I’m One of THOSE People Now: My Solo Disney Trip Part 3

I swear this is the final update on this! (Seriously, I need to move on, there was just so much that I wanted to write about and so much of it was amazing.)

Sunday 5/1/2016


This was easily my favorite day of the trip, where I spent most of the day at Magic Kingdom, (with a quick jump back over to Epcot to hang out with some awesome people!)But first things first.

Gratefully, the saga of the horrible on fire contacts was resolved in the new solution making them wearable, and my eyes were un reddened. (Woo!) So, rather than risk missing my breakfast reservation I grabbed an Uber over to the Contrmporary, and walked right up to the gates! I was not prepared, in the slightest for how cool it felt to be walking down a practically empty Main Street, USA.

Heart of America, indeed!


I was doing breakfast at Be Our Guest which is all the way at the back, so I got to walk through Fantasyland as well. I got to the restaurant and settled in. I’d pre ordered a Croque Madame, and opted for a table in The West Wing, which was cool, but in the end, I think I would have preferred sticking to the ballroom.


The sandwich was so good, I wound up scraping every last drop of bechamel off my plate. Then I wandered the castle for a bit and waited for official opening time, I walked right on to almost every ride, and wound up only using my fastpass for Splash Mountain. I also decided to keep the princess hunt going and met Tiana.

Then it was lunchtime and so back to Epcot! I don’t consider a Disney trip complete without a ferry ride, so I took the ferry over to the Epcot monorail, and while heading through world showcase happened upon Greg and Joanna! (I’m kidding, of course. We planned it and Joanna and I had been texting about meeting up for days before hand!) We had lunch at Via Nappolie in Italy, which was amazing! 


Then it was time for a visit with Belle in France, and back to Magic Kingdom. I quickly rode Jungle Cruise, met Ariel, Aurora, Anna and Elsa, then started on my favorite part of my whole trip, The Monorail Bar Crawl!

If you don’t know what that is, it’s quite simple, you get on the monorail from Magic Kingdom, you stop at The Contemporary, Polynesian Village and The Grand Floridian and go to a bar (or multiple bars) at each. I did one each, The Wave at Contemporary, Trader Sam’s at Polynesian, and Mizner’s at Floridian.

At The Wave, I discovered the joy of The Moscow Mule. But it was definitely not a hang out and chat place. There was a convention there, so most of the people were just talking to each other, but Moscow Mule, AWESOME!


Then it was on to Trader Sam’s which was EASILY, my favorite place in the whole of Disney World (narrowly edging out Jellyrolls over at the Boardwalk). The bar is spectacular! I had the Krakatoa Punch, and the Tuna Poke and chatted with a nice couple staying at the resort. 


After realizing that I couldn’t actually sit there all night I hopped on the Monorail at hit Mizner’s, which included a cosmopolitan, some jazz, and some more lovely conversation. 


Then it was back to Magic Kingdom for The Mainstreet Electrical Parade, Celebrate The Magic and Wishes. And so much crying. I also managed to meet Cinderella and Rapunzel, ride Peter Pan and Haunted Mansion again! I got back to the hotel and watched Game of Thrones. 

Monday 5/2

Not much to report. I went to Disney Springs. I shopped, I ate, I flew home. 

Sorry this post was so late! I’ve been at ACBC having the best time ever! But overall, I had an amazing trip!

I’m One Of THOSE People Now: My Solo Disney World Adventure Part 1

It was really only a matter of time before I had the time and disposable income to become a Crazy Disney Person. The writing was on the wall when I went to Vegas and spent half the time thinking I’d rather be in Disney, but it solidified with my pure joy at my trip this past October, and diving into the Disney blog scene plus my growing friendship with Kristi, it kind of had to happen. (Yes, Kristi, I’m blaming this on you…)

But this weekend, the only free weekend I have for a couple of months I think, I decided to spend in Disney World, by myself, (save lunch on Sunday!), on my second trip inside of a year, well that clinched it. I’m a Disney Person now. I guess my next step is an Annual Pass and after that DVC..but right now I’m just at one trip a year stage.

And what a trip it was! I’m going to go Day By Day because that’s easiest for me!

Friday 4/29

After the genuine hell that was Newark Airport Security (seriously, I showed up at 5:30 for a 7 AM flight and only made it because the flight was delayed…CRAZY) I had an uneventful flight and trip back to The Swan where I was staying. I chose The Swan for a lot of reasons, I’ve always wanted to stay there, since driving past the weird stylish Swan & Dolphin buildings as a kid, and it was about the same price wise as staying at Port Orleans and it’s a way better location (walkable to Epcot and a minutes long Boat Ride to Hollywood Studios.) I registered, though didn’t get into my room (it was 10:30 in the morning, it was a longshot), changed out of my tee shirt and yoga pants plane outfit and walked myself over to Epcot.


It was the Flower and Garden Festival so Epcot was especially beautiful, and I was planning on being there for at least a little while every day (meals, for the most part). Since it was now approaching noon and the only things I’d had to eat were a Special K bar at 4:30 AