Part I is located HERE
We get to the actual ride, and Eric draws the short straw to ride with me. I'll let Sheri's notes tell you our feeling of the attraction: "Awesome queue line, Major Awesome (underlined 3 times) ride." If I were not feeling so bad, I would have suggested that we grab fastpasses to try it again. The FP return was already past 11:00, and we had ressies at 50's Prime-Time at just after 11. We exit the attraction and become everyday tourists…we look around for something to do. I see a sign that says that Woody will be showing up shortly. We head over to a snack stand nearby to grab a drink. The boys see a cool set of toys (a battery operated telescopic "claw" and several small aliens from Toy Story) They haven't gotten any toys thus far this trip and haven't been too bad, so we caved and let them get those. As I walk around to see when Woody would be showing up, I see the family that we were next to in Soarin (the University of Dayton researcher…he had a Parrothead shirt on for the second day in a row, so he couldn't have been too bad). We accuse each other of stalking for a moment, and I head back to grab the rest of the family as the line is starting to form.
We get in line, and I need to find a bathroom NOW! Unfortunately, I don't see one immediately nearby (not realizing there was one between TSM and One Man's Dream), and I didn't want to miss Eric seeing Woody as he has been waiting to meet him for over a year now (we saw him in '07, but the queue line was really long, and we thought we'd see him somewhere else…we didn't, and Eric remembered!). We peer in and see a lot of twists and turns and wonder if there are several characters in here. The door opens, and we realize what it actually is – a bunch of props for photo ops in a queue line for one character. The family in front of us tries taking around 75 pictures at each stop (while trying to keep the kids still, though they kept trying to run to the next station where another family was trying to get pics). The family behind us would barely let us get done with pics before they rushed up to get in (though the line was barely moving). Our boys were trying to climb everything.
I finally hit the wall and exploded.
After regretting the verbal tirade between Sheri and me, I just shut down and choose not to say anything for a while. We go through the line and get to Woody...Eric was happy to say the least.
We leave, and I start to talk again. I think Sheri is about to forgive me, so we figure out what to do next. I tell her that I'm not up to 50's PT, even though we've never eaten there. If they want to eat there, I'm fine with that, but I need to rest somewhere. I look at my pocket Unofficial Guide and notice that there should be a Playhouse Disney show starting in about 20 minutes. We get in line, over the objections of Aaron, who claims that the show is for babies. I'm pretty much just a shell of myself now as the energy is just gone. We get into the attraction, and we're near the front-left. I think it's waaaay too close for the boys to be able to see the show. We sit down while the rest file in, and I ask Sheri for the okay to call off lunch at 50's PT. I call WDW-DINE and hope that it's in time for someone to either grab the ressie quickly or give a walk-up a chance. The CM on the other end of the line seemed in shock.
For not wanting to see the show, Aaron sure did sing a lot! I'm really glad we did this one (new show for us). Handy Manny was really good - the Little Einstein puppets were a bit scary, though. We get showered with bubbles during the show and with streamers at the end of the show. Both boys were smiling big.
That helped me a little…I needed that.
I do another double bathroom break near Mermaid after the show. We make our way towards the exit, passing some streetmosphere shows (I still haven't really stopped to watch an entire spiel yet from them). We hop on the bus, and every passing moment is helping me regain a little strength. The bus arrives in about 7-10 minutes, and only a handful people get on. We are sharing resorts, and a number hop on as we arrive at each one. Once we get to ASMO, we hop into the food court. By now, I'm up to about 30-40%, and I know that I need to get something in my stomach. I consider that a good sign that my appetite is starting to come back. I go for all 4 food groups in one meal (bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and mayo…meats, grains, dairy, and veggies…and fats and carbs and…), and I was definitely hungry. I still think that I will be one of the first people to ever be on the free dining plan at Walt Disney World and actually LOSE weight on the trip.
We head back to the room, and the boys start playing with their new toys (they also got a blaster that shot nerf-like missiles…I lost count how many times I got hit by one). I curl up in bed and actually sleep for a while.
I wake up and actually feel like a human again. The first half of the day was just...ARGH!!! That's the only way I can describe it. I'm still doing bathroom runs, but the sense of imminent panic is going away. Hopefully the last half of the day will be better. I grab a shower and almost feel like heading out. I've been waiting for this evening for a long time as I've heard nothing but good things about Animal Kingdom at night. Initially, the plan was to get to AK so we could watch the parade (we've yet to see an afternoon parade at any of the parks), but everyone seemed willing to forego this one in lieu of a little sleep. We'll get there when we get there. Sheri tells me that a text came in while I was snoring. It was Mel…they made it and were at DTD for a while. Mare also texted and said that Renee is still under the weather (sounded like she was in even worse shape than I was in!). We get everyone ready and head out to the bus stop. An AK bus is there within a couple of minutes, and we hop on. Another family just makes it on, and I hear angels singing. This absolutely gorgeous southern belle with the cutest accent sits right next to us. They just got there a little while ago that day, and it's their first time to WDW in over 7 years. We find out that they are from Birmingham, and they find out that we're from central Illinois. The husband asks if we like Ryan Zook.
Hmm…that name's familiar, but I can't place it.
"Ryan Zook…football coach at Illinois?" he says.
OOOOHHHHHHhhhh….RON ZOOK (that accent threw me). I felt like a moron. It was either that or I was too lost in the woman's eyes to understand what anyone around me was saying. Besides, I was too busy wondering if she was a cheerleader for the War Eagles or the Crimson Tide. In my defense, Sheri thought the guy wasn't too terribly bad-looking either.
We get to AK far too quickly, and we're in the park and swimming upstream in no time (a good sign as that means everyone else is leaving). Before we hit the turnstiles, I get a text message from WJBC, AM 1230, The Voice of McLean County, telling me that Central Illinois is now under an Ice Storm Warning.
Oh Boy (apologies to my friend Tony for stealing his trademark catchphrase, but that's about the best way to put it).
(but we're not there, are we? muuaahahaahahahaaha)
We take our time in the Oasis, as our Southern Belle fades of into the distant foliage.
The animals in the Oasis seem particularly active at this part of the day…
I call this "Duck on a Rock"
We hop on the bridge to Discovery Island and assault a photopass dude for a couple of pics.
This was from our camera…actually not too bad a family pic for a change.
We then look at the watch and decide what to do. Remember - this is not going to be an attraction-filled visit as the goal this evening is to take in the ambience of the park.
So we run to ITTBAB.
I'm really leery about this one and expect us to be hauling a catatonic Eric out of the show mid-way through it. I slow us down so we can check out the carvings in the tree, and the boys start playing along, calling out all sorts of animals (including some I don't think the Imagineers intended…they boys must have an abstract mind, because Sheri and I didn't see a couple of the animals they claim they saw). We grab our bug eyes and get an obligatory glasses pic:
Within a couple of minutes, the doors open, and we sit down and get ready. We look for Flick, and the buys think the stage curtains are really cool. So far, so good in the attraction. As an added bonus, the stinkbug didn't stink for us.
Uh oh…here comes Hopper. I look over at Eric, who's wide-eyed as can be but still smiling. I completely forget about the "human spray" … I think I'm freaked out more than Eric is, who's giggling. The bees come by, and Eric's sitting on the edge of his seat, so he missed out on that (me, on the other hand, I can't stand stinging insects). His smile went away a little as the spiders came down, but not too much.
Sufficed to say, the attraction went over really well…I wasn't too worried about Aaron. Though this was also his first time seeing it, he's usually okay with this sort of stuff. We stop near the exit to do a little more animal-searching in the bark.
Part III HERE