Day 5 - More DHS... Monsters & We're Not Party Animals
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|Fri, 05-17-2013 - 1:28pm|
Chapter 13. No, Sulley, Don’t Leave!!!
Day 5. Monday
In my newly-shuffled plans, it ended up working out best to go back to Hollywood Studios this morning, even though we had just been there last night, and had already spent one morning and evening there, AND were already committed to being there for this evening too. The only park we hadn’t been to, and might have considered instead, was Animal Kingdom. But it was Earth Day, and there were a lot of special events going on that we weren’t particularly interested in. So there wasn’t any point in putting up with the increased crowds. And we wanted to save the rest of our Magic Kingdom and Epcot time until closer to the end of the trip. So, DHS bound we were, again!
I did want to be at DHS in time for rope-drop today, so after letting everyone take a little easier yesterday morning, I got them going more quickly today. Again, I think we were let in a few minutes before the scheduled 9am opening. Today, it was Brian’s turn to go with Lily on Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. (Since we were planning to spend 2 mornings here, this seemed easier than dragging Owen over there for child-swap)
Owen and I didn’t have much of a plan, like last night he was interested in seeing McQueen and Mater again, and I hoped they wouldn’t be as scary in the daylight. We took our time wandering over there, at least now I had some idea where I was going. Another family walked up about the same time as us (there wasn’t anyone else in line) and I held back to let them go first so that Owen wouldn’t be rushed. He was still amazed by them, and a little hesitant, but not as nervous as last night. He was especially interested in McQueen’s mouth today, and spent several minutes touching it and trying to look inside. I think it was good that he got this second chance. Like I mentioned before, he has talked about getting to meet them many, many times.
He had also been asking to meet Stitch, who was supposed to be appearing by The Hat shortly, so we wandered over there. I saw several characters out, with pretty long lines, but no Stitch. I asked a CM near one of the lines about Stitch, but she wouldn’t give me any info, and was even a little curt with me about it. A second CM wasn’t much more helpful, and also rather curtly informed me that the line for “her character” was closed, when I suggested to Owen that we get in that one instead. Well… this wasn’t going so great.
We hung out for a little while, but still no sign of Stitch, and Owen was getting restless. So we decided to go to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground instead. We should have another chance to meet Stitch later in the week at Magic Kingdom, anyway, or so I thought. I should have known, the playground would be his favorite part anyway! He LOVED all the play areas in each of the parks. He was a little nervous at first of the tunnels, since some of them had growling noises in them, but had a blast running up the stairs and going down the slides over and over again.
Finally, after about an hour, Brian called, and I told them to come meet us at the playground. They of course, had a great time on the thrill rides, and were even able to do each one twice with only a few minutes wait! I was a little jealous, Lily and I hadn’t even been able to do that on an EMH morning. Well, maybe that was a sign that the crowds were finally starting to drop off some. Though I felt like I’d been fooled a bit in the first hour at Epcot yesterday, too.
On our way to the playground, I had picked up a Toy Story Mania Fastpass for myself, hoping I’d be able to go later after we all met up. By the time they got to the playground, it was only 20 minutes from my FP window. The Monsters Inc characters were nearby, and I thought maybe we could go meet them, then let the kids play some more while I went to Toy Story. Lily was being difficult though, she wanted to play NOW. Which meant they would be done and ready to move on to something else about the time my FP was active.. finally I convinced her to let us do things MY way, even if just for a few minutes.
So we headed over to find Mike and Sulley! Monsters Inc is one of my very favorite Disney movies so this is always a must-do for me. And I especially have a soft-spot for Sulley. I had a bit of a secret agenda though... I had been looking forward to getting a family picture with them, because I knew it would end up being one of a very few pictures that we had managed to re-create on every trip. And thought it would be cool to do a side-by-side comparison of them. “Monsters Through the Years”. There was a short wait, but not too long. As we were almost to the front, the CM announced that Sulley would be leaving in 5 minutes, and only Mike would be available for pictures. OH NOOOO! My plan was foiled if we couldn’t get the picture with both of them.
I usually don’t mind people taking their time with the characters, but boy was I sending evil glares at the family in front of us as they lollygagged around with them. The clock was ticking… would we make it??? We did. Just barely. As soon as they even started walking away, I ushered us in before anyone could say otherwise. The CM looked at her watch kind of grumpily, and announced that we would be Sulley’s last family. Whew! But I think she was annoyed with us, so I didn’t want to bother her with asking to get a picture with our camera, for fear she might change her mind and send him away. I would regret that later. But for now, I was happy to get a picture from the Photopass photographer, and enjoyed watching Owen meet them for the first time. Sulley even bent down and gave him a hug!
