Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report! If you've been keeping up so far, jump down to the wavy line to pick up where you left off.
Julie - That's me. I'm 20 (spending my 20th birthday in Disney World) and am a Cast Member at the Disney Store. I'm a total Off Kilter nut, and have planned meticulously for this trip in hopes that everything goes well. This is my eighth trip in three years.Mom - Debbie, my mom. She's in her 40's and is also quite the Off Kilter nut. She's the one that was really excited about showing our newbie around, so she did lots of the meal planning and pep talking to Patsy. She also drove most of the way. This is also her eighth trip in three years.
Patsy - The newbie! She's 55 (I think...if not, she's close) and is mom's first cousin. She's been to Disney World once before, but didn't get to spend much time seeing everything. She also hadn't taken a vacation in many, many years, so she was excited at the chance to get away for a while. Her excitement and willingness to be dragged around and talked into things she normally wouldn't do was a good asset to her.
When did we go?: July 10th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay?: Magic Castle Inn and Suites (in a suite)
How did we get there?: Drove our van from Nashville
How long is this section?: 2780 words
*snore* *snore* After a very tiring day at the Studios and Epcot, I really didn't want to get out of bed, but somehow I managed. I'd brought bagels and cream cheese from home, so I sat in bed and lazily munched on those while mom and Patsy got showered and dressed. Once they were done, they went down to the lobby to get something from the continental breakfast bar for breakfast. I got ready while they were gone, and they graciously returned with two cups of fruit punch for me.
We had planned on spending a little bit of time at Animal Kingdom in the morning, so that's where we headed first. When we got there, I had to exchange my Disney Store complimentary passes for real passes I could use to get into the parks, so I went to the ticket window. I asked the man there if I could exchange all three at one time, thinking that he would be giving me three one-day park hoppers that could be used any time. He said yes, so I gave him three of them and he gave me three tickets.
Well, as I was walking away, I realized that all the tickets were dated to be used that day, July 12th. I went back to the man and told him that I didn't know that they were going to be dated and that I needed one for the 13th and one for the 14th. The guy kind of acted like there was nothing he could do since he couldn't give me the original vouchers back, and he told me to go to Guest Services.
So I went to Guest Services and explained what happened. The girl was helpful, and eventually gave me two more tickets, one that would expire on the 13th and one that would expire on the 14th. I though it was all set, so we left and went inside the park. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of my ticket fiasco.
I think Patsy was really excited about seeing Animal Kingdom since it was the only one of the parks she had never seen before. She had to stop and get a picture of her pointing at the Animal Kingdom entrance as well as one of her in front of the Tree of Life. It was pretty early, so we headed off for Kilimanjaro Safari. The wait wasn't that bad, and we all really enjoyed it. As with almost everything, Patsy spent the whole time pointing out things and exclaiming how good of a time she was having. I was glad she was having a good time because before hand, we'd worried about if the heat and all the walking would get to her. It hadn't so far, so it was clear sailing for a bit more.
Once we were done, we headed over to It's Tough to be a Bug. I'm still not overly fond of this film, especially now that I've seen A Bug's Life. It needs more story, and they need to redo the 3D effects to make them clearer. It has a lot of potential to be a great film, but they need to do more with it. Of course, Patsy loved it. Any time she would mention it, mom and I would say "If you liked that...just wait until you see Muppet Vision."
Next we went over to Dinoland to ride Countdown to Extinction. This is mom's favorite ride in Disney World and one of my favorites too. When we got off the ride, I thought Patsy was gonna faint! She kept groaning and saying something like "Are y'all trying to kill me???" She was scared through the whole thing, but was laughing too. She took it in good spirits though, and hobbled out of the building.
