Merry Dapper Day: 11/21/2017: “The Wilderness Mus Be Explored”

I’ve gone on seven trips to Disney World in the past 2 years, and the one thing that surprises people more than, “and you don’t have children?” is when they ask what my favorite thing to do is, and I say, “Walk around Animal Kingdom.”

PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_406513642186 (1)

My Disney trips have had me fall head over heels in love with the Animal Kingdom, and this was even before Pandora opened and gilded the lily as it were.

And this day, this magical wonderful day, had us (mostly because Juli is something of a genius.) really diving into exploration of the park.

We started the day in Pandora, at 8 AM sharp. We had a 9:10 fastpass for Flight of Passage, so we started on Na’vi River Cruise, which I really love riding, it’s such a beautiful and peaceful and lovely experience. I also love the woven queue, the explanation of the various animals you’ll see on the cruise, and of course, the incredible Shamaan Audio-Animatronic.

Then we did some running around and exploring, before our fastpass came up, and then we did Flight Of Passage.

I’d wondered if maybe, maybe I’d with the long wait, and hype for it, been overwowed by Flight Of Passage.

I no longer feel that way. This ride is exceptionally wonderful. It’s beautiful, well executed and didn’t even make me queasy this time around. Hooray! Then we stopped by Pongu Pongu, to get some snacks. I was excited to try the Lumpia, and I also grabbed the Mo’Ara High Country Ale, since I’d tried the Grog Ale last time, Dom got the Grog Ale, and Juli got the Night Blossom, for the Insta of the thing, and also, because it did not occur to me when I ordered it, it wasn’t yet 10 AM. (Our early start had my internal clock off by a bit.) Ah, whatever, it was vacation, if you can’t drink at 9:30 in the morning on vacation, when can you?

PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_406515270684

Juli with her Night Blossom

The Lumpia is really good and I get why people were freaking out about it back when Pandora first opened. I’m a sucker for anything desert-y with a cream cheese base. I also liked the beer, again, I’m a sucker for an Amber. Though I preferred the Grog Ale. And if I had a choice, I’d go with a Safari Amber instead.

We then decided to begin the “Wilderness Explorers” part of our day, which allowed for much of the exploring that we did. This was something Juli insisted on, and she was absolutely right! We chatted with the Explorerer troop leaders in Pandora and took a boatload of pictures, before making our way to Harambe to check in for our brunch at Tusker House.

Tusker House has a mixed internet reputation but it’s Kristi’s family’s favorite and my friend April also counts it as a stand by for her family. Plus in these seven trips in two years, I hadn’t yet done a character meal.

really loved this restaurant. The layout is a market style for the buffet with lovely thick wood tables where we sat. And of course there’s the characters in their safari finest!

During the meal we met with Goofy, Daisy, Donald and Mickey. This was our third encounter with Goofy and we were thrilled about it. Specifically though, I was psyched to meet with Donald and Daisy, since I was wearing my Webby Vanderquack Disneybound this day.

The food is really interesting and cool, and we specifically book at 10:45 so that we could get a taste of both the breakfast and lunch options. Also, the drink options at Tusker House come from Dawa Bar, which means I got to have a Sugar Cane Mojito, which, as I’ve stated before, is my favorite bar made mojito I’ve ever had. (Disney is one of the few places I let myself have rum, because my opportunities to be ah “friendly,” the way I tend to get when I drink rum, are limited.)

Once we finished there, it became clear that it was about to rain, and we decided to head in to Festival Of The Lion King. Neither Juli nor I had done this show before, and I think that I’m going to fit it in to every itinerary from now on. It’s truly spectacular.

Then it was on to more Wilderness Badges, this time, by going to Gorilla Falls again, then after that, we had Everest Fast Passes, and completed those badges. It was then on to my favorite (very super favorite) thing in Animal Kingdom, The Maharahja Jungle Trek. Unlike Gorilla Falls, the trek is almost never crowded, it’s tucked back in a weird back corner of the Asia section, rather than in a highly trafficked ride exit dump, and it’s residents are a bit more subdued. We talked to a cast member about the tiger cubs. (I was really hoping we’d see them.) He explained that they’re not on display yet, as they want to limit human contact with them. Disappointed but understanding we were happy to at least see their proud papa wandering around.

We had a truly magical moment, however, as we reached the aviary. I’ve walked the Jungle Trek many times and never, have I seen this area so alive. Birds were zipping above our heads, skittering around on the ground and perched happily singing in the trees. It was exceptional.

Post Jungle Trek we headed to Disney Springs where we all did some shopping, and then back to the hotel, where we picked up dinner and relaxed in the room. (And had one of those quiet exhale moments that I’m so crazy about.) We headed back over to the park to experience Pandora at night and Rivers Of Light.

I was head over heals for Pandora having only seen it during the day. Seeing it at night just further cemented my love for Animal Kingdom. Seriously, I’m obsessed. Maybe someday I’ll have an Animal Kingdom trip, where I stay at lodge and only go to Animal Kingdom, except for one night when I go over to the Poly to have drinks at Trader Sam’s. (This is not a logistical reality, just something that I fantasize about.)

PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_406533772658

Then it was off to Rivers Of Light. We stopped by the Thirsty River Bar first, where I tried to Himalayan Ghost, which is, I must say, incredible. I really do need to incorporate Guava Juice into my home mixers.

The show was spectacular. I really like it, and I think the only reason that it will never eclipse Illumiations as my favorite is because I don’t have childhood memories of it. (And for the moment, it’s sort of a pain in the butt to see.)  It’s so beautiful and interesting and well done and the song is great.

After that, it was time for our party to part ways. Juli and Dom were getting up super early to begin their drive home, and still had packing to do. The park was still open for about an hour, so I decided rather than be in their way while they packed to further explore at least in some fashion.

I knew I had a few options, but I landed on heading to Nomad Lounge and having a night cap, and then hopping on line to ride Na’Vi River Journey one more time.

Settling in at Nomad I had a Night Monkey and chatted with the bar tender, before settling up and heading over to River Journey, where I talked to a family as we wound through the cue, and then headed out to the bus and back, where I crashed out.

BONUS Departure Day:

I had a 9:42 flight. I didn’t book it that way. I’d booked in the afternoon hoping to get in a morning at Studios to do Star Wars stuff. (Juli and Dom have no care for a galaxy far far away and I wasn’t going to force my super-fandom on them) But, American Airlines changed their flight times, so, here we are. I skipped Magical Express, since it was picking up at 5:35 AM for the Holiday rush, and I knew I didn’t need that much time.

I got up, took some pictures of the room, and grabbed a Lyft to the airport and then it was home, with no hiccups.

Overall, this was an incredible trip. Longer than I usually do, and much more strenuous. Coming up later in the week, we’ll do a hotel review & favorites, and then I’ve got a special, things I’ve learned in my Disney Year post!

But for now, well, as they say, See You Real Soon!

Advertisements

Merry Dapper Day: 11/20/2017: “That Time Of Year”

If there’s one thing that I’ve done in this year of Disney that I do not every feel the need to do again, it is the 4 Park Day.

While very fun, these marathons are exhausting, and made more so by the discontinuing of the Express Bus Service. (Seriously, such a bummer that this isn’t a thing anymore.) If other people I’m with want to do it, I’ll nope out at lunch time and take a nap.

Anyway, all this to say, that I’m glad I did both of my 4 Park Days this year, but I am not doing it again for a very long time.

PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_406487517918

So, we got up early, there was a 7 AM extra magic hour at Animal Kingdom, and we drove over. We were through the gates by 7:45 and on Kilamanjaro Safaris by 8. After the safari, (which went well, again, I don’t know that I’ll ever top February’s safari trip, but again, this one was very good.) and then did Gorilla Falls, before grabbing a fastpass picture and then driving to park at the TTC. (We planned on finishing the day at Magic Kingdom, so this made the most sense.) Then we caught the Monorail to Epcot, since we had some Fastpasses (and a burning desire for some Via Nappoli Pizza.) there. We rode Living With Land, then got on The Friendship Boat, and hit Italy, hoping for a walk up to Via Nappoli. We got a table in about 10 minutes (I always forget how fricking HUGE that restaurant is) and a pepperoni pie and a bellini made the whole day a little better. (I was feeling my hangover from the day before, LET ME TELL YOU!) We then backtracked to the Land pavillion again, to ride Soarin’ and followed that up with a ride on Imagination.

PhotoPass_Visiting_EPCOT_406494805202

Somewhere in there, we managed to take this picture.

I haven’t done either Living With The Land or Imagination since I was kid and they were fun to revisit. Living With The Land is super relaxing and the tour of the Greenhouses is really cool, and honestly, who doesn’t simply adore Figment?

After that we worked our way to the back exit, took a Friendship Boat to the Yacht and Beach Club to check out the Gingerbread Carousel. Juli’s always said that The Boardwalk is her dream resort, where as I lean more Yacht & Beach, and I think after catching a glimpse of Storm A Long Bay, I’ve brought her over to my point of view. (STEP INTO MY WEB!) We then got back on the boat, and headed to Studios.

PhotoPass_Visiting_STUDIO_406501166112

Because of lines, we opted out of any of the rides there, but did catch Muppets 3-D, For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing A Long, (which featured a special ending with “That Time Of Year” and “When We’re Together” from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.) We also hung out on Sunset Boulevard and watched the projection show “Sunset Season’s Greetings” which goes onto the Tower of Terror. It’s a really cute show, and I especially appreciated that one of the segments is based around “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” which has always been my favorite version of that story.

PhotoPass_Visiting_STUDIO_406505865708

We settled in for Fantasmic after that, and golly, what a good show that is! I haven’t seen it in a while, but it’s Juli’s favorite, so we were definitely not skipping it. We managed to see the actual fireworks from “Jingle Bell Jingle Bam” while we waited, as well as the finale of Illuminations! (Pretty cool stuff!)

Fantasmic really is great though, it’s sweet, and an excellent use of characters and has some great music in it. The five minute long Pocohontas section is a little bit dated. (I mean, I’m just saying it wouldn’t be hard to say, switch that up to be about a young Polynesian girl wondering how far she’ll go…) But otherwise, this is a stone cold classic.

Our final stop was Magic Kingdom, where we arrived just as the lights were dimming for “Happily Ever After.” Our plans were all Fantasyland based, so we saw the fireworks, but not the projection show. (Still really good.)

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406510384542

Also, got these cool pics with the fireworks in them!

We rode Under The Sea, and then Dom wanted to check out Winnie The Pooh. I’m not a huge fan of that ride, and was wearing my Rapunzel Disneybound, so I went to meet up with Punzie herself (and my girl Tiana!)

As I talked about my “best day ever” with Rapunzel, I thought about how lucky I’ve been this year, to share my favorite place with so many people I love so much, and how happy I am to have made these little touchstones for myself.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406510881949

Chatting with Rapunzel = My favorite thing to do on trips. For serious.

Juli, Dom and I met up altogether at the latern photo spot by Rapunzel’s tower, and then we headed out to get to the TTC and then home.

The lines for both the monorail and the ferry were bonkers, so we walked to the contemporary and took the monorail from there. Once we got back to the hotel, we all quickly crashed out.

Our final day might have been my favorite…I’ll get into why when I talk about it tomorrow! (Yes, I’m burning through these write ups…I had to do something to distract myself during the boring/terrible parts of the prequels…so you know…most of the prequels…)

Merry Dapper Day: 11/18/2017 – Dapper And Curious

I’ve made my thoughts on being on hand for rope drop extremely clear. I think it’s an important way to remove a lot of stress from a day in Disney park day. Of course, sometimes, life doesn’t care about your plans and ideas about theme park touring.

