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 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?: 2780 words
Friday, May 14th, 1999
The phone rang at 8:02 and Mickey welcomed me to my day. Since I had made such a big deal about being so tired the day before, mom let me sleep in until 8:00 (yeah, like that's *really* sleeping in...I was still next to dead when I woke up). We had breakfast in the food court again, with me having a bagel with cream cheese, mom having pancakes and dad having the breakfast platter. Good as ever. Disney MGM Studios was on the agenda this day, as well as my very first trip to Pleasure Island, which by this point, I was getting pretty excited about it. A bunch of RADPers were supposed to be getting together in the Mask Room as well, so I was looking forward to my first larger meet as well.
Our bus to the Studios actually came fairly quickly this morning, so we were there pretty quickly. My first order of business was to watch Doug Live again and tape it since I had liked it so much the first time I saw it. Well, neither of my parents wanted to see it again, so dad went to the Indiana Jones Stunt show and mom went to watch the Hunchback show. I sat in the next to last row so the light from the camera wouldn't bother anyone, and I actually got a really good video of the whole thing! I was very pleased, especially since I'm not normally the one that does the video taping.
When I came out of the theater, it was raining. It looked like it had been raining for quite a while, so it must have started right after I went in the theater. This day mom and dad both had their respective ponchos, so I wasn't worried about them getting wet. I put on my poncho and found a nice spot to sit down on a bench. I sat there for a few minutes before I thought that one or both of them might be waiting on me next to the "Picture spot" sign in front of Dinosaur Gertie's, so I got up and went over there. Of course they weren't there, so I lost my seat. So I found a nice, dry spot underneath an umbrella on a cart and waited on them
Dad showed up first and said that they had had to cancel a large part of the Indiana Jones show because of the weather. It took mom quite a bit longer to show back up from the Hunchback show, and when she arrived, she told us that during the Festival of Fools scene, everyone lost audio and they had to bring Juggler Matt back out to entertain while the audio was fixed. When we were all back together, we made a bee line for 50's Prime Time Cafe and our lunch date with Brother Lerroy.
When we arrived, we were seated fairly quickly (considering that we had requested a particular server). As soon as Brother Lerroy rounded the corner, he immediately recognized us and began yelling "Where's Travelling Mickey?!?! Where's Travelling Mickey?!?!" It was so cool that he remembered us. We had sat in his sections twice before and once when he wasn't our server, but we said hi to him. In February, he remembered us, but he looked like he didn't know why he recognized us. But this time, he knew us instantly! Cool! So I pulled Tourist Mickey out of my backpack and sat him on the table.
As soon as I got him out, Brother Lerroy took him and began showing him to everyone in our section. In particular, he showed him to a little boy and told him that Mickey had been to Disneyland, Japan and the moon among other places. Then he came back to my table and said "That kid said he'd give you five hundred bucks for him." Eventually he got around to taking our order, at which time, I ordered the loaded nachos, mom ordered a pot pie and dad a ham sandwich. My nachos were very good, and I made certain to clean my plate (with the ulterior motive of getting a clean plate sticker :-).
At the end of the meal, he distributed clean plate stickers to everyone and asked us when he was going to get to see Tourist Mickey again. I asked him if he worked on Sundays, and he said yes, so I got out my notepad and wrote him a note. It said "Tourist Mickey comes for a visit, July 11th, 1999 (Julie's birthday!)" When I handed it to him, I told him that I was going to be back for my birthday and that I hoped he would be working. Once I handed him the note, he said that he was going to carry it around in his folder that he writes orders down in and make sure to work on my birthday for me. That was so sweet!!! One more reason to add to the list of reasons why I *have* to go back for my birthday.
We bid a fond farewell to Brother Lerroy until July and proceeded to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We watched the show, and as we left, I looked for Amy again. This time someone told me that they knew where she was, so I asked them to retrieve her for me. Once they found her, she and four other CMs came out of backstage and we had a nice chat. One of the girls with her was a big fan of the Doug Live show, so I showed her the video I had taken and talked about it. Turns out that she had shadowed the cast for a day and had seen the inside workings of the show! Cool! We ended up chatting until it was almost storming again, at which time we decided to leave and go back over to Epcot.
I said goodbye to everyone and we started to head back out of the park. On the way out, mom decided that she wanted a shirt from the Studios, so we stopped in a couple of shops. After *much* deliberation (and consequent *much* walking to and from shops in the rain) she finally decided on a solid gray shirt with "Disney Studios" embroidered on the front.
Once she was done, we left and made the final trip over to Epcot at about 3:45. Once at Epcot, my mom dropped off her camcorder battery at the camera center for a free battery charge (a little known service) and then they decided to head for Test Track. I went with them for a while, until I realized that the line was more than an hour and a half long, and that there was a lot of stuff I could do in that time instead. I left them there, and told mom that I would meet her in the Japan Pavilion later in the evening. She and dad stayed to ride, while I left and headed to the Mexico pavilion for the search for the Mighty Paragon.
Upon arrival in the Mexico pavilion, my search began. I asked a couple of people if they knew where she was, and finally one lady said she would find her for me. After about twenty minutes (geesh...she must be popular!), Paragon made her grand appearance. I bowed in reverence to my Chief Loin Inspector (I did...you can ask her!) and we chatted for a while. We talked mainly about Off Kilter, since I was on my way to their 4:30 show, and a bit about my running boy and the El Rio del Tiempo rehab. We chatted so long that I almost missed the Off Kilter show, but since I was on an official LIB mission to inspect Off Kilter's loins, she let me go, and I promptly scurried to the Canada pavilion.
