Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today was a day of unexpected surprises! The day started early and is finishing late! Getting up at 6:30am Eastern time when your body is still on Hawaiian time can be tough and even tougher after four hours of sleep. The wake up call didn't have Stitch saying "No Sleepy, Wake UP!" on it. Hmmmm, wonder what's up with that?

Managed to get myself ready and over to Pop food court to meet up with Sean and Pam for breakfast. They wanted the waffles. I tried the waffles. It came with a slice of sausage and two strips of bacon and I purchased a pint of 2% milk to go with it. Not bad. We cut our time in the food court a little short in that Pam and myself wanted to head over to Animal Kingdom in order to be there early for today, Earth Day 2010 which is also the 12th anniversary of the park opening. Turns out they didn't have anything for the anniversary but just activities throughout the park to commemorate Earth Day.

While waiting for the park to open Pam noticed someone else in line. It was Jeff Lange. I was introduced. I knew that Jeff was a man of distinction. Both he and I were wearing the same exact style of sneaker, walking shoe or what ever is the correct term. Too funny!

After discovering that there were NO anniversary events (I thought that was what WDW Celebrations was supposed to handle, but I could be wrong lol) the three of us headed to Everest. It would be the first ride of the day and for me, the first of my trip! We then started to head over to Harambe

and I used my first photopass. I paid some money in advance of the trip in order to get all the pictures from across all the US parks in one package. I'm going to use this sucker like it's no ones business! If I see a photopass photographer, I want the picture taken. So we saw Baloo and got the first usage on the card.

The next ride was the Kilimanjaro Safari. We had the very back extender seat that they added to the vehicles a few years back. We had a blast. The driver Heather had a fear of the bridges, sort of old rickety bridges on the trails. she would make these uh, uh, uh, and high pitched squeal sounds as we traversed each bridge crossing. When we were let off of our two week safari cut short to 20 minute by our encounter with poachers, I asked Jeff if he had his JUICY pants and both he and Pam started laughing. Ask him sometime and he might explain! Part of it was you had to be there.

There were to be some big activities at Rifki's Planet Watch so we headed over there. I checked twitter and said that Laughing Place was supposed to be LIVE from Animal Kingdom. When I mentioned this Jeff got on the phone and said to wait a few minutes for the next train to drop off people. It was not the next train, but the second and Gideon from Laughing Place and his posse of Rebekah and some other person, fan tan lan wha-bam or something like that was with him. So I got to meet some of the Laughing Place peeps.

We explored the Planet Watch, got some pictures of Pocahontas and Rifiki and freebies from Sylvania that included a reusable bag that could be neatly folded up and snapped shut to take up minimal space.

While there we got to see a pygmy hedgehog. I don't think it's name was Sonic. I also got to meet Denise who does a blog about construction updates at Disney. At his point we split up with Jeff and Denise going one way and Pam and myself headed to get food a Flame Tree BBQ. I really like that place!

Pam and I left Animal Kingdom and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. I stopped at City Hall to get a couple of buttons for a person. If they are reading this blog. I got those "special" buttons that you requested and once I get your address I can forward them to you! I think you'll like them! The second part of my request for information to try to do something special at Disneyland next week. The person said I'd have to contact the Disneyland Resort directly and was about to end the conversation. When I asked for a contact number she disappeared for a while but then came back with information that I can use. While pleasant, no Awesome Job card awarded there.

After enjoying the Dapper Dans Pam and Pam and myself proceeded down towards the castle and what did we find there? That's right PhotoPass! Few more pictures please!

In the Hall of Presidents I got to the Robama as the figured is being called. For the In The Loop crowd, I kept my mouth shut as did everyone else in the audience. No words and no clapping. The show actually had a decent sized crowd. I really enjoyed the changes in the story line. It brings it more into the conversation about the Presidency and it's relationship to the common man.

Mansion was next. I really like some of the effects at the WDW version of the Mansion. BUT, Disneyland Paris still has the better Mansion attraction. After riding Small World, Sean joined up with Pam and myself and shortly thereafter Jeff was back in the fold. We headed over to Tomorrowland Transit Authority and met up with Earl from the Trapped on Vacation podcast. Now there were five!

We enjoyed each others company by eating at Peco's bills. Used the new "express" kiosks. I had used similar ones at Taste Pilots Grill at Disney's California Adventure and thought this should be easy. Well, the ordering what easy. The getting the order took a while. The fixins bar with the sauteed onions and mushrooms added good flavor to the burger. I decided not to do the french fries, but the apple slices. When you looked at the size of the portions, you could understand why people pick the fries. The perception of value is a huge factor!

Pirates was next. Some changes over there since the last time I was in the park in 2007. The exciting factor was the cheerleader girls. They were LOUD in the queue, but we were on opposite sides and we thought we'd be safe. Wrong, they ended up a couple of boats in front of us. Shoot me now, please due to the noise factor. Luckily they calmed down for the ride. I was surprised at that.

The finishing of Pirates lead to the departure of Earl and Jeff for the evening leave Sean, Pam and myself. We tried for the Liberty Bell River Boat, but it was now closed. On the way over to Space Mountain we did ride Snow White's Scary Adventure as it had a very short line. OH, we also discovered the 15 minute clock chime at Small World was supposed to be working. Yeah!

After discovering that Space Mountain wait was 60 minutes we rode the Carousel of Progress. It was cold, dark and comfortable. I've had about 8 hours sleep over 3 days and it caught up with me and I nodded out a couple of times in the short show. Pam was hitting the wall as well. We watched Wishes. Tinker Bell flew right over my head and waved at ME! That was special. Another special was exiting in the backstage area. Over in Disneyland Paris they have the Liberty and Discovery Arcades that run behind the Main Street stores to allow for movement of people in a covered setting. Pretty efficient thinking! Someone at the Magic Kingdom took that idea and ran with it. People were allowed to walk behind Main Street East to move from up by Tomorrowland to Town Square. It was east although in my twitter, I think I said west. For me it was no big deal since I used to work there and was familiar with the area. For a lot of other people it was a treat. ALTHOUGH....if the cast members who were guiding the guests saw someone pull out a camera, they were asked politely to put it away. They didn't want pictures in the back stage area. Understandable.

It was as this point that Sean, Pam and myself parted ways. They fly out tomorrow. But fear not, I'll see them again as they'll be attending DPN Westfest next week in Anaheim. How cool is that!

So did I give out any of my Awesome Job cards today, unfortunately, no. Did I do something new, yes, the new Hall of Presidents and I got to see a pygmy hedgehog. I got to see an old friend, Earl and met new people like Jeff and Denise. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I'm thinking Disney Hollywood Studios!