At the sort of last minute, this trip, Disney changed Magic Kingdom’s opening from 9 AM to 8 AM. To compensate, Juli and I got up SUPER early, and were at the turnstiles at 6:50 (YES REALLY). Magic Bands didn’t start scanning until 7:20 and Main Street didn’t open until 7:50.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406428909371 (1)

Finally Inside!

Is this weird? You BETCHA. Main Street usually opens about an hour before park time, not 10 minutes. Regardless, we got a lot done. I purchased a lovely dress at the Emporium, that doubled as a ticket to a meet and greet with Ashley Eckstein and Ashley Taylor of Her Universe. My mania to do this was kind of unfounded, because unlike at Comic Con, not many people at Magic Kingdom, give a rat’s ass about Ashley. (Which is unfortunate. Because Ashley Eckstein, and now Ashley Taylor are incredible women who are doing awesome stuff for women in fandom. They were very nice to me too!)

Once we were permitted in, Juli and I walked over to the tea cups, took some pictures with Alice, (to go with our Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit ‘bounds) and then rode said tea cups, whileJuli took pictures. We were still waiting on Dom, because you know, he didn’t want to wake up at 5:30 AM (amateur!) which lead to a certain amount of just wandering and taking things in, although at 9, I had the meet and greet.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406429197195.JPG

While I waited on line to meet the Ashleys, I thought a lot about this blog, fandom and what this all means to me. I was about a year into my commitment to doing the fangirl thing for real when I found Her Universe, and it really changed a lot for me. It was another two years before I opened my heart to the Star Wars extended universe stuff, which brought Ahsoka to me. (#AhsokaLives!) What meant the world to me, was that Ashley remembered me. Her work and designs have created such an incredible space for women in fandom, allowing us to express our love of media while still being girls, coming to it on our own terms, rather than those laid out for us.

After that, we all managed to meet up and started using our fastpasses, and just going on rides.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406442059612

All Together!

Also, taking lots of pictures. At 10:30 we came up with a GREAT IDEA to go over to Via Nappoli for lunch. (Hint, this wound up NOT being a great idea. We didn’t get there until Monday…there was a bunch of reservation drama too.) In the end, we wound up hitting a few rides, and then going over to The Wave at the Contemporary for lunch. After that, it was back over to the park, where we did a meet up with some folks for a photo op.

I mentioned this in April, but it bears repeating. I’ve really enjoyed Dapper Day and my general dive into Disney Park fandom this past year, but meet up wise, I’ve been underwhelmed, and my comic com experiences have spoiled me. NO ONE talks to each other outside of their groups at these meet ups, and it’s a huge ass bummer to me.

Post meet up, we rode the train, which I haven’t done since I was a kid, and then got some Dole Whips and headed to the enchanted Tiki Room. After exiting the Tiki Room, we got caught up in the Frontier Land Hoe-Down, which was amazing. Juli and I were pulled in to dance with Clarabelle and Horace, and neither of us could stop smiling for quite a while. We then road the River Boat (again, something I haven’t done since I was a kid. It’s way more fun having written over a hundred pages on Mark Twain!)

We then had a Peter Pan fast pass, and then picked up a Small World one. While on line for Small World, we discussed dinner plans and wound up deciding on going back to Pop and eating at the food court, which was kind of perfect. I had the fried chicken, and a giant ass Corona.

Juli and I both decided it was time to de-dapper, as we headed back to the park for the fireworks. We got an OK spot, and even made some friends as we waited.

Happily Ever After is a technological marvel, with a delightful soundtrack and a few really stellar sections. I’ll never love any framing quite as much as I love Wishes, nor will any likely make me as emotional, but it’s a truly terrific show. We’d already decided not to stay for closing, but I suggested we ride something rather than get stuck in the crush. We landed on reriding Pirates, which is always a favorite, although, as you can tell from the below picture, we were less than engaged.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_8129091958

Juli isn’t yet literally asleep, though she assures me that she did at one point.