Lunch was next on the agenda, and since I'd had such a great chicken salad at Tusker House in May, that's where we were headed. It was a long, hot walk, but once we got there, it was air conditioned and comfortable. We all ordered chicken salads, Patsy and I had sprites and mom had a Diet Coke. When the girl was handing me my order, she accidentally turned around too fast and my sprite dumped over into my salad. I could tell that she was really embarrassed, but I grabbed some napkins and helped wipe up the spill while she got me another drink and salad. Well, lunch was really good, just as we expected. I like the atmosphere of the dining room, the food is great and it's reasonably priced. I'll most certainly continue to eat there. As we finished, we decided to do a bit of shopping before we left.
Since we were right at the entrance to the path to Asia, I said that I wanted try to find the "secret path" so we headed off in that direction. I saw the entrance to the first path, then saw what I thought was the entrance to the "secret path" beyond that. There was a man and young boy standing right at the entrance. I kept waiting to see if they were going to go in, but they never did. Once they stepped aside, we all walked right in. Cool! I found it! Yay! It wasn't much, but just to say that I had been there was reward enough. Mom kept saying "*This* is the secret path?" and I would say "Well, no one else is here are they?"
Satisfied that I had seen the secret path, we started toward the front of the park. The heat was starting to get to Patsy, so we stopped in every store along the way so she could cool off. We stopped in one and found some slippers with Mickey and Minnie heads on the tops of them that were on sale. They were $9 a pair, so I grabbed a pair of Mickeys. Then mom saw them and said that she wanted a Mickey pair too. I tried to get her to get a pair of Minnies so we wouldn't have the same kind, but eventually we decided to get a pair of each and trade one each, so we would both have a Mickey and a Minnie. I also got a safari Mickey beanie since they were so cute and I had always neglected to buy one.
On the way out, we passed the entrance to Rainforest Cafe and told Patsy that she should take a look inside since we hadn't gotten to eat there. Well, we looked at the gift shop and walked around the restaurant part a little bit and she seemed impressed. I hated that we weren't able to eat there, but by the time we got around to making a Priority Seating, all the lunch seatings were full. I really hated that because they have some great food there, but it was ok. On the way out, I noticed some khaki colored fleecy shirts with "Rainforest Cafe" embroidered on the front. It was marked down from $42 to $19, so I got it. It has turned out to be a well loved part of my fall wardrobe too!
Once we were safely out of Animal Kingdom, we drove over to the Studios. I was bound and determined to get mom and Patsy on Rock 'N' Roller Coaster today. It was wild enough to be fun but tame enough that they could ride it. The whole way over to it, mom was saying "I just don't know...I'm not sure I want to..." Then Patsy, who had been very indecisive about riding it, piped up and said "Pardon my French...but what the hell? Let's ride it!" That seemed to be all that mom needed to convince her to ride it.
When we got there, I said that the front car was really fun, so we all went toward the front car. Mom and I sat in the front and Patsy sat behind us. I though mom was gonna pass out as we were sitting in front of the tunnel for the launch. During the ride, I kept hearing them both laughing and screaming. Yes! They liked it! I was right! Well when we got off, Patsy was really having problems walking. She said that her back was hurting but that she would be ok. We looked at our photo, but since this one was *so* much more expensive that the other ones, we didn't get it. It was funny though, and mom got a few seconds of video of it.
To commemorate their first ride, they both bought fake backstage passes with their names on them. Mom and I said that we wanted to go for a second trip since the wait was still only at about ten minutes, but Patsy said that because of her back she would sit it out. So mom and I rode it again and found Patsy in the gift shop at the exit when we were done. As we walked away, she started really complaining about her back and asked if there was anywhere we could sit down for a while. Since Voyage of the Little Mermaid was fairly close, we suggested it. We didn't have much of a wait, but since we were three of the last people in the theater, we had seats on the far right of the theater. Patsy really liked it, proclaiming "that was just darlin'!"
Afterwards, we decided to go on the Backlot tour. During the wait for the water tank show, we decided that we should get dinner once we were done since we were all getting hungry. Patsy said that we should go back to 50's Prime Time and see if Brother Lerroy was there again, but mom and I concluded that we really didn't have enough money on us to do that. Then Patsy said that dinner would be on her since we were being such good tour guides and were putting up with her slow walking and aching back all day. We thanked her and decided that we'd go.
