Monday, June 7, 2010
Part I can be viewed HERE.
Being the seasoned veterans, we know not to hit the bathroom just yet. We head to the tram to the main terminal and head down, down, down (whoooah whooooah whoah) (apologies to the Righteous Brothers for taking liberties with the lyrics). The other three peel off to the chairs while I hop in line for the Magical Express check-in. Immediately someone asks me if they have everything they need. I answer, and then 2 others ask the same thing. Next time we fly down, I think I'll bring big white hands for the queue line.
About 5 minutes later, I see my student and his wife hop by. They talk for a minute and agree to let the wife get in line. Then she saw where I was in line and asked if we ran here. They weren't seasoned enough to know not to go to the bathroom as soon as you deplane because you end up behind the rest of the plane checking in at M.E. Of course, every time we passed each other in the queue line, she'd fake-glare at me, and I'd stick my tongue out at her.
The line moves fast…really fast (partially because some folks ignored the white-hand girl and brought their entire family into the queue). We're checked in, and NOW we go to the bathroom. 2 minutes later and we hop on the red carpet to our bus line. Within 5 minutes, we're hopping on the bus. We hesitantly let the boys sit together across from us. 5 minutes later, and we're on our way!
About 10 minutes in, I switch places with Eric before things got too unruly. Aaron finally falls asleep (good!) and lays down on my lap. One family near us hadn't been to WDW for over 10 years and was wondering how all the new attractions were. Everyone on the bus answered their questions as fast as they asked them. We all let out a whoop as we passed through the gates, and I found it a bit odd that the bus didn't make a right turn for the Pop (as it did for us the past three trips). We stop at Sports, and 85% of the bus gets off. The only ones left on the bus are us, the family with the girl from Bloomington, and 2 other families. The BMI fam gets off at Music, and, before we know it, we're in line to check in at Movies.
Only 4 minutes pass by before we hear "NEXT." We all head up there, do the check-in thing, and are pleased to hear that they got us in Toy Story. We're out in 4 minutes and heading over to Andy's Room. We didn't even realize that we didn't get the whole folder that they usually give everyone at the front desk.
Now, Eric has never seen Andy's room, and Aaron was just about 3 when he saw it, so we're excited to see how the boys react…
We head to the elevator in the Buzz building (Eric just looked up and stared at Buzz for a good 30 seconds) and quickly realized that we needed to establish rules on who gets to push which buttons. We decide, amid several tears (both by kids and parents), that Aaron pressed the button to go up and Eric would press the button to go down.
Room 964…where's room 964?
We follow the arrows and get a cool view of the courtyard:
Wow…nice view…the people who have this room right behind us must love it.
I turn around.
We were on the top floor, right at the corner, next to Buzz. Did I mention I like the view?
We open the door and find a towel animal in the window. We also got a towel Mickey on the bed…first time we've gotten one of those. WOOHOO!
We do our traditional "we're in the room" routine. The boys jump on the beds. I yell at them. The boys ignore me. Someone gets hurt. I yell some more.
Usually it takes a little while before we head out to the parks, but Sheri was literally dragging us out the door. She becomes the photo queen temporarily and tells us to head down by Woody for a pic. We head down, and she snaps the pic:
I title it: Mush and the 40-foot Woody (sick of the adolescent Woody jokes yet?)
I convince everyone to trust me and show them a short cut to the busses from the Buzz building…I found it on our first trip by accident on the last night of our trip. Instead of heading out of Andy's room and heading back to Cinema Hall, head out east along the bottom of the "T", and it will lead you about 200 yards to the bus stops.
Our plan of attack was to hit Studios today, catch the "left" side of the park (Echo Lake/Streets of America) and hopefully catch up with Kelly's crew (daycare provider). I kid you not…the second we stepped into the queue line for DHS, a bus appeared and switched the sign to Studios.