So then it was back to the resort and time for our longest sleep of the trip…and the next day…well, we’ll get to that!

Merry Dapper Day Trip Report: 11/17/2017 “Most Merriest Day!”

Hey everyone! It’s time for a trip report, who’s excited? (ME! I am!) I’m recovering from both the trip and the eat a thon that is Thanksgiving which makes lazing around in yoga pants talking about the trip sort of great!

So, day 1. Travel days are, as I’ve said before, tricky! I flew out of JFK this time instead of Newark because it would up being about $200 cheaper (in a “time and aggrivation as money” analysis however, MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE). I had a 10 o’clock flight, so I left the house at 6 AM to get parked and to the gate by 8:30. It was an uneventful but lovely flight, I even landed early at 12:45, and, true to form, was in my room at Pop Century, an hour and a half later. (SHORTER Magical Express trip than ever.)

Juli and Dom had driven down and arrived the night before, and had headed over to the monorail loop for lunch, so I got to the room to change for our evening at Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406418167912

After Juli and Dom got back to the room I headed to the food court and picked up a flatbread.

Before the party, from 4 to 7, we had a few fastpasses, Splash Mountain and the Tinker Bell meet and greet. Both went well, Splash being just refurbished, it looked amazing.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_8128380051.jpeg

I love meeting Tink, too. She’s definitely on my list of people to shoot for most trips! We also stopped by to say hi to Peter Pan, as he’s Juli’s favorite, and since she was wearing her pixie dust outfit. (I’m sure she’ll be discussing this in detail on her blog, during her “Fashion Friday” pieces.)

Then, 6 o’clock, and then 7 hit and it was party time. We walked on to Pirates and Jingle Cruise, after Juli changed into her Elsa Disneybound and we walked around, eating cookies, drinking hot chocolate and marveling at the Christmas decorations, and snow on Main Street. Sometime in there we grabbed dinner at Pecos Bill’s, which was a new one for me, and even though I generally try to avoid Magic Kingdom counter service, I liked my chicken taco quite a bit. (Shocking, that I enjoyed a chicken taco, I know!)

We met Judy Hopps and Nick Wylde, which was also super fun, and paid a visit to Goofy dressed as Santa. Then we hopped over to wait to meet Donald and Uncle Scrooge and, sadly, for my current Duck obsessed self, decided to bail when it was getting close to fireworks time. Then we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave main street and all it’s glory before watching the parade.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406424180989.JPG

But first I want to talk about Holiday Wishes. I’d never seen it before (obv) and tried to avoid videos of it. But I’d heard about the “Oh Christmas Tree” section in various places, and I’ve got to tell you, it did not disappoint. It’s a breathtaking combination of pyrotechnics, music and lighting, that of course, made me cry like a baby.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406424816114.JPG

Then the parade. Overall, I preferred the experience of the Christmas party to the Halloween party, and really really enjoyed the Christmas parade, but it can’t touch Boo To You. That said, taken on it’s own, it’s spectacular, and the Christmas costumes on the characters are great, and I’ll always love a visit from Santa.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406422158277

Post parade we wound back, rode The Haunted Mansion and then bough some party exclusive merch at the Emporium, before heading back to Pop to sleep.

Up next! Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom, and other thoughts and joys.

Disney Cousins Fall Trip: Hotel Review & Favorites

Alright everyone! We’ve made it a month and we’re still talking about this trip. Sorry it took so long to get everything written up.

But it’s time to talk about Port Orleans: Riverside, and specifically The Royal Room!

 

As I’ve mentioned, we weren’t even supposed to stay here. The original plan was for French Quarter, for a couple of reasons. French Quarter is largely regarded by the blog community to be the more efficient choice, and the theming of Riverside squicks me a little. The division into Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou, that is, large opulent antebellum mansions and “rustic” cabins respectively, feels, mmm, how do I say this…KIND OF REALLY GROSS? I mean, Gone With The Wind is in my top 10 favorite movies, so I’m normally OK about compartmentalizing such things but a hotel built in the 90s having it feels off, and super weird.