The timing was perfect, my Toy Story FP would be good in 5 minutes, so I sent Brian with the kids back to the playground. The CM at the line was being a stickler as always, and made several of us stand right at the entrance until the clock rolled over to exactly 10:35am. (Brian claimed to have had a much more laid-back one who let him in early, but I’ve never seen one, lol!)
I always enjoy this ride, though is still baffles me that people are willing to wait an hour or more to ride it. I don’t like it THAT much, for sure! But with a 5-minutes FP wait, for sure. Last time, in 2010, I was so happy to have not only beat my previous score, but also beat Brian! This time I did even better, around 135,000 I think! But man, my arm was TIRED afterwards!
Chapter 13. A Little-Tiny Lightning McQueen
By the time I got back to the playground, the kids were able to be convinced that it was time to go. But for once, we didn’t have any very specific plans. We explored some of the Streets of America, paying special attention to the San Fransisco scene, and wondering if our very-near-future might find us living there.
As we wandered, we passed MuppetVison, and in the absence of anything better to do, decided to give it a try. I’m SO glad we did! For some reason I never think I’m going to like Muppet things that much, then I always end up loving it. Sort of a nostalgic blast-from-the-past, I guess. We sat in the front again, and this ended up being one of the highlights of Owen’s day. He laughed and laughed, and even tried reaching for stuff several times. Again, really glad I didn’t turn my nose up at this like I was first inclined. I really need to learn not to shun things I don’t know.
Lily had been interested in meeting Phineas and Ferb, who were right next door, but there was a REALLY long line, and she decided she wasn’t THAT interested. We were also right by Mama Melrose, but it wasn’t time for our lunch reservation yet, and in fact they wouldn’t even be open for almost 30 minutes so there was no point in just standing around. Brian kind of wanted to do Star Tours, but of course Owen wasn’t tall enough. The app on my phone said the wait time was only 10 minutes though, so I sent them ahead and told them to meet us back at Mama Melrose in time for lunch. (Never been a big Star Wars fan for some reason, though I love sci-fi in general, so I wasn’t sad to miss it)
Owen and I wandered around some more, and ended up going into a nearby gift-shop. Immediately, he found the Lightning McQueen stuff. He only had 5 dollars left on his gift card by now, which was exactly the cost of a small matchbox sized Lightning McQueen that he became attached to. We looked around the store some more, but he did not waver, he wanted THAT Lightning McQueen. Even though he has about 6 others at home, in varying sizes but all at least a little bigger than this one.
We walked up to the cash register about the same time as an older woman, who was with a couple of kids. She was seeming a bit disorganized, and they hadn’t really settled on what they were buying for sure. But for some reason, it didn’t occur to her to offer to let me go first. So we waited, and waited, and waited, while they changed their mind several times.. and the CM looked at me very apologetically. Fortunately, we weren’t in any hurry so it wasn’t a big deal. As they were checking out, the parents of the two kids came up and were clearly exasperated that Grandma was spending both time AND money, AGAIN, buying more stuff for their kids, that they didn't even really seem to want. I gave them a sympathetic smile when they apologized to me as well for the chaos they were causing. Goodness knows I've been in their shoes many, many times! I was feeling grateful right now that this trip was just the 4 of us.
While we were waiting, Owen asked me over and over again if I had “lots and lots of money” to buy his car with. It may not have seemed like much, but that little matchbox car has become his most prized possession. He will not go to bed without his “little-tiny Lightning McQueen”, and is always still clutching it when he gets out of bed in the morning. He was content after this to sit on the sidewalk waiting for Brian and Lily to return, zooming McQueen all over the place.
When they returned, it was time to check in for lunch. Somehow, I hadn’t noticed that the check-in line had gotten so LONG! Once again, I was completely baffled by this phenomenon. It never took us more than about 10 seconds to check-in at the host stand, HOW could the line possibly get this long and move this slowly? By the time we got up there, we were 15 minutes late for our reservation. Fortunately, we were called to be seated after only a few minutes, which was good because Brian had been complaining that he was STARVING for most of the last hour. Those people that say 3 Table-Service meals a day is too much food… obviously don’t know him, lol!
This is another restaurant that gets pretty terrible reviews, but it was our 3rd time eating here and we’ve never found any reason to complain (well other than the long check-in line today). But in general, it tends to be pretty fast. The food is nothing fancy, but it’s good.
After lunch, we had no other plans or anything else to do. Lily had at one point been hoping to see the Disney Channel Rocks show this afternoon, but sadly it was cancelled just a few weeks before our trip. So we headed on back to the Yacht Club. So far, it had been a little warmer and drier today, so there might actually be a decent chance to swim this afternoon if the weather held out and nap went well.