Once we were done with the riding part of the tour, we found some pretty darn cool stuff in the AFI Showcase. Any other time we've been through there, it's been a bunch of stuff from movies we'd never seen, but this time all the stuff was awesome. It must have been a showcase of puppets because they had the puppets they used in What About Bob, the marionettes from The Sound of Music, and the Oogie Boogie puppet and bug covered Oogie Boogie puppet, unrolling hill, sleigh and Jack Skellington heads from The Nightmare before Christmas. We took lots of pictures and spent lots of time looking at the stuff. I think there were also some puppets from some sort of Home Improvement sketch, but I didn't recognise them.
When we were done there, we went back over to 50's Prime Time, hoping that we would get to see Brother Lerroy again. When we checked in...no Brother Lerroy :-( I guess Mondays and Tuesdays are his days off. Despite that, we decided to go ahead and stay, and had sister Carmen as our waitress. Mom and I both got orders of buffalo strips and chili cheese fries, and Patsy had the turkey dinner and iced tea. They both also had Works sundaes afterwards, but I was full and didn't get one.
By the time we were almost done with our meal, we decided that we should leave Brother Lerroy a message. We asked Carmen if we could have another placemat to leave him a message on, and she brought us two. We wrote a message on one of the sheets and crudely tried to make an envelope out of the other one. When Carmen saw what we were doing, she took over the job and made a nifty envelope. She even got us some tape to close it up with. When we asked her how she knew how to make such good envelopes, I think she said something about learning how to make them while passing love letters.
After dinner, we stopped at Sounds Dangerous for a show. We all really enjoy this show, though I still think the bees are a bit much. All the sound booths were full when we exited, so we bypasses them. On our way over to Muppet*Vision, Patsy was huffing and puffing, and holding her back as she walked. She started joking with us that we were trying to "beat the crap" out of her since we had made her go on Kilimanjaro Safari, Countdown to Extinction and Rock 'N' Roller Coaster all in one day. "Oh, you're just beatin' the crap out of me! I can't believe that my own family would beat the crap out of me!" When we got to Muppet*Vision, we didn't have to wait in the preshow long, and we enjoyed the show. We were right...Patsy liked this one much more than It's Tough to be a Bug.
We thought that we were gonna be able to make the 9:00 show of Fantasmic!, but since we watched Muppet*Vision we weren't able to make it. We could tell that Patsy was really getting worn out (well, we *had* been in the parks non-stop since about 9:00 that morning, on top of our beating the crap out of her) so we decided that we should leave. But not without trying the dollar claw machines in Pizza Planet first! I love playing these machines! I tried one dollar for myself and two dollars for mom, but we didn't win anything. We came close to winning a stuffed cat, but we didn't.
As we passed in front of the Great Movie Ride, I remembered that SheGoof had been raving about the Bear in the Big Blue House show, so we decided to stop and check it out. Turns out the last showing of it was at 5:00. Oh no. Oh well, we hadn't even picked up park maps that day, so we could only blame ourselves for missing it.
We left the Studios at around 10:00, and on the way back, Patsy wanted to stop at a Cracker Barrel and see if they had any Beanie Babies she didn't have. She didn't get any, but she did get a mug. When we got back to the hotel, mom made a call back home to make sure everyone was ok. When she was done, Patsy asked her to call her mom (since she had laid down on the pull out couch and seemed to have trouble getting up). Once she was on the phone, from across the room, Patsy was yelling "Oh momma, they're beatin' the crap out of me! They're puttin' me on these rides that shake me to death! Just beatin' the crap out of me! That's what they're doin'!" Mom was laughing so hard that she couldn't speak, and I could hear Aunt Virginia (Patsy's mom) laughing over the phone from across the bed.
Once we finally calmed down, we got to sleep.
Go to Day 4
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