left, I walked away in the direction of the Castle.
We walked through the Castle but for some reason decided to walk beside it and go into Liberty Square instead of going to the hub, then to Adventureland. On our way, we stopped in Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and looked at ornaments. I found another set of boxed ornaments that I really liked (Hunchback maybe? Or Beauty and the Beast? I don't remember) but alas, I didn't have any extra money to spend on ornaments. I'd already gotten about 10 from the Disney Store's after Christmas sales, so I didn't need any more.
We rode Haunted Mansion next, then went to check out the Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad lines. Both were really backed up, so we decided to come back to them later. We went over to Adventureland and decided to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Right as we were launched into the ride, I got out another bottle and scooped up some water before the drop. This time, my hand smelled even worse than with It's a Small World. Yuck!
After that we went next door to ride the Jungle Cruise. Our guide was a bit of a dud. He didn't emphasize the punchlines of the jokes enough. No one on the entire boat was laughing, even at the jokes that normally elicit at least a chuckle. Next we went to check out the Swiss Family Treehouse. The only thing that kept running through my mind was "Why on earth did Disney just redo this? Why didn't they do away with it???" It was a lot of stair climbing and not a lot to look at. From Disney's point of view, I would think that an attraction like this wouldn't be popular enough or bring in enough revenue to continue having it open. I couldn't believe that Disney had done such a massive overhaul of it. I mean, it's nice, but it takes up a lot of space that could be used for something else.
After that we went to see the Tiki room. I almost didn't want to watch it because I didn't like it that much. Once I get inside, it's always better than I remember it being, but I probably won't watch it on ever trip. It ranks up there with Timekeeper. Watchable, but not too repeatable.
By this time, it was 2:10 and we were wondering if Test Track was open. So we walked over to Guest Services and asked a guy there if he knew if Test Track was open. He said that at the moment, it was open, but that it might shut down at any time. Good enough for us. So we left the Magic Kingdom and hopped on the monorail to Epcot. We asked if we could sit up front and they said yes. At the last minute, they stuck two little girls in with us. When the driver came in, he handed us all Monorail Co-Pilot Licenses, and I promptly signed "Tourist Mickey" on mine. When we got off, I got a picture of the driver holding Mickey and his Co-Pilot's License.
Once we got to Epcot, we made a beeline for Test Track. No dilly dallying. Tunnel vision. Test Track. Test Track. Test Track.
We saw a small group of people gathering outside the entrance, so we joined them. The CMs there weren't turning people away, so we assumed that there must have been a good chance of getting to ride it. I guess we got in line at a good time, because just a few minutes after we got in line, the line had already backed up to the jumping fountains and appeared to be growing bigger. We waited there for about an hour. I took trip report notes while eves dropping on other people's conversations. You just can't help but eves drop when you're standing shoulder to shoulder with people for more than an hour! But we didn't overhear anything interesting.
After a while, they finally let us into the waiting area. Everyone cheered as they dropped the ropes and opened the big doors to the waiting area. We walked through it really quickly, so we didn't get to take in all the detail of it, but it looked really cool. Mom videotaped the whole thing too, so we have, like, two minutes worth of random stuff flying by the screen where we were walking so fast. Well, we got up to the front of the line and were escorted into one of the "briefing rooms". We watched our little preshow (mom taped it too) and I was practically jumping out of my skin because I was actually gonna get to ride Test Track!!!
They opened the doors from the preshow and everyone herded into the last waiting area. Yes! Gonna get to ride Test Track! Gonna get to ride Test Track! Then right as we turned the first corner, we knew something was wrong. All the cars were stopped on the track. People were sitting in the cars looking around like they didn't know what was going on. Cast Members were rushing around on the other side of the track. Just then, a jumpsuit clad Cast Member pops around in front of our group and says that the ride has stopped. Great. Just great. Then he says that since the ride is broken down, they needed us all to leave the building, but they were gonna give us front of the line passes to get back in.
