ImKiwi10's TR 2/8: Jiminy Crickets! It's Off Kilter!

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.

Starring:

Julie: That's me! I'm 19, a Disney Store Cast Member, lover of Mickey and the Seven Dwarves, an Off Kilter fanatic, and the writer of the trip report.

Mom: Also known as Debbie. She's 44, active in our church and at craft fairs, a thrill ride chicken for the most part, lover of Piglet and Mickey, and also an Off Kilter fanatic.

Dad: Also known as Ray. He's 47, a warehouse manager, the one that has to be dragged everywhere, a big car racing fan, and as of late, a bigger Off Kilter fanatic than we had realized.

When did we go?: May 8th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay?: Port Orleans, room 7130
How did we get there?: Drove from Nashville
How long is this section?: 3838 words

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Sunday, May 9th, 1999

The phone rang at 6:51 and Mickey welcomed me to my day. I dragged myself out of bed and took a shower before we made our way to the food court for breakfast. Since this was Mothers Day, we had let mom pick where she wanted to have her Mothers Day lunch and she chose Garden Grill, just like last year. As always, we spent our first day in the World in Epcot, our favorite of the four parks.

We went to the creepy food court for breakfast, and I decided that I needed to try the heralded beignets that I had heard so much about. I proudly ordered an order of six of them, as did mom, and dad got the breakfast platter. When I saw how big each beignet was, I immediately wished that I had only gotten the order of three. These guys are big! So we sat down and I started eating. On first bite, I thought they were pretty good but not as good as normal donuts. They were really doughy and tough. At one point, I was actually having to tear them apart with my back teeth just to get a bite of them.

After the first one, I was beginning to wonder if I had made a mistake by ordering the beignets for breakfast. I normally can't eat sweet things for breakfast because they make me feel gross all day, but for some reason or another, I had gotten them for breakfast instead of as a snack some other time. By the time I finished the second one, I was starting to feel queasy. I ate half of another one before I called it quits. I gave one to dad and he concluded that he didn't like them very much either. My stomach was starting to cramp by this time, so I told my parents that I was going back to the room and they could stay if they wanted to. They said they were done anyway, so we all went back to the room.

By the time we got back, I was almost bent in half with stomach cramps. I couldn't believe that only two and a half beignets worth of sugar had made my stomach cramp! So I laid down on the bed and stretched out. After about fifteen minutes, I was ok again and we started to make our way over to Epcot. I had brought my other two and a half beignets back to the room, but they eventually got thrown away.

When we got to the bus stop, we ended up waiting over 20 minutes for a bus. By the time the bus got there, we were slightly miffed. During our entire week at All Stars (three days at Sports and four days at Music) we had never had to wait more than five minutes on a bus. That's including going to and coming back from the parks. But at Port Orleans, we consistently had 15-30 minute waits for busses. On numerous occasions, two or even three busses to another park would come before the bus we were waiting on. Then some of the time, the busses would show up half full so lots of people would have to stand. Needless to say, we thought the All Star bus service was much better. The bus we were on also made three stops in Dixie Landings, which further delayed us.

Once we got to Epcot, dad decided that the first thing we should do was ride Test Track. Since mom and I had ridden it in February, we had kept telling how much we thought he would like it. So we headed that direction. The line was about an hour and a half long, but luckily, we had a front of the line pass (obtained after an hour and a half wait in February which resulted in the ride breaking down after we were past the briefing room). So instead of having to wait for another hour and a half, we showed our pass and went in through the exit. We got in line right after the briefing rooms, and had a wait of about two or three minutes. Alright! This is the way to ride Test Track! So needless to say, dad loved it. He's really into cars and racing, so he was grinning from ear to ear all through the ride. When we got off, I think his initial response was "Again!!!" but the line was still at an hour and a half, so we decided to come back to it later.

Our next stop was the Land where we did our favorite attraction in Epcot, Food Rocks. After we were done, we hopped onto a boat and took in Living with the Land. Afterwards, I decided that I needed a Jiminy Cricket, one of my favorite snacks in Disney World, which I obtained from the ice cream shop in the Sunshine Season Food Fair. It's sort of like a tangy frozen Sprite. So I got one and we proceeded to what's left of the Imagination pavilion to take in Honey, I shrunk the Audience.