Chapter 14. Not Exactly the Life of the Party
I swore before this trip that I would NOT wake Owen up from his nap unless we were absolutely in danger of missing a dinner reservation. But after almost 3 hours, I admittedly got antsy. The weather may not have been perfect, (still a little cloudy and cool) but it was much more swimmable than the last few days and we were about to miss our chance! It took some serious work, but I finally convinced him that the pool was worth getting out of bed for.
FINALLY, on Day 5 of our trip, he was getting to swim in the famous pool, which was half the reason we were staying here. Better late than never, I guess. He spent most of the first hour playing in the sand. Part of the pool is set up to look like the beach, with a sandy, zero-entry water area. The bottom of the pool in that part is even sandy. Myself, I’m not such a fan of sand. But Owen likes it. I’m pretty sure the only blister I got on my foot the whole time came from walking around in in for so long that afternoon though!
We did try to go over to the small pool in the base of the ship (across the main walkway) that has the slide. Owen did the little slide over there once, and did not like it at all. So we came back to the sand. (I know both Brian and Lily did the big slide several times during the week and really liked it, but I was never with them so I’m not really sure when or on which day. Personally, I won’t do any slide that is enclosed, as the first half of this one is.)
The sun only peeked out periodically, so after a while we were feeling a bit chilly. Owen was even starting shiver, though of course he wouldn’t admit it. There are several hot tubs scattered around the pool, so we decided to go warm up. They don’t keep them all that hot, so there aren’t even any age restrictions. Though we still couldn’t get Owen to put more than his feet in. I think we still kept him mostly warm by occasionally dripping hot water all over him. He didn’t mind that so much.
Eventually, our pool time had to come to an end, as we had dinner to get ready for – at Yachtsman Steakhouse! This was our “nice dinner” of the trip. We got dressed and ready, and checked in just a few minutes early. Again though, it was a while before we were seated. And several parties that got there after us, and seemed to be about the same size as us, were seated first. I guess I just don’t understand how this whole seating and reservations thing works. It doesn’t seem to work very well sometimes, though.
Overall, the meal was fine. A little slower than I would have liked, since I was trying to keep Owen under control in the very dark and quiet restaurant. Brian later said he didn’t think he’d do it again though, especially not for 2 credits. But the kids did like the paint-your-own dessert plate. Our waitress brought one out for Owen since Brian didn’t order a dessert.
It was already after 9pm by the time we left… one would think we were just making the short walk back to our room for bed. But, no. We had much more ambitious, and crazy, plans than that for the evening. It was evening-extra-magic-hour at Hollywood Studios. Yes, I know, we’ve spent a LOT of time there already, and done every ride and show we could possibly want to… but I recently learned that pmEMH there means that something special is going to happen… A Disney Junior Dance Party!
All of Owen’s favorite characters would be leading a party inside the building where they do the Disney Junior show. As much as he had loved the characters all week, he was sure to have a blast here! I had already given up hope of an early morning EMH at Epcot tomorrow, so it didn’t matter how late we stayed out. Just once, it was worth it for a special experience.
We got there just after the party had started. But as we were going in the door, Owen froze. Inside, Jake and Mickey were happily dancing with a whole room-full of little kids. Owen wouldn’t move. Are you kidding me?? This looked like SO MUCH FUN!! I had been looking forward to it for weeks, and had rearranged our whole schedule to be able to do it. He LOVED the characters, why would he want to miss this kind of opportunity??
We finally got him into the building, but he refused to even go more than a foot past the door, much less dance or interact with the characters. Not even getting a balloon-sword helped. Well, this was turning out to be a bust. Finally, we got him to at least join a Conga line behind Jake, but he clearly wasn’t enjoying himself. The combination of so many people, it being dark and loud, and late… it was just too overwhelming I guess.
After about 30 minutes, Lily was getting bored, so I took her over to do Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster one more time, since they didn’t have hardly any wait. It was fun getting to do them at night, so at least all was not lost with this late-night jaunt to the park. Brian stayed with Owen at the party a little while longer, but soon gave up and they went to watch the Little Mermaid show instead. That’s actually one of Brian’s favorites (who knew he was a Princess-lover??) and we hadn’t had time for it yet. It seemed to suit Owen better than the party did anyway.
When we met back up again, at was after 11pm, and with the dance party a total failure, we decided to call it a night. On the way out, we did stop and listen to a few songs by the Mulch, Sweat, and Shears band. Owen liked that better than the party for sure. We didn’t get to bed until almost midnight. If the evening had been more of a success, I would have been fine with that. But now I was afraid I had ruined the next day, and for no good reason. OH well. Live and learn I guess! Yes, universe, I know. I’m listening. Sometimes the best laid plans…
Okay, I know I shouldn't spoil it... but not to worry. The evening may not have gone as planned, but in a way it would end up being a blessing in disguise for tomorrow.