Having a couple of late mornings, immersed with trials in getting ready on time and forgotten items, this morning proved to be one of the most efficient mornings we had yet. We were up on time, got ready in an orderly manner, and were waiting at the turn styles by 8:15 AM. Prior to getting in line, however, we have to go through the bag search line. My wife raced me to the security cast member (and beat me my millimeters). I told the cast member that this was a good sign, meaning that she was being competitive, at such an early hour, so that it should carry over to the Toy Story game.
The park was scheduled to open at 9 AM, so we were pretty close to the front of the line. As the cast members distributed themselves at the turn styles to turn them on, one approached the line next to mine and advised them that their line would have to amalgamate with ours since that machine wasn’t operational. Great!
Where I was about 6th in line became about 27th quickly. As the turn styles were activated, magically, the one next to ours turned on, and now people were fighting to get back into their original place in that line. I was just happy to have become 6th in line again. We entered the park, and I collected the park tickets to get the fast passes for Toy Story Mania.
With fast passes in hand, we decided to chance the standby line. It was a quick jaunt through the empty queue and we were on the ride in less than 5 minutes. After an exhilarating ride through the manic ring toss, breaking of plates, dart throwing, and water balloon games, I rose to the competition and won in the car. I average about 140,000 to 170,000 points during the ride, but I’m amazed by those guests that get 500,000+ points at a time. I guess I just don’t have the time to devote to perfecting my game to that level. Knowing we would be back again, we walked away.
The women wanted to do some shopping, so my wife sent me on my way to ride Rockin’ Rollercoaster. I use the single rider line because it is known to be faster than the stand-by line. But in this case, I could have gone through either of them and arrived at the show just as quickly. It was a walk on ride, and soon I was in a super stretch limo that sped me through alleys, twists, and loops to get me to the red carpet and the ability to use my backstage passes to see Aerosmith live.
As I exited the ride, through the store, I encountered my wife that was just entering the area. She asked if I would want to ride again, and I refused. The purpose of our last visit to this park (this trip) was to explore. Riding again and again would defeat that purpose, so we started looking around at everything we could see, popping in and out of stores, and examining details along the street.
We found ourselves encompassed by storm troopers and that all too familiar hollow breathing of Darth Vader. Luckily there were some Jedi trainees around. They used the force, their light sabers, and the helpful guidance of their masters to defeat the dark side, and make it easier to enter the Star Tours ride. After C3PO mistakenly launched our ship into space and another deadly encounter with Darth Vader, and the crew at the Death Star, we landed safely, disembarked from our cruiser and made it unscathed to our previous route within Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
We decided to see if Anna was still as competitive as she was at the baggage check, and re-entered Toy Story Mania with our fast passes. After another five grueling rounds, Anna proved just how competitive she was. Although I won (again), shoe wouldn’t let me live it down if I didn’t add that I won only by 400 points. My score was 164,400, and hers was 164,000. Still, a win is a win, but it was definitely fun. It remains to be the highlight ride of our trip to this park, despite the sore arm afterward.
We were going to walk on over to the Great Movie Ride, that was until we walked by the “One Man’s Dream” theater. I haven’t ever seen this, but that wasn’t the draw here. I have seen documentaries on the theme parks and the man behind the magic. I have taken tours that explain the magic; and I have been on other tours that show different aspects of key parts of the parks. This show was worth the wait. Inside were pictures of the past, personal memories of Walt, future models of Disney World, all followed by a very interesting movie that dove into the life and dreams of one man. This will continue to be another consideration when we return.
We left the show with 15 minutes to spare before checking into our dining reservation at Sci-fi Dine In. The seating, in this theater/restaurant is in a unique setting. The tables are in placed inside models of old cars, all facing the same direction. Next to the car is a post with two speakers on it. What’s being heard from the speakers is the sound of the giant movie screen the cars are facing. Yep! It’s a huge drive in theater. Your car hop will appear at the side of your car, take your order, and deliver your meal so that you never have to miss the show.
The movies that are playing are short cartoons and movie clips from old black and white movies. By old, I mean movies from the 50’s and 60’s. Corny horror flicks and advertisements, as well as intermission jingles and dancing popcorn. Collectively, the entire experience is one that will never be forgotten, and if possible, will warrant a return visit. The food was excellent, the car hop and movie clips were entertaining, and the whole theme of the restaurant was a pure joy to have experienced.