“I’ll think about our culture’s problematic relationship with slaveholding society tomorrow, at Tara!”

BUT, anyway, we wound up in the Royal Room, which was, kind of insanely great and also completely ridiculous and insane.

TADA!

 

The rooms are probably great for families, especially princess obsessed little girls, and since that’s what I am on the inside, well, it worked out. The portraits of the princesses, the electric headboard, and the note from Tiana are all very fun touches.

Light Up headboards: Excellent for drunken giggling and applause.

Some princely appreciation (Not much but it’s there)

Tiana, welcoming us. (Helping to sooth my weird guilt about the theme)

The rest of the resort really felt nice. I’ll reevaluate after staying at Pop (and there’s a possible Coronado Springs in a few months!), but I think I may have settled on really enjoying the moderate resort experience, when it comes to saving money. River Roost is a fantastic lounge, not just by Disney Bar standards, but by hotel bar standards, with a good mix of seating options, (arm chairs by a fireplace for the win, ALWAYS!) a friendly and well informed staff, (not really a huge deal at Disney, but still, always pluses the experience) and some good food options.

I didn’t get time to walk around as much as I would have liked, but what I did see was really pretty, Fulton’s is definitely the better laid out of the gift shops I’ve seen so far. Riverside is definitely going to be a repeat spot. It’s hard to beat the price and it’s a beautiful resort with two other types of rooms for me to try out. (Regular Magnolia Bend Room and Aligator Bayou Room).

I should note, I’m a fast walker, so me not minding the sprawling moderate resorts because it doesn’t take me long to get around should be taken with a grain of salt. I have long legs, and I’m from a metro area where strolling is basically considered a hate crime. (Seriously, if you’re visiting New York, DO NOT WALK SLOWLY DOWN THE SIDEWALK. EVERYONE HATES YOU.) So when I say, “it only took me a minute or two to get to the lobby/main bus stop,” that might be a longer walk for people who are less crazy.

Favorites:

Ride:

Pandora Flight Of Passage is REALLY really good. The 3-D is beautifully rendered, the pre show fun and a little bit awkward (as all the best pre shows are) and the queue spectacular. It wins this trip, for sure. It’s stunningly beautiful, thrilling, and really, really special.

Show:

Illuminations. I love it so much, and while Boo To You and Hallo-Wishes are great, seeing my old favorite from a new (and incredible) angle really made it feel special. (Also the drinks.)

Meal:

Frontera Cucina was definitely the showplace “big meal” of the trip. It was a really good one too. I’m leaning heavily on new things being the favorites, but in general, with restaurants I try not to over repeat. (It was very weird to not go to Be Our Guest this trip!) But I’ll always love Mexican food, and I’m getting to the point now where I’ll be able to really give strong recomendations on where to eat at Springs. (Given the choice? I’d pick Homecomin’ over Frontera, both are excellent but Homecomin’ blew me away)

Drink:

You know it wouldn’t be a favorites post without me talking about what bit of alcohol made me happiest. It’s going to The Snakebite at Rose and Crown. I’m still drinking these. Seriously, I asked for one at the Bar and Grill where my family and I meet for dinner once a week. (Tom thinks I should request they call it “Reenie’s Snakebite” there, but you know, I’m not pushing it)

Snack:

This is a tie! I don’t usually allow ties, but since I had to choose between something seasonal and special and something that I make sure I eat every trip because I love it so much. The choices are the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, and the Spice Road Table Hummus Fries.

The ice cream first. I love all things pumpkin spice. (You know, much like how I adore my Uggs, Rose Spritzers and feel that Taylor Swift just “gets me.” I’m a white girl.) So when it came time to grab a snack while Tom and I waited on the fireworks, well, I grabbed a scoop of this. It was perfectly balanced between good creamy ice cream sweetness and the sort of pumpkin pie flavor that makes up the best pumpkin spice flavored things. 10 out of 10 would snack again.

