Kiwi's July TR 4 - Otter nonsense

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?: 3384 words


Being my normal morning person self, I whined and complained about waking up at 7:45. When I finally woke up enough to be coherent, I discovered that my remaining two bagels were moldy. Happens on every trip. I should expect it by now. I'd have to get something from the continental breakfast to eat, so I dragged myself from the warm safety of my bed and got dressed. After mom and Patsy were done getting dressed and ready, we headed down to the first floor for breakfast. Since they didn't have much I wanted, I got a plain donut, an English muffin and two cups of punch. I only took one bite of the English muffin before I realized it was really dry, so I threw it away. The donut and punch were good though, and surprisingly, I didn't feel yucky after eating it.

More Epcot today! Yay! Since I'd had so much trouble with my tickets the day before, I thought that surely everything was fixed by now. WRONG! When I looked at my tickets to see which one was dated for the 13th, I realized that they were one-day one-park tickets instead of one-day park hoppers. Grrr...I went to a ticket window and talked to a guy named Paul. I explained to him everything that went on with the tickets the previous day, and he set about fixing it. The thing I though was interesting was that he, basically, didn't have much to go on except my word about what had happened. I know there's some information stored on the tickets, but I'm sure they didn't type out the whole story on it. Yet he fixed them anyway.

After a good ten minutes, the guy handed me two more tickets. He put one in my right and said "Use this one today" then one in my left hand and said "Use this one tomorrow." I looked at day park dated the 13th and one dated the 14th...looked good to me, so I met back up with mom and Patsy and went to the turnstiles. They went on in (mom has an annual pass and Patsy had a four day pass) but as I got up there, it wouldn't take my ticket. said that the ticket he gave me for today was expired. In a vain attempt at getting in, I tried the ticket he gave me to use the next day, but it was expired too.

Back to the ticket window. Luckily I found Paul again and told him they were expired. I don't know what he did, but he handed me another one with an X on the back and said "Use this one today" and handed me another one, and told me that where ever I was the next day, I would need to go to Guest Services, tell them my story and have them redate that one for the 14th. Sheesh...what a hassle! I wish the vouchers or the man at the Animal Kingdom window had said that the vouchers were good for dated tickets. If I had known, I would have just turned in one a day and not had to go through everything.

That ticket finally worked, so after a good half hour of haggling over the tickets, I was in. We had to go get a wheelchair for Patsy (since we had beaten the crap out of her the day before, remember?) so we went that way. Wheelchairs and strollers are free to Cast Members, so that was four dollars or so we saved right there.

With wheelchair in tow, we hoofed it over to Innoventions. Mom and Patsy wanted to send some e-mail postcards to some friends. We had to wait for a few minutes on a booth, but once we got in one, we sent four postcards to various people (including one to a manager at Disney Store which he never received). When we were done there, we went over to the Land to take in my favorite thing in Disney World, Food Rocks. Afterwards, the line For Living with the Land was really long, so we skipped it and went over to the Living Seas.

The prime directive of my going into the Living Seas this time, aside from looking at the tanks and stuff, was to buy an otter. When I went in February, I absolutely fell in love with a plush otter they had for sale there, but he was $34 so I never got him. Then, when I went back in May, I was hoping that he wouldn't be there any more so I wouldn't be so tempted to buy him, but he was still there. I wanted him so badly, but I just couldn't justify spending that much money on a plush otter.

Since my birthday had just passed, some people in my family had given me money to spend on myself for my birthday. I had decided before I even left for Florida that I was going to buy that otter if it took every last penny I had. I'd wanted it for almost six months, and I was finally going to get it.

So we went into the Living Seas, watching the preshow of course (which Patsy also loved) and soon found ourselves inside the main tanks. The first thing I did after jumping out of my sea cab was to run over to the gift shop and get my otter. But when I got there...NO OTTERS!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I looked everywhere. I picked up all the plush in this big box they had hoping against hopes that there would be one stashed away in the bottom, but there wasn't. I want my otter!!!!! I couldn't believe that I had wanted him so badly and never gotten him...and now he was gone. It was definitely a lesson learned the hard way.

Dejected, we watched the manatees for a bit, then watched the shrimp cultures. When we were done, we solemnly left and decided to have lunch. Since we had yet to have pizza on this trip, we told Patsy that she should have a Mickey shaped pizza for lunch. She liked the idea, so we went over to Pasta Piazza. I got a cheese pizza and mom and Patsy both got pepperoni ones. They were really good...I like Disney World pizza except that the sauce is a bit too sweet for my liking.