When we got there, I hadn't finished my Jiminy Cricket yet, so we had to stand out in the waiting area while I finished. Right as I was finishing my drink, they announced that the show they were loading had reached capacity and that everyone else would have to wait for the next show. That made dad kind of mad, but oh well. I couldn't help it. Jiminy Crickets have a bad tendency to give me brain freeze, so I couldn't drink it very quickly. We watched the show and afterwards decided to take a trip over to the Living Seas.

Once inside the Living Seas, we looked through the tanks, but didn't spend all that much time there. And as in all of our previous trips, both of my parents took extended bathroom breaks. What the heck is it about the Living Seas bathroom?!?! Meanwhile, I had found another form of entertainment; the brine shrimp culture. In other words...Sea Monkeys! I had to have watched them for a good five to ten minutes before mom made me leave.

On our way out I stopped by the gift shop. In February, I had totally fallen in love with a stuffed otter holding a starfish that they sold there, but I hadn't gotten him because he was $30. Well, he was there on this trip as well. I was hoping he would be gone so I wouldn't be tempted to buy him...but he was still there. I picked him up and hugged him. He was soooooo precious! I really wanted this otter...but $30...good grief! That's a lot of money for a stuffed animal. I agonized. I could buy lots of other stuff with $30. I could get some beanies, a shirt, a nice hat, a picture frame...I could save that money for my next trip...once again, I just couldn't justify the $30. So instead of buying him, I stuck Tourist Mickey in his arms and took his picture. Some day I'm gonna get that otter...

Tearing myself away from my otter, we headed back to the Land for our lunch Priority Seating at Garden Grill. We'd eaten there last year and my mom totally fell in love with it, eventhough I was not overwhelmed. I don't eat steak, I'm pretty picky about what veggies I'll eat, and I really don't like Disney mashed potatoes, so the only things on the menu that I can eat are the chicken and catfish. And a meal of only meat is just not something that appeals to me that much. But it was Mothers Day and this was where my mother wanted to eat, so I had to deal with it.

We were seated on the upper level again, which I liked so people wouldn't be watching us while we ate. Our waiter was Art, which was the same guy we had last year. Last May, he was really slow with everything and I was kind of hoping that he wouldn't be our waiter again, but he was. At least this time he was much more efficient. He took a while to initially get our food to us, but after that, he was reasonably quick with the drink refills and replenishments of chicken and fish. Along with the normal selections, I ordered a salad for an additional fifty-five cents just so the entire meal wouldn't be meat. I would have just as soon ate three of the salads and nothing else, but oh well. I was paying for it.

The characters were pretty good during the meal as well. In particular, Chip and Pluto had lots of fun with Tourist Mickey. Chip stuck him down the bib of his overalls and had me take his picture, then made Mickey dance all over the table. I don't really recall what the sequence of events with Pluto was, but at one point, he was rolling around on the floor pretending like Tourist Mickey was killing him. I got a picture of him pulling himself back to his feet. It was really funny! Mickey always seemed to be in a hurry when he would stop by, so it was just a kiss on the hand and a pat on Tourist Mickey's head from Mickey.

Once we were done with lunch, we talked to Art for a while. Dad asked him if he had ridden Test Track, and he said that he hadn't. He said that once it had been working flawlessly for quite a while, he would ride it, but until then he wouldn't. We also brought up that he was our waiter last Mothers Day. He didn't remember us, but he said that he would be expecting us back next Mothers Day. *sigh* Now I guess mom's gonna want to go back again... Once we were done and left the Land, we went over to the Wonders of Life pavilion and took in Cranium Command. As always...an excellent show. Next came Body Wars, and once we were done, we decided to venture into World Showcase. We wanted to catch the 4:30 show of Off Kilter, and wanted to get there in time to get a good spot. We bypassed Ice Station Cool, but I promised myself that I would get back to it later in the week.

Once inside World Showcase, we passed some...hmm, the best way I can describe them is "butterfly people." It was a group of four or five men on stilts with large wing type things on. They were very odd, but very pretty at the same time. They was also another guy pushing a cart that played some kind of music. They were really interesting. Not sure what they were or why they were there, but it was cool anyway.