Now onto my latest rhapsody to the hummus fries. It’s fried hummus. But Reenie, you might say, isn’t that just a falafel? I mean, kind of. But there’s something in the texture about these which makes them BETTER than falafel, also the dipping sauce is really yummy, and it gets eaten in easily my favorite restaurant in Epcot! So you know…I love them.

Guys, I’m going to be back in Disney World in a few weeks. Seriously, so soon. If you want more details on that trip, you should check out Juli’s blog Random Spirited Ramblings. She took the lead on the planning this time (which was nice for me! I love Disney planning, but it was nice to step back a minute.)

It’s So Nice To Be Back Home Where I Belong

Last weeked was a busy,  fun and exhausting weekend, where I managed to touch base with a bunch of things that make me very happy, but that I’m still kind of recovering from.

First of all, Kristi and I met up at New York Comic Con.

My love for NYCC is real. Despite it’s often unweildy size, ridiculous ticketing policies and overall sense of muchness, I never have a bad time, at this, the first con I ever attended. And although I only touched base for 24 hours this time, it was still incredible.

Aside from taking a picture with Mark Hamill, Kristi and I walked the floor chatted with people at Artist Alley, and generally took part in fun.

I was reminded of what I love about Cons and pretty much immediately registered for another one (I’m finally gonna hit Broadway Con! WOOO!) and spending the evening at dinner with Kristi and Aless and acquaintance who I guess is a friend now Jake, and then at the Geek Girl Brunch After Party (Where Kristi and I were sexually harassed exactly 0 times! SO, improvement over last year’s after party! Which was NOT the Geek Girl Brunch one, I should note!)  I remembered how great the nerd life can be.

Of course getting home at 3 AM and passing out on my couch (though I did eventually make it to my bed) it made getting up the next day to drive up to Allendale and see my family, and head BACK into the city to see Hello Dolly! a little bit tough.

BUT WORTH IT!

I’ve mentioned that talking about Star Wars with my brother one of my favorite things in the world. One of the only things I love more than that is talking musical theater with both my siblings. Discussing Gavin Creel’s perfect crooning of “It Only Takes A Moment”, our excitement at seeing two of the greatest comedians ever performing some of the funniest scenes in the history of the genre (seriously, David Hyde Pierce and Bette Midler’s work in the dinner scene of Act II  is insanely good!) the discussion of how the show will change when the replacements go in. (Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber are ALSO insanely good, but a good deal more dry than Bette and David. It’ll be a very different show, and probably a lot more sarcastic)

But overall, what this year, and specifically these past few months (which have been very stressful, for reasons I don’t want to get into here, suffice to say, day job drama) is that I don’t need to compartmentalize my interests the way I used to.

Which is part of why (also aformentioned day job induced stress) that I’ve cut back here. I have way increased my facebook presence however. So check things out over there.

There are videos of me and Kristi at Comic Con, (and of the aftermath) pictures of the cooking I’ve been doing, places I’ve been visiting, Katie and my weekly videos about Will & Grace, and general musing.

This blog isn’t going anywhere. It means to much to me, and it makes a great hub, but my attention has been elsewhere lately and it feels nice to have let go of it a little bit.

I am going to finish up the trip reports for the Disney Trip, and hey, movie season was quieter this year, but does roll ever on. (Thor and Star Wars and Coco are still coming at the very least.)

 

Disney Cousin Fall Trip 9/17/2017 Part 1: “Brunch!”

Ah, waking up with a hangover in Disney. I’ve done it every trip I’ve taken since Juli and my trip 2 years ago.

This time, while Tom got ready, I trekked down to the food court again, returning with Biscuits and Bacon, and we quietly, but with great speed, found our way to the bus to head to Hollywood Studios.

The plan was to ride the 4 rides there and then head to Epcot for our brilliantly planned Brunch reservation at Spice Road Table.  We did succeed in that.

First we hit Rockin Roller Coaster, which is always a good time.

