Thursday, June 9, 2011

Disney: The Free Food Continues!

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Enjoy these Disney posts while we're on our next trip...a cruise to Alaska!!!

We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge just before noon. The first cast member I saw asked about my pins and what I was looking for. Then he disappeared "to check something" but returned saying he'd looked at a lot of pins and didn't see what I wanted. This led to the discovery that if you are looking for current cast lanyard (Hidden Mickey) pins and you are staying at a resort, you should mention to cast members what you're looking for. They have a way of turning up on lanyards soon afterwards. =)

We were shocked and pleased to discover that we'd been upgraded to the Club Level! Free breakfast, we heard! Cool! Our wilderness-themed room was replete with Mickey ears towels on the bed.

I must mention here that when I asked Michael, "Did you get a picture of the Mickey ears on the bed???" he responded "Yes, of course!" Later when I was going through the pictures I said, "Really??!? This was your picture of the Mickey ears??"

We also had a wonderful porch...

...with an amazing view.

We're not sure if we got upgraded because Michael had paid a little extra for "lake view" or what. As we were running out to go to Magic Kingdom, we noticed that the "breakfast room" was open. And we noticed a sign by the door that said "snacks" were currently available. So we decided to check it out:

OMIGOSH, IT'S COOKIE MOUNTAIN!! They also had jars of gummy bears, nuts and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, along with canned Cokes. They also had liter bottles of water (glass; not portable)--very important in Orlando where your tap water can possibly taste like it's had a baseball-sized rock of sulfur dissolved in it before it was piped to your faucet. Also one of those fancy-schmancy machines that distributes all manner of coffee-polluted drinks (bleh) along with HOT CHOCOLATE! (Huzzah!)

Love the name. As you hang out with your free snacks (FREE! SNACKS!!!) you can look out over the impressive lobby of the Lodge.

Once we got over the shock of having free snacks (and I ate some gummy bears JUST BECAUSE I COULD), we headed to the Magic Kingdom on the boat that goes by the Lodge. Of course, the moment we got off the boat, Michael realized he didn't have our tickets with us (we always buy 10-day park hoppers with the "never expire" option. If you can afford to make your purchases in a chunk, it's WAY cheaper in the long run because prices are constantly going up). He was all set for an hour wasted in round-trip back to the Lodge, when I said, "Wait a minute. We CANNOT be the only people who have done this. I am betting Guest Services is set up for just this kind of eventuality." Sure enough, the lovely Jeannie was able to charge one-day, one-park tickets for us and give us a small envelope that would allow the next cast member we talked with to refund us that price and take the day off our passes.

Everyone neat and pretty? On with the show!

I have never gotten to see the Main Street Marching Band before; they were very good. Of course, we were really just hanging out to see my one "must do" Magic Kingdom attraction: The Dapper Dans.

Since I sang with them a few years ago (they let me sing "Will I Ever Tell You?" from "The Music Man" while they sang "Lida Rose" to accompany me), I am now officially the president. I have the card that says so. It's signed by Mickey Mouse, so, you know...totally legal and all. Here they are with their organ chimes (too cool). I was probably more amused than I should have been by the antics of the guy on the right, because he could be the brother of a guy I work with.

The park is gorgeous in Spring!

First order of business: Grab some FastPasses, either to Buzz Lightyear or Space Mountain.

Michael and I don't wait in line at least, not any more than 20 minutes (30 if it's something we really want to do or maybe 45 if it's a new attraction and we can't get FastPasses...but we always get FastPasses ;). Handy FastPass tip: Generally, once you get a FastPass, you can't get another one until your return time. However, sometimes you can get one earlier! The time you're allowed to get another is printed at the bottom of the FastPass.

We got to catch a new (to us) parade...

So, what would you expect to be behind the Genie on the float? Any guesses? Notice the chimneys on the front? Foreshadowing, your key to quality parades!




The Winnie the Pooh ride has a swanky new entrance, as well as a Poohtacular queue line. We weren't going to wait for it at this point, but we did get to ride with no wait on another day. Foreshadowing: Your key to quality blogging!

It was neat to see the artists' renderings of what the new Fantasyland will look like!

If you're familiar with Mickey's ToonTown Fair (or Mickey's StarLand or Mickey's Birthday Land or whatever the heck it's called now), this is what it's going to change to.

Dueling Dumbos!!! Whoop whoop! (Geeky sidenote: Dumbo has one of the worst throughputs of any ride but is probably the most-loved by teeny people...or most-pushed by their parents. Pirates of the Caribbean's throughput is about 4 times Dumbo's--2500 vs. 600.)

And even though the lagoon for 20,000 Leagues under the Sea was filled in long ago, it will finally have a replacement.

Can't wait!

If you recall past fierce competitions in Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, you'll realize that these numbers are SHOCKINGLY CLOSE!

Butofcourse, I am still ahead. =)

I don't think I'd ever actually ridden the riverboat before!

It's a nice relaxing ride, with some upgraded (according to the hubby) native American animatronics, and also allows you to see things you don't normally see, like...

The backside of a mountain! OK, not as good as the backside of water, but the slow speed of the riverboat does let you get great shots of Thunder Mountain Railroad, like this:


So, it turns out that even with my great love of Spectromagic, I have somehow never seen the Main Street Electrical Parade before. Until now!

Parade crossing the bridge into Frontierland (I *think*).


We got to see the fabulous new castle show. I desperately wish I had videoed the entire thing. Basically, they project on the castle, IN THE ROUND. At one point, it looked like all the blocks in the castle were flipping around, ala the entrance to Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter movie. I did video part of it; someday I'll upload a video.

And despite the fact that I normally don't like the Disney fireworks shows, I LOVED this one.

Hidden Mickey in the fireworks!!

OK, maybe not so hidden.

We must be living right.


Aimee said...

Oh MAN, it would be fun to do Disney with you guys someday! Let us know when you're coming out to Dland to see the new DCA. Maybe we could arrange something...

Parsley said...

I've only been to DisneyLAND. Looks like so much fun!

Erin (moviemuse) said...

I can't believe that with all the times you and I have been to Disney, this was your first time on the riverboat, and I've still never done it! Maybe next year. (I keep saying that, but it somehow never happens.)

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