Once there, I grabbed a seat (in full sun) to watch Off Kilter. I had planned on video taping the whole thing, but once I started to tape, the battery ran out within a few seconds. Oh well. One less show on tape, but it was ok. After the show, I talked to Jamie about bagpiping for a while. I've become pretty interested in learning to play the bagpipes recently, so I was asking him about how he learned to play and when he started. He said that he was 28 years old and had been playing for 19 years. Wow! That means that he started playing when he was nine!
At the end of the conversation, he told me that the next time I was in Disney World, to stop by and say hello. Then I said "Well, actually, I'm coming back in July for my birthday, so I'll say hi then." After I said that, he said that when I was there in July, to bring myself to his attention and he would play Happy Birthday for me!!!!!!!! I was freaking out!!! Off Kilter was going to play Happy Birthday for me!!!!! When he said it, I promptly responded, "I'll take you up on that!" and he said ok. Wow. Oh my goodness...happy, happy, happy!!!
On that happy note, I pranced over to the Japan pavilion. I know I must have looked crazy, because I could feel myself smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't stop smiling! It was so funny! Maybe people just thought I had become giddy with Disney Magic. Well, once I reached the Japan pavilion, I looked for mom and dad but couldn't find them. We had decided to meet up at Miyuki's candy making show, so when she appeared, I went over to her booth and watched for sculpt candy. She is so amazing! She can take a little ball of doughy candy and shape it into dragons, birds, all kinds of woodland creatures and some insects with just her fingers and a pair of scissors.. It is totally amazing to watch.
After a few minutes, mom came running up to me. Not walking, not jogging...running. She was huffing and puffing as she told me that she was worried about not getting to her show in time. Since we had seen Miyuki in February, mom had wanted a candy hummingbird. She had even made me carry around a plastic box she had bought for the express purpose of holding her candy hummingbird. When she say Miyuki finish one creature, she begged, quite loudly I might add, "Ohhhh Miyuki!!! Please make me a hummingbird!!!! I've been waiting since *February*!!!" So, obliging the crazy woman, Miyuki made her a beautiful green hummingbird. When she was making it, mom started telling the crowd of about fifty or so people about how Miyuki is the only female candy make in Japan and how she was taught by her grandfather, and some stuff that I don't even remember. She looked a bit creeped out as mom was telling her life story, but she finished the bird anyway, and when she was done, we thanked her and left.
We started walking back towards the Canada pavilion as mom explained to me why dad wasn't with her. They had waited for Test Track for about an hour when the ride broke down. When they came over the speakers and said that it would be closed down for at least twenty more minutes, she said she started to have a panic attack because of the loud music in the queue. So she decided to leave dad there to ride it while she came to catch up with me, and they had decided to meet back near Off Kilter's Stage (since it had become such a beacon...). When we got there, we found him waiting on us at a bench, and he told us about how he had gotten stuck in Test Track for fifteen minutes right after the corrosion test. Alas, he had not gotten a front of the line pass.
We decided that since it was getting kind of late and beginning to storm, dad and I decided to go back to the hotel. Mom wanted to stay and do a few things that we had missed earlier, so we all headed back to the front of the park. Mom picked up her battery at the camera center, and dad and I boarded a bus back to the hotel. On the way back, we saw a rainbow, so I snapped a picture of it which didn't some out, but at least I know it was there.
Once back at the hotel, I took a shower and did my best to fix my hair decently. Dad had already gone to the food court for dinner and had fried chicken, fries and corn, so once I was done, I went down there and got dinner. Since I had never had Disney shrimp, I ordered the fried shrimp with fries and red beans and rice. It was really really good, though too big to finish.
I finished packing up the rest of my stuff, and got ready to go to Pleasure Island. We had decided that Bill would pick me up at the hotel, so I met him out front at 8:40. When we arrived, we parked at the West Side and walked through all the stores to get over to Pleasure Island. We stopped briefly in the store with all the magnets, but didn't get anything. Once at Pleasure Island, we bought passes and wandered around a bit, figuring that the rest of the evening would be spent in the Adventurer's Club.
We finally arrived at the Adventurer's Club at 9:20 to find Rob and Improvgal (Amy) already there. It was nice to put faces with two very friendly names in IRC! We chatted for a while until everyone else started showing up. By 10:30, our numbers had increased to a dozen, including Kenny Cottrell, Rachel Warriner, Steve Preskitt, Joe Hurley, Paragon (Alison), Nancy, Terry and Lisa (didn't catch last names on those three). Well, we ended up staying and talking for four hours about everything under the sun. I had a blast and got to meet a lot of really nice people, as well as get Tourist Mickey in a bit of trouble. I had relinquished possession of him to Rob early in the evening, and through the course of the night, he sat in a few masks mouths, talked to Arnie and Claude and even hung off the finger of the statue in the lobby.
At a little before 1:30, the crowd was thinning, so Amy, Lisa, Bill and I decided to call it a night and go home. Amy, Lisa and I walked to the bus stop together, and we bid farewell to Bill as he headed off to his car. I ran into my first seriously drunk person of the night on the bus. A guy across from me and one row up was telling everyone that got on the bus that it was going to California. I believe he'd had a few too many. We arrived back safely at the hotel at 1:45 and I was in bed by 2:00.
What a great night...something I will *definitely* have to do again. It was a great way to end the trip. I didn't want to go home the next day, but all good things have to come to an end. At least I had my July trip to look forward to, including lunch with Brother Lerroy and my Happy Birthday bagpipe serenade from Off Kilter. Leaving is always bittersweet, but knowing I was going back again so soon made it a lot better.
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