Monday, February 22, 2010
Part 2 of this day can be viewed HERE.
The next item up is a minor issue of contention between wifey and me…Dinosaur. It's an awesome ride, and Aaron loves dinosaurs. The dinosaurs he loves, however, are not 20 feet tall and screaming at you with their teeth bared. Wifey thinks he'll be fine, I'm worried that it's going to be too real for him. We start to make our way to Dinosaur to either grab fastpasses or hop in the standby line if the wait's not too much. As we are about to enter Dinoland, I look over to the left and see an attraction that almost always has at least a 20 minute wait actually have no wait at all. We immediately hop in line as this simply cannot be passed up and are through the queue in less than 5 minutes! Yes, folks, Flame Tree Barbeque was quiet!!! Sheri takes the boys to look for a place to sit while I wait for the food. The food gets piled on...two completely full trays. I look at the stroller, back at the trays, and then to the horizon to see how far Sheri went with the boys.
I balance one tray precariously on the canopy of the stroller and try to push the stroller with one-and-a-half hands (half a hand was holding the other tray). CAST MEMBER TO THE RESCUE!!! Someone noticed that I was hopeless and offered to help with a tray.
I almost kissed her.
We head down to the seating area for Flame Tree and find Sheri and the boys. They're close, not under one of the canopies. The CM offers a suggestion to go a little further to avoid "the birds". I look at Sheri and see if she's okay with that. The people sitting next to her tell her that she'd be crazy NOT to move because they're still crying over the drink that got "bombed" from overhead. We move down to another one, enclosed, where it's nice and quiet. The boys get situated with Mommy, while I head back up for the condiments. I come back and then head back up again because apparently I didn't bring the proper utensils for everyone.
This was one of the quietest meals we had on our trip…not too many people…awesome surroundings…and the detail just amazing. As I look around, I recall something I heard on the Meandering Mouse podcast about these pavilions. Each one has a couple of animals carved into the woodwork – if you pay attention, you'll notice that one animal is a predator of the other animal.
We enjoy the relaxing meal, and Sheri asks how my birthday lunch is. I look at her and the boys and just smile.
With the meal finished, we start to make our way towards Dinosaur. Before we get there, we pause to listen to a CM by the T-rex fossils who's doing a presentation. The boys got to hold dino poop and were both enthralled and disgusted at it.
We see it's only a 20 minute wait, so we start to walk towards the CMs manning the fastpass line. As we walk up, the CM looks at Eric and anticipates a fight with us. Before he asks to measure Eric, we calm his fears and ask to do a child swap. This is the first time we've tried one of these, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. We got the swap fastpass, and Sheri and Aaron head for the queue line. I take Eric to the gift shop, fully expecting a revolt (I WANT MOMMY!!!). He wanted her, but I was able to distract him a bit with all the toys on there. I steer him towards the screens where they show the rider pics, fully expecting to see Sheri reaching out to grab Aaron as he's trying to escape the torture.
We get to a display that had a lot of large toy dinos, and I start doing a little show with a couple of them to keep Eric entertained. Unknowingly at first, I was also entertaining a couple of other families whose kids were watching us. I had a carnotaur carrying on a conversation with 3 different kids for a while, until he got hungry and decided that he wanted to eat me. I put him down before he got past my arm. As Eric and I leave, I can see one of the kids immediately grab the hungry dino and continue the story with his parents.
A few minutes later, I see Aaron and Sheri pop up on the screen. He's at least looking at the ferocious beast about to devour the entire jeep and doesn't look like he just pissed his pants, so I'm relieved. I tell Eric to look for Aaron and Mommy on TV. A couple of minutes later, the newly-returned time-travelers emerge from the exit, and Aaron is all smiles. Eric runs to Mommy as though I were the carnotaur (can't win, can I). I ask Aaron how it went, and he says that it was awesome!
Moment of Truth (insert inordinately long pause like the game shows do)…
"Do you want to ride it with me?"
voice over from the great beyond: That answer is…………….
He liked it, but he didn't love it. Both Wifey and I claim victory with the ride. We then head over to the entrance so I can ride it. Before we leave, I see a dream team member head towards the unloading platform and wonder what someone's gonna get. I get to the Fastpass return line, while Sheri takes the boys to chill for a while.