People were pissed. It seemed like everyone groaned in unison because we had been waiting for more than an hour and a half by this point. There probably weren't 50 people in line in front of us and they were telling us that we had to leave! A lot of people were asking if they could just stay there and wait, but the CMs kept saying no. So everyone filed out of the building after getting their passes (which actually only said that it was good for readmittance to Test Track, not that it was good for readmittance to the preshow or anything). I was so mad. We'd come all the way from the Magic Kingdom, waited for more than an hour and a half, then came so close...
Upset, we decided to have some dinner at the Electric Umbrella. We love their chicken strips, so we both ordered a childrens chicken strip dinner. We saw that a two childrens meals were cheaper than splitting one adult meal, plus you got a small drink. And the kids meals are more than enough for us. I wanted to sit outside, but mom didn't want to since we had just been outside for an hour. So we sat near the windows and watched the fountain dance and the crowds rush by as we ate our dinner. I had Surge with my chicken which was a wonderful change from the water I'd been drinking. I was still ticked about Test Track, but I was starting to get over it.
After we were done, we walked back over there to see if they had opened Test Track back up, but they said that it was gonna be closed the rest of the day, so that made me feel a little bit better. We decided that it was time to get back over to Magic Kingdom and finish up over there, so we hopped on the monorail. On the way there, we ran into the two little girls that had ridden up front with us on the way over. They must have just come over for Test Track too. The monorail was crowded, so I sat down on the floor of the cab on the ride back.
Once back at the Magic Kingdom, I said that I wanted to ride Splash Mountain. The only other time I had ridden Splash Mountain was at night, so I wanted to ride it while it was still light so I could see the Magic Kingdom from the top of the hill. I actually got mom to go through the line with me so she wouldn't have to just sit outside and wait on me. She wanted me to take still pictures of the ride, but once my boat came over the top of the first hill, it got splashed really badly so I put it in my pocket. The ride was even more fun this time than the last, and it has definitely moved to one of the top spots on my Magic Kingdom don't miss list. I even got to see the FSU bunny! Afterwards, I decided that I wanted to get one of the Splash Mountain beanies. I tried to talk myself into getting the Brer Rabbit beanie, but I ended up liking the Brer Bear one more. I also bought a nifty floaty pen, further supporting my addiction to them.
The next stop was at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Mom suddenly decided that she doesn't like this ride any more. Her problem is that she tightens all the muscles in her neck, then when we hit a bump, it really jars her neck, instead of leaving it relaxed so she can absorb the shock. She doesn't get it. Well, I still like it, and that's all that matters to me.
On the way back towards Fantasyland, we both got churros, one of our favorite snacks in Disney World. They didn't have any chocolate, but I guess that's ok, cuz we didn't need it anyway. We went back over to Fantasyland and stopped for a ride on Peter Pan's Flight. We hadn't gotten around to riding it on our last trip, so we weren't gonna miss it two trips in a row. We rode it, and afterwards, went to see Legend of the Lion King. We had an encounter with a very rude family sitting right behind us during the show too. The father was holding their baby in his lap, speaking baby talk to her for the entire length of the show. And not just the "stay quiet" kind of baby talk. This was "Blabababa...blalala..ablalala" for the entire show. And it was loud too. You could see everyone around us turning around and looking at them, but it didn't stop him from encouraging his kid to yell through the whole show. Sheesh.
About the only thing we hadn't done was ride the skyway, so we rode the skyway back over towards Tomorrowland. It was too dark to see inside the Mr. Toad wall, but I could make out the big dumpster I had seen earlier. I also started wondering why they have that platform in the middle of the ride. Maybe it's to unload people during a storm or something. But it made me wonder because there's always a CM sitting there.
Once we got over to Tomorrowland, we stopped in the arcade for a bit to see if I could win anything out of the dollar claw machines. I tried two dollars and won a bright orange gorilla type creature hanging from a bar with a suction cup. I'd tried to get one of them in November but never could. After the stop there, we went over to Buzz Lightyear to try and better our scores from that morning. I did fairly well, but mom did better, and was very proud of her 498,700 points.
After that, we decided that we'd had enough, so we made our way back to the hotel. We took pictures of the dioramas of Hunchback of Notre Dame in the windows on Main Street, but didn't linger, and made it back to the hotel by about 10:00.Go to Day 4