Thursday, May 19, 2016

Foodin' and Winin' 2015, Day 3: Ridin' and Tourin', Part 2

Part 1 can be viewed HERE

Our next FP was set for the Haunted Mansion at 11:20.  We were quite a bit ahead of what the schedule was in my mind, so we did our one bathroom break at the Tangled bathroom area (no, I didn’t count it as an attraction) and then headed over to Liberty Square and checked the time for the next showing of the Hall of Presidents.  I had this scheduled as a mid- to late-afternoon showing; it’s a great one for that part of the day because you are pretty much guaranteed to get into the next showing, and, because of its length, you’re off your feet and out of the sun/heat/rain during the sunniest/hottest/wettest part of the day when you need a break.  The crowds were definitely growing, but it still seemed like a  6-7 on the crowd scale.  We just missed the start of the next Hall of Presidents show, so we decided to pop into Ye Olde Christmas Shop to look around while we waited.  We also grabbed new Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom cards in the hopes of doing that later on in the day.  While we were getting the cards, I glanced to see if Princess Tiana was out for a meet-and-greet (she’s in one of those places that is easily overlooked, and you can sometimes see her with almost no wait); she wasn’t out to greet, though.

I contemplated grabbing a waffle sammich at Sleepy Hollow, but we had Pecos Bill’s planned soon, and I wanted to check out their new menu.  Besides, the next showing of Hall of Presidents was getting close to starting, so we headed into the attraction.

That done, we hopped, skipped, and jumped over (well, we didn’t literally hop, skip, or jump, but we might do that the next time) to the Haunted Mansion.  We raised our Magic Bands, touched Mickey to Mickey, and turned him green (that’s a good thing, for those not familiar with FastPass).  We had a lot of Haunted Mansion virgins nearby, because they were all reading the tombstones and reacting to some of the effects (not going to spoil Madame Leota’s tombstone).  The end effect wasn’t working on this day, so we didn’t get our heads swapped (did Disney do it first or Snapchat?).

With that done, we started towards Frontierland for lunch.  Since we had all three FPs used, we stopped at the FP+ kiosk near the breezeway/restrooms, and found out that the reservation system was down.

Hmmm….this was going to throw a wrench into the plans a bit.

Also…where did all these people come from?  The crowds seemingly surged in the past 20 minutes.  We decided to get lunch next.  The (then) new menu had more of a southwest flavor, and the food wasn’t too bad.  We took our time and re-gained some energy.  While the rest finished eating, I decided to head over to Jungle Cruise to see if the FP kiosks were back up.  On my way, my timing was perfect.  The Pirate Tutorial was just starting, so I watched for a few minutes.  I then continued my quest for Fastpasses and found out that the system was “sort of” up…they had cast members stationed at every kiosk and were manually overriding the system to reserve FPs.  Jungle Cruise was available around 1:15.  I said “YEP”, and he then said that all technically should be there to have the system overridden.  He said it would be okay, since the system was so messed up.  I thanked him and wished him good luck with the mobs that he was going to have to deal with throughout the day.

Heading back to Pecos Bill’s, The Pirate Tutorial was still going, so I watched for a few more minutes.  I ended up watching about 7-8 minutes total.  Was I supposed to watch the entire thing?  Yeah, but it’s not an official attempt.  To keep the critics at bay, though, I won’t count it.

I met back up with the rest of them and gave them the update on the FP situation.  All was good, and all were just about finished eating (I ate lunch very quickly).  We finished up and headed out to try a first for the Mushfam…the Pirate’s Adventure!

It kind of has a localized “Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom” feel without the screens, with a little “Agent P” thrown in.  It was definitely cute, and, while we walked around to complete our mission, we had a number of people watching us activate seemingly inanimate objects and ask is what the heck we were doing.  Those with kids pretty much had their minds made up by their kids as they dragged their parents to the headquarters.  It was a nice diversion that probably only took about 15-20 minutes; it’s not as popular (that, or it’s not as well-known) as Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom, so there really wasn’t much of a line at all at any of the stations.  Quite often, I’d look ahead to where we were supposed to go and see one other party just finishing up.  I can easily see us doing the other missions on our next trip!

Our return window for Jungle Cruise was 1:15, and it was just before 1:00.  I glanced over to see where Clyde and Claude were in their spiel….

Go ahead….think about it for a bit….I’ll wait.






Got the attraction yet?






Clyde and Claude are the birds in the pre-show to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!

While I couldn’t see them, I could hear them talking, which meant that we only had a couple minute wait before seeing the Tiki Birds.  We walked in, paused for about 60 seconds to see the preshow wrap up, and then entered a great place to chill for a while.  This is another attraction that I like to do in the afternoon.  I have contemplated sticking around for a second show, but I didn’t want to anger the Tiki gods.

This version is SOOOOOO much better than the “Under New Management” version.  Sheri and I saw Under New Management about 4 days before it closed down due to a small fire.  I think I actually made a joke to Sheri about Iago catching fire and burning up (it was part of the story line)…Iago just about did fulfill that prophesy LOL!!!

With the Tiki Birds checked off the list, it was time to bypass the masses and hop on the Jungle Cruise with our FastPasses.  As promised, there was no issue with all four of us getting into the line.  We only had to wait 2 boats, and we were on with Skipper Marco, who turned out to be one of the best skippers we’ve had.

Eric decided to do a little heckling at a one of the jokes.  Marco just did the Shrunken Ned spiel (“He’s running a special today…two of his heads for one of yours!”).  When he asked if there were any takers, Eric promptly raised his hand.  I promptly contemplated throwing Eric overboard.  Marco, quick on his feet, decided to try singling him out and setting him in his place.

Marco: “Wise guy, huh?  What’s your name?”

Eric: “uuuuhhhhh….Marco!”

Marco: momentary stunned silence followed by laughter.

Yeah, he’s the one we’ll be called into the principal’s office for.

I gave an affirming nod to Marco and mouthed a “thanks…you rock!” as we stepped off the boat.  Another great Cast Member!

Since we were right by the kiosks, and it seemed like the crowds were nearing the busiest we have seen in a park, we hopped into the queue line for the FastPass Kiosks and grabbed 3:55 FPs for Mermaid.

Wait….Journey of the Little Mermaid?  There’s something about that attraction that’s bugging me….not sure what it is though….let me think about it for a minutohnoweweresupposedtoDOTHISASTHESECONDATTRACTION!!!!!

That explains why we were so far ahead of schedule early on in the trip.

@#$& ^^&@!@#%%$&***!!! (spoken in my best QBert voice)

Oh well...c'est la vie! With those FPs “in hand” (“on wrist?”), we decided to mosey on over to Tomorrowland with a quick stop at the hub for some more pics, "just in case the earlier ones didn't turn out", according to Sheri.

Seeing this pic made me pause for a minute.  I thought back to our very first trip with all four of us...

Wow...the boys are just a bit taller now.

Why Tomorrowland?  With the large crowds, I decided to give the Mushfam an experience they’d soon not forget yet would not have us in line for a long time.

I was going to subject them to Stitch.

Yes, call DCFS and divorce lawyers now!

I rode it once during one of the marathon weekends where I went solo; I give major props to my friend and running teammate, Phill Vanderpool, who rode that attraction for around 15 hours in a single day to raise money for Give Kids the World (he brought in over $2000 with this one).  I had to ride it to see if it was really as bad as everyone said it was.  Having endured it, I realized I didn’t donate enough to Phill’s cause.

This would be the first time for the rest of the Mushfam…Eric’s expression pretty much summed up everyone’s thoughts:

Part 3 can be viewed HERE

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