We arrived at the stage to watch Off Kilter about ten minutes early and there were only a few other people waiting to see them. Well, since February, I have been head over heels in love with Off Kilter. I had bought their CD and it had never left my player. I listened to it, literally, every day. So I was rather excited about getting to see them again. Mark, Randy, Tony and Scotty came out and began setting up to play, but no Jamie. Where was Jamie????

Pretty soon, they were introduced, and that familiar wail of the bagpipes began playing softly behind the stage. Jamie made his appearance a few moments later and the show began. I don't recall what songs they played (I think I was too jaded by the *kilts*!), but it was absolutely wonderful. Through the whole show, I was snapping pictures. Spin around...snap a picture. Strike a pose...snap a picture. Look at me...snap a picture. By the time the show was done, I had taken the rest of one roll (about five pictures) and another whole roll of twenty four exposures. That should be enough Off Kilter pictures for a while (but can you really have too many pictures of men in *kilts*?).

After the show, we went up to the stage to talk to them. I had a hunch what was going to happen...and it did. I figured that mom would go nuts and act like a lunatic in front of them, and that's exactly what happened. She seems to have problems acting normal when she's around famous, or even semi-famous, people. So we went up to them and said hi. She immediately went into one of her fits. "Oh! We love you!!!! You guys are soooooo great!!!! Oh! Jamie! We just love bagpipes!!! You play so well!!!! Oh! There's Tony! Tony! Oh! You just have *magic* fingers!!!! Oh! I'm soooo glad that we got to see you guys again!!!!!" While she was going off about how much she loves them, I could tell that they were getting visibly uncomfortable around her. She was making such a big deal about them...

Even dad was getting into the embarrassing act... I had taken my CD with me so I could get them to autograph my cover. So when I pulled it out to get them to sign it, dad almost immediately took it away from me. Then *he* went to each member and got them to sign *my* CD cover!!! It kinda made me mad. *selfish voice* I wanted to get my autographs!! So we talked to them for about ten minutes, with me hardly being able to get a word in edgewise. I did manage to tell each of them (except for Randy, who snuck away early) that I really liked their music and was glad to meet them, but I barely said anything else. I left more embarrassed than happy that I had gotten to see them. And the worst part was that I knew the whole scene would repeat itself in about an hour and a half.

We left the Canada pavilion and headed counterclockwise around World showcase for a bit. Our next stop came in France when we spotted a Living Statue. We'd had such a fun time in February with the Living Statues and Tourist Mickey that we wanted to see if we could get this one to hold him. So mom took Mickey up to her, and she struck a nice pose with him. Once we were done and were trying to get Mickey back, she wouldn't let go of him. She looked very calm and collected, yet she had a death grip on Mickey. Everyone was laughing...finally, she got Mickey away from the statue and we continued on.

Our next stop was the Japan pavilion for a Kaki-Gori (yummm....I have a friend from Japan, and she said that they make their own Kaki-Goris at her house...what I wouldn't give to know the secret...). I got a strawberry one and mom got a rainbow. Dad, keeping with his norm, chose not to get whatever we were getting. So right as we were leaving the line, it started to rain. We figured that we would wait on the patio near the department store and wait for the rain to stop. Well, once we sat down, it started to pour. So we sat there for about 20 minutes, eating our Kaki-Goris and waiting for the rain to stop. I also managed two drop two giant hunks of strawberry Kaki-Gori onto my white shirt, thus leaving two lovely pink stains. Yuck. Oh well, I was looking to buy a new shirt anyway.

Right as the rain ended, we headed back to Canada to catch the 6:00 hour Off Kilter show. The show was wonderful, as always, and the flailing kilts were very hypnotic ;-) hehe After the show, we went through the same routine again, eventhough we had already spoken to them. I basically just stood there and let them talk. I could barely get a word in edgewise.