Right after lunch, we made a stop in Ice Station Cool so Patsy could test out the beverages there. We tried to get her to swig some Beverly, but she was smart and smelled it first, then decided on just a small sip. She thought it was totaly heinous, much like all the other people I convinced to drink it. I was upset that my favorite, Lift Pineapple, had been replaced my some Brazilian diet drink that mom said was really nasty (I didn't try it cuz I'm allergic to aspartame, the main ingredient in artificial sweeteners) Instead, I drank a couple of cups of VegitaBeta and I was consoled.

Once we had our fill of exotic drinks, we went to the Wonders of Life pavilion to watch Cranium Command. As we got there, the show was having technical difficulties. We noticed that an Anicomical Players show was about to start so we took a seat and waited for it. It was a cute show, but I probably wouldn't stop to watch it again. They did a courtroom drama about the digestive system (with lots of toilet humor hehe), a soap opera about smoking and a gameshow. It was a cute show. When that was done, Cranium Command was back up so we watched it. Once again, Patsy proclaimed that it was "just darlin'".

We watched Universe of Energy next, and it was a very relaxing ride. One thing of note here that I thought was the preshow when Ellen is talking to Bill Nye, he says "Hi, I'm Bill Nye, the Science Guy" and Ellen says "Hi, I'm Ellen the...well, just Ellen." During the pause after she says "I'm Ellen the..." I could hear tons of people in the audience whisper the word "lesbian" under their breath. I'm just stating a fact here folks. It was kind of funny how so many people said it in unison too.

Next, we were gonna head into World Showcase and see what was going on there. We went to Mexico first and rode El Rio del Tiempo. My running boy still wasn't running *sniff* *sniff*. On the way out, we looked around for tiny hats, but I couldn't find any. I guess poor Tourist Mickey's head will just get cold this year since I've exhausted all the tiny hat resources available to him.

After Mexico, we saw that it was getting close to time for an Off Kilter show, so we headed over to the Canada pavilion. We watched the show, and afterwards, as usual, we chatted with them for a bit. We thought that that was going to be the last time we saw them, so we told them goodbye and that we would see them in December. As we were leaving, I noticed the cart that sells Beaver Tails, so we stopped to look at them. They looked ok, but they didn't really look like anything I would want to get, but mom and Patsy wanted one. While they ate theirs, I got a strawberry Fruitopia and drank it.

As they were getting in line to get their Beaver Tails, Patsy called me over to the shop next to the stand and was pointing at something. I couldn't see what she was pointing at, but I heard her say "Is that your otter?" What?!?! I ran over to her, and sure enough, she was pointing at a big shelf full of miniature stuffed otters!!!!!! They weren't the big ones that I wanted, but they were certainly good enough. I must have looked insane because I was jumping up and down saying "My otter! My otter!". I feverishly asked a girl working at the booth if she knew if they were selling the larger otters. She said that they didn't sell them, but that the Mercantile shop inside the pavilion did.

I ran to the Mercantile shop. I didn't walk, I didn't jog, I ran. I was out of breath by the time I got up the steps and into the shop. I looked around and didn't see them at first, but then I turned to the right and...OTTERS!!!!!!!!! Lots and lots of beautiful otters! There were people in front of them, so I quickly made my way through them and grabbed the first one I laid eyes on. He was so precious! I was so happy that I had finally found my otter! I looked at the price tag...$16.99?!?!?! YES! ON SALE! I was a happy Julie. I bounced my way over to the register with my new otter and told the girl there my story about being so upset when they weren't in the Living Seas. With my Cast discount, my total for him came to $14.41...$20 less than what I had originally anticipated! Woo hoo!!!! I told her that since I had saved so much money on him that I was going to go back down to the shop at the entrance and buy the smaller one to go with him. She even gave me a bigger bag so I could put the little one in with the big one.

I was happy. I finished my Fruitopia on a bench outside the pavilion, hugging my two new otters. We decided that since we had yet to make it to the Magic Kingdom, that's where we should go. We contemplated taking the monorail over, but we wouldn't be leaving Magic Kingdom until around 11:00 and Epcot closed at 9:00. They might still be running the monorails that late, but we didn't want to chance it, so we drove over. I had to leave my precious otters in the car, but they survived just fine.

We parked at the Transportation and Ticket center and took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. We asked if we could sit in the front and we were told that we could. Turns out that the pilot was Melinda, a friend of my friend Bill's, so I got to meet her. Well, right as we got inside the park, it started storming. Since it was raining, Patsy decided not to get another wheelchair and have to push it around in the rain. It was approaching dinner time, so we headed straight over to Fantasyland into the best burger joint on property, Pinocchio's Village Haus.