This bus was shared with the other two All-Star resorts, so it was a little full. We kind of expected it, though, with Studios being the EMH night park tonight. Still, we were able to sit down and relax for a moment.
We get to Studios and look for a Photopass dude/dudette to snap a pic in front of the tree. Weird…there were no Photopass dudes/dudettes to be seen anywhere. We snap one ourselves of the boys.
We turn towards the turnstiles and HOLY COW there's a lot of people trying to get in. They seem to be moving quickly, though. As we get closer, we realize what's going on. Apparently, they lost the system that scans the tickets. Our guess is that they held entrances for a while as they tried to determine what to do. Their solution was to stamp the back of the tickets with today's date.
Ummmmm…..our tickets are plastic…wouldn't the stamp rub off in around 3.5 seconds?
I didn't bring it up, but you could kind of tell that the CMs working the turnstiles knew it was an effort in vain. They did what they were likely told to do, though. My guess is that we got a free pass into a park that day (and now have an extra day on our tickets). Too bad our flight back wasn't later…we could have used that extra day then.
The bottleneck at the entrance translated into a bottleneck on Hollywood Boulevard. I think we got a taste of what Christmas week would be like. Everyone headed to Tot/RnR or TSM, while we went away from the acronyms and towards Star Tours. We were pretty close to where I thought we'd be on the schedule, and we would arrive close to when the Jedi Training Academy would be starting. We arrive as the crowd is forming, and I pull out my phone to call Kelly (daycare provider). I would have texted her, but they didn't have that package on their phones.
Of course, I get the voice mail, so I leave a message. I start to have flashbacks from last December's trip phone fiasco and need a minute to get over the trauma. We tell the boys that a show was about to start, but Aaron was pretty insistent (for a 5 year old…downright annoying any other time) that he wanted to ride the attraction NOW.
I contemplated seeing if we could make the last flight back to Bloomington tonight. This ain't the way to start the trip, bud. While Eric gets measured to see if he's tall enough, I pull Aaron off to the side and threaten him far earlier than I had anticipated (I was hoping to make it to Day 3 before bringing out the "we can go back to the hotel, if you want" speech…silly me). Eric's officially past the 40 inch mark where it counts in the parks, so we hope to be good the rest of the trip. We go to the entrance (10 minute wait), and I tell Aaron that I don't want to hear it if we don't see the show outside if he wanted to see it. He told me he didn't want to see it at all.
I start banging my head against the wall.
We see the pre-show, and Sheri is already looking green. For the life of her, she could not remember ever riding this attraction (we did on our first trip back in '01). As we watch the pre-show, however, it all comes back to her, and it almost came up and out. Remember…she gets motion sickness on It's A Small World. The CM tells us to hold up when the doors open so someone can look for a lost cell phone. The door opens, and several CMs and a woman head in to look for it. I contemplate shouting in there for the phone number so I could call it to help them find it, but they ended the search with no luck.
As we head in, Aaron asks if we're really going on a ship to outer space. Hey, who am I to say what's going on? All I said was "just wait and see." Aaron wants to be far away from me, so he sits next to Sheri. That leaves Eric next to me. We get strapped in, and Sheri decides which person she's going to aim for when she barfs.
Reactions to Star Tours:
We leave (well, 3 of us leave…Sheri staggers out) and witness the Jedi Training Academy in full swing. The boys initially are kind of "whate-vvveeerrr" until they hear Vader's music start and they catch their first glimpse of the stormtroopers.
NOOOOOOWWWWW they're interested. It's almost like Aaron knew we'd exit right when Vader came out, even though he had never seen the show.
Then Vader comes out.
Both boys freeze.
It's Darth Vader!
It's Darth Vader!!!!!!
Neither boy refuses to take their eyes off of him for fear that he'd do a jedi mind trick on them. Eric was getting a little spooked, so we decide to move on, even as Vader is getting his butt kicked by a bunch of ankle-biters.
Part III HERE