Once we were done with Off Kilter again, we made our way back around towards the Mexico pavilion. We rode El Rio del Tiempo, and...yay! My running boy was fixed! The little kid on the left after you pass under the bridge with the skeletons on it is my favorite animatronic kid in the ride, and during my last two trips, something had been wrong with him. He was just standing there turning around, not running back and forth like he should have been. But one complaint to the Mighty Paragon got my boy fixed. I browsed the Mexican shops looking for tiny hats, but found none. Oh no...was the Mexico pavilion running out of the very tiny hats that Tourist Mickey wanted so badly?!?! If only Paragon could do something about getting more tiny hats...

Once we were done in Mexico, my parents decided to head back over to the American Gardens Amphitheater to see the Grass Roots concert, since that was the last night they were going to be playing. I said that they could go on ahead and watch them and I would meet them back at the hotel, since I didn't particularly want to watch the Grass Roots. So they went ahead, and I was left to fend for myself for the rest of the night (how would I ever manage?:-) While I was still in Mexico, I decided to stop in the shop next to the Cantina de San Angel in one last, desperate attempt to find Mickey another tiny hat. I looked...and looked...and...JACKPOT!!!! A tiny hat!!! Actually, a whole basket full of tiny hats to choose from! I was careful in making my final selection, but I ultimately decided on a black sombrero with silver thread and sequins on it, called a mini charro. I tried it on Tourist Mickey, and he seemed to be very pleased with it, so I bought it. Assured that Tourist Mickey had his tiny hat, I went to Norway.

In Norway, I took in Maelstrom but skipped the final movie. By the time I was done there, it was about 7:30, so I headed back into Future World. I'd told my friend Bill (Whimmel in #radp-friends) that I would try to stop by and see him at the monorail platform, so I decided that I had better get a move on. As I was leaving Norway, it began to rain. By the time I was halfway to the front, it was pouring. I had accidentally left my poncho in the room, so all I could do was get soaked. It crossed my mind to run, but that would have just meant that I was hitting the rain faster, and I would be tired as well as soaked by the time I got where I was going. So I took it easy until I got up under Spaceship Earth.

Once I was underneath Spaceship Earth, I stopped and sat on the railing next to the shop and waited. It was storming by now, and there was a lot of very close lightening. So as I sat there soaking wet, cold, inconvenienced and scared of the possibility of a bad storm, I couldn't help but think "life just doesn't get any better than this." For the first time since I had arrived at Disney World, I was totally happy. I watched all the people pour out of the park in their dripping yellow ponchos, with their children who were having more fun in the rain than they ever could in a fountain, consoling their young babies who seemed more than a little bit afraid of the Florida shower...

And I was happy.

I sat there for about twenty minutes just soaking in everything. I kept thinking about how much I was looking forward to doing Disney College Program next spring, and that with any luck, I'd be working in Epcot. I also sat in wonder at how Spaceship Earth really doesn't drip! The only drips I saw were from the tiles that were too angled to allow the water to drain, of which there were only a few. Finally, I decided that I'd soaked in enough, as well as decided that the storm had subsided enough to make me want to ride a monorail. I left Epcot at about 8:00 and took the monorail to the TTC.

I'd asked a couple of people where I could find Bill, but no one seemed to know. Someone at the TTC finally concluded that he was on the platform at the Polynesian. So I hopped on the resort beam (a first) and found him exactly where he was supposed to be. We chatted a bit and finalized plans for the Pleasure Island meet on the following Friday. After about 15 minutes, I said goodbye and took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Once there, I found a bus headed for Port Orleans and jumped on it.

A few minutes later, we pulled into the Port Orleans bus stop. I hadn't had dinner yet, so I stopped by the food court to see what they had. I opted for a personal cheese pizza since I would probably not have pizza later in the week. I got it boxed up and took it back to the room. We had drinks in the room, so once I was there, I got some ice and filled up my mug. The pizza was good, although a bit cold by the time I got around to eating it, but that was my own fault. I spent seventy-five cents and checked my e-mail (I don't like that the resorts charge for local calls...and I really hate that they charge for 800 and 888 numbers too, but oh well).

My parents showed back up at about 10:30 (I'd gotten back at about 9:30) and we exchanged stories of where we were and what we were doing during the big storm that night. All that was left for the day was a good night's rest.

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