Right as we got inside, the skies opened up and it started pouring down rain. We'd made it in just in time. The first line of business was to stake out my Monstro table. There was a family sitting there, but since it was pretty crowded, I figured that by the time mom and Patsy were through the line, the people would be gone. So I stood there...and stood there...and stood there, for the better part of twenty minutes I'd say. Finally, the people got up and left...but they left their trash on the table! Ugh. How rude. These Cast Members are not your servants, people. Pick up your own trash.

In the interest of sitting at the Monstro table, I cleaned off the table and wiped it off. A few minutes later, mom and Patsy showed up with our food. Everyone had gotten burgers, fries and water. burger I've eaten in a long time. Good stuff. I also managed to purloin some tomatoes, pickles and sauerkraut from the topping bar, so that made what was essentially a side dish in and of itself.

It wasn't quite done raining by the time we were done with dinner, so we just slipped next door and rode It's a Small World. I think this ended up being one of Patsy's favorite things of the trip. I'm pretty sure her favorite was the Great Movie Ride, but It's a Small World may have been second. Through the whole thing, she was pointing out different dolls and saying how much she liked them. And when we got off..."That was just darlin'! Oh that was *so* darlin'! I just can't get over it...that was just darlin'!" I think she likes the word darlin'.

Next on the list was Legend of the Lion King. We were lucky in that we didn't have to wait long in the preshow before we got to go in. Mom insisted on riding the carousel next, so we all hopped on. Peter Pan's Flight was next. By this Time, Patsy has learned not to trust us with much of anything, so she asked one of the CMs if the ride had any dips or inversions. The person looked at her like she was crazy and told her that it was very tame. Did we forget to mention that you're suspended from the ceiling the whole time? Oops, sorry :-)

I rode by myself and Mom rode with Patsy. Right when we took off, I heard her scream. Hahaha It was so funny! Any time the ride would drop down or tilt forward, I would hear her yell. By the time we got off, mom was dying laughing and Patsy had an even worse distrust of us. She thought we were trying to beat the crap out of her again. It was funny.

Next came the Haunted Mansion. Once again, she had to ask if it had any dips and stuff. She liked it ok, except that the whole time she was saying "Why are those people screaming? Oh, now what's gonna happen? Is something gonna pop up at me?" And right as you exit the attic and the car leans sharply backwards, she let out a scream like the floor was dropping out from under her. Of course, mom and I had to laugh at her at the end of the ride.

As we exited Haunted Mansion, Main Street Electrical Parade was just starting, so we stood there and watched what we could of it. I instantly loved the music. It was so happy and so peppy...much better than Spectromagic. And as the floats went by, I actually enjoyed myself. I had watched Spectromagic once in 1997, and that was more than enough, but I could tell that I liked Main Street Electrical Parade much more. It was pretty, fun, happy and all around more entertaining than Spectromagic. I left feeling happy and glad that I would get to see it lots more in subsequent trips.

After the parade, we headed into Tomorrowland to see a few things. Tomorrowland Transit Authority was one of the first things we came to, so we got on it. We assured Patsy that it didn't have any drops, so she was allayed for a while. But during the ride, mom and I somehow morphed into pure evil. As we entered Space Mountain (ya know, where it's really dark right before you get to the place where you can see the loading area) we said something like "Ok, we lied. This ride *does* have a drop in it...and it's a pretty big one too." Patsy started laughing and saying "I'm never trusting you again! I can't believe my own family would trick me!"

So once we got to where you can see the loading area, we said "It's's coming..." And there's one part there where the car speeds up just a little bit. Right as we hit that spot, mom screamed, "Here it is!!!" and screamed. Just then, Patsy let out a wail unequalled by anyone I've ever heard! She screamed in terror for a couple of seconds, until she realized that she wasn't dropping. Mom and I started dying laughing. I mean, laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. The people in the other cars probably heard us we were laughing so loudly!

Then Patsy started yelling at us..."Oh, I'm never gonna trust you again! You scared the %$#! out of me! I thought I was gonna drop! Oh I'm never trusting you again!" hehe Even when we got off the ride, we were still bent in half laughing about it. Any time we wanted a good laugh for the rest of the trip, we would say something like "Woah! here it comes!" Having scared Patsy half to death, we went over to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and took a couple of rides.

As we finished up there, the park was closing, so we went back to the hotel, checked e-mail and went to bed.

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