PhotoPass_Visiting_STUDIO_8098177653

It was Walk On (Thanks Extra Magic Hour!)  and rather than jump right over to Tower of Terror (I learned, from the stomach issues of the past) we headed to Toy Story, which again, we walked on to. Next we backtracked to Tower of Terror, which was showing an 85 minute wait time.

The cast member at the front said it was likely to be closer to 40, so we shrugged and headed in to wait in line.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I actually looked at the clock every step of the way. From entering under the gate to watching the video in the library, it was 10 minutes. From exiting the library to entering our elevator, it was 10 minutes. We waited 20 minutes for a ride that was marked with an 85 minute wait time. (I told you this would be a theme.)

PhotoPass_Visiting_STUDIO_8098196297

Tom is saying something profound, I’m sure…

Tower of Terror was great, it always is. After that we headed right over to Star Tours, where again, the wait was brief, but I love that queue so I’d wait, like a maximum of 40 minutes for that ride.

Tom nearly got sick so, we opted to skip Muppets, because seriously, nausea + 3-D is rarely a good combo, and we headed to the Launch Bay. The lines for the meets were a little bit on the long side, so we opted to head to Epcot, since Frozen Ever After was showing a 40 minute wait.

At nearly 10:30 AM.

YES REALLY!

We skipped off to the boat and rode over to Epcot, happily discussing our strategy (Tom feeling much better) and wound our way over to Norway, to get in line for Frozen, now showing 35 minutes. (At 11:15! Prime World Showcase arrival time. I was flummoxed). I set a timer, because I was curious. The Ever After line is a good one, once you get inside, full of things to look at and nice music and AC, but we didn’t even have to walk through Kristoff’s Ice House, and only wound around the town square once, and we only caught a glimpse of Oaken, before boarding our boat to the Mountain 15 minutes after getting on line.

PhotoPass_Visiting_EPCOT_8098246958

I’m still smiling huge because the line was so short!

I’ve ridden it with a Fastpass and had the line take longer than 15 minutes. I declared after our trip to see the whole gang, (and Tom’s agreement that Sven is a most impressive Animatronic) that I would ALWAYS come this time of year now, Hurricane Season Be Damned, because OMG 15 minutes? We were now late for our reservation, though I doubted it would be a problem, and we headed straight on over to Morocco.

Spice Road Table is on my “favorite restaurants in Disney World” for a reason, you guys. It’s a lovely place, small but not claustrophobic, interesting but accessible food, and never crowded. This was the first time I ate inside the restaurant, which was very different, and the first time I at there during the sunlight.

Tom helped himself to Lamb Sliders, and I went for a combination of hummus fries (BESSTTT) and Rosemary Brie Fondue. Both were excellent, and drinking a Pomegranate Mimosa made it officially Brunch.  (It’s not brunch without champagne drinks!) Post food and ooohing over the view, we headed to the front to get our bus for afternoon nap.

This nap was even more necessesary than the previous, and also featured football watching. I went and grabbed a soda at one point, and I ate the rest of the biscuits, because if I don’t eat every hour or so I get cranky, and also they were there.

The final thing I did during this break, was run down to the store and pick up a Christmas ornament. See, I have my own apartment now, which means that for the first time in my life, I will have my OWN Christmas tree, which means, I need stuff to put on it.

Because I am who I am, I know that there will be a healthy amount of Disney representation on that tree, just generally, but I wanted something to specifically remember the oddness of this year and the four trips that went into it. I came up with the idea of getting an ornament from each resort I stayed in, which can become my tradition, even AFTER this crazy Disney year ends, when I stay in different resorts. (My dad is determined to return, and we’re likely to stay either on the Boardwalk or on the Monorail loop then…) So, I grabbed the Riverside ornament this time. (I also got a Saratoga Springs one, but that’s for the report on Monday of this trip!)

Once all of that was settled in, we headed down to get on our Magic Kingdom bus, for our last park excursion of the trip, and some Halloween time fun! (WEEE!)

Stay tuned for more on that!