After lunch, we made it to The Great Movie Ride, and saw movie greats from Indiana Jones, Casablanca, Tarzan, and the Wizard of Oz, as well as others that aren’t crossing my mind right now. The driver of the vehicle we sat in was entertaining as well, and that made for an exciting trip into the history of the movies.
Shopping was next on the agenda, but in my case, I just wanted to explore, so as the ladies entered the store, I remained outside to look around and take one or two more pictures of the area. If you’d like to see the pics I have taken, I encourage you to head over here to take a look. I promise, it’s not a lot (comparatively). While standing out on the sidewalk, I witnessed some of the magic that happens in the parks: A man behind me called out to a guy in front of me. Ok, not so magical, except how many times do you happen to bump into someone you know, that’s not in your immediate party? The men greeted each other, and then one of them stooped down and presented one of the children with a toy. I don’t know why this intrigued me so much, but in a chance meeting, one man was prepared for anything, and the look on that child’s face when he was presented the toy was memorable. That child experienced some magic in that moment, and I’m sure he won’t forget it. After the women were satisfied with their shopping experience, we exited the park for our break. Before we split off to enjoy some relaxation, however, we drove over to the Wilderness Lodge to see the Christmas decorations and explore some more. Then we went off to our resorts, and the day had been called, due to exhaustion.
As evening fell, I decided I wanted to go back to DHS, and try to experience more of the ambience. I wanted to take in Fantasmic. This particular show I had not seen since my first visit six years prior. I wanted to get a fresh perspective on it, and to do so, I would be going alone. Anna wanted to stay in and relax before we went into our last full day in the parks. Having not traveled alone to any destination, Anna gave me some easy directions to follow, and off I went. I arrived with little time to make it to the show, and ended up sitting near the back of the auditorium. Luckily I am tall and didn’t have too much difficulty seeing, but I felt bad for the kids in that area. I really like this show, but the crowds are nearly unbearable.
After Mickey successfully took control of his dreams, I walked briskly out of the stadium and had one destination on my mind. I wanted, more than anything else, to go experience the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Now, if you want to see a crowd of people, not all of them happy to see more come in after the Fantasmic show, then this was the place to be. I was buffeted and bucked in every direction, trying to find a perfect spot to see everything. When the music would change to something more upbeat, the lights on the buildings would fade and plink to the beats. It was pure awe to see the lights move to the music,, and the crowds around us would come to a complete stop. Everyone was watching the show.
Engaged 12/6/2012 at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. (Congratulations!!)
As I watched the last bit of dancing lights, for me anyways, I looked over to the large green lit tree, and saw something you only find on youtube. A man was bent on one knee before a young lady, and was presenting her with a small white box. The crowd around them erupted into applause and cheering. She said yes. I cut my way through the crowd, introduced myself as a guest writer for wdworbust.net, congratulated them on their recent engagement, and then asked if I could get a picture of them. It is, with their permission, that I present that picture of Jordan and Kathleen. This was a special and magical proposal, in a magical place. I wish them well, and hope their future together continues to be a magical experience.
My day was complete, and it was getting late. We had another exciting day planned tomorrow, our last day of our vacation before heading back home. I exited the park, and then found the car. I started it up and left the park. Fate, as it is called, would lead me down some unknown roads, and soon, I was heading out of Disney World, and the next sign said I was on my way to Orlando. Um, ok, I’m lost. I would have pulled over to the shoulder and queued up the GPS, but for some strange reason, the highways, in Florida, don’t have shoulders. Instead, I grabbed the phone and called my barely awake wife. I read off the signs as they came up and in no time, she had me back on familiar roads, and back into the parking lot. I guess that was my inexperience with the signage (or the lack thereof) in the six times I have been there. This was Anna’s 21st time there, and she knew the area as well as if she had lived there. Thank you, honey!!
Tomorrow is our last day, and we will be spending it at The Magic Kingdom. We are looking forward to spending more time in New Fantasy Land, as well as other parts of the park. Until then, we are still WDW or Bust. Take care!