I get to the return line and hear the folks in front of me asking if they could do a child swap. The CMs are out of the passes, so I offer up mine as I'm just getting done with it. They take it, and a couple of them head on in. I head in the FP return line and, as I'm going through, I realize I no longer have the ticket. No prob…I explained to the CM the situation, and, with the folks right in front vouching for me, I'm through and on the ride in no time flat.
The ride's good…IMHO though, I think it loses a bit the more you ride it. With many other attractions, there are so many details that are missed unless you ride it over and over. With Dinosaur, I don't see that. Great ride the first couple of times through, but that's about it.
The boys are doing great still. We've only got one more definite thing we'd like to do…Nemo. The next show isn't for a little while, though. I suggest we let the boys burn off some energy at the dig site. Sheri decided to let Eric have a ride of his own since he didn't get to do Dinosaur. I take Aaron in to the dig site errrrrr I mean the Boneyard (I've been reading up on WDW resorts too much…kept calling it the dig site (which is at Coronado) the whole trip). Aaron goes in to dig for a bit, while the other two head over for TriceraTop spin. I guess that, with the line, they'd be done in 20 minutes. Aaron plays for a bit, and we head over to the Dumbous Reincarnatus ride. They're still in the queue, so we grab some shade and just chill for a bit. There were several dream team members standing nearby gabbing with a DVC guide person. I had some fun watching some of the folks walking back and forth in front of them hoping they'd get picked for a prize. My guess is that doing something like that probably lessens their chances just a bit. I remember every time the dream team stopped us in the past, it was like they came out of the woodworks and popped up on you unexpectedly. After the dream teamers left, the DVC guide dude gives us some DVC buttons. I've avoided these kiosks this entire trip so far because, if I did, I'd probably end up buying without my spouse's knowledge, and my spouse would subsequently start divorce proceedings without my knowledge. We talk a bit about timesharing, and I'm resisting the urge to set up an appointment, though I really want to see a unit. In a few years, it's a definite possibility...now, however, we are still paying off the Wyndham timeshare we have in Vegas. I'm starting to get a little disheartened with the current one we own...some of the decisions being made by the powers-that-be aren't sitting too well with a lot of owners, and many of the newer resorts are priced so that you simply can't stay there with the current number of points. Zurg (another imaginary online friend) and I had a really good debate on this topic a couple of years ago over on the Lodge. One of the major things that I failed to take into consideration regarding lifetime deeded rentals versus vacation ownership (like DVC, where you only have it for a set period of time) is the notion that the buildings will age and, as they age, the maintenance fees will likely increase substantially after some threshold of time. Being deeded, we'll have to pay them. With no deed, like DVC, chances are that you'll be out of the contract before some of the really major structural renovations need to be completed.
Wow…that was a tangent. @#^!$@ attention deficit disorder (look, a quarter!).
BACK TO DINOLAND!
We talk with the DVC dude for a bit (nobody else was talking to him, and he looked bored). Eric and Sheri finish up and meet back up with us. After a potty break for the boys, we start to make our way for Nemo. We get in about 15-20 minutes before it's scheduled to start, and we're seated closer to the front than we have before and on the right-hand side. The boys love the theater and have fun watching Nemo dart among the bubbles on the side.
It starts, and I've never seen the boys' eyes so big. Sheri and I love this production, and it appears that the boys are in the same boat. We almost feel like veterans here because this is the third time we've seen it, and we're critiquing the performers. Marlin…same guy all 3 times. Great! Nemo…same one at least the last 2 times. Also Great! New Crush…Good, but not as good as the other one (who is about perfect). Dory…I think same one all 3 times…just as good as ever. Bruce…same all times and awesome (the puppet didn't break this time at least!).
The show ends and we pile out of the theatre. Both Sheri and I agree that sitting a little further back for this show is better than being in the front section, though the first section is still good. Before we head out of the park for the nap, we stop at the Nemo gift area just outside the exit and let the boys pick out something. As we head out, we see a Photopass guy by the tree and attack him for a pic:
Part 4 of this day can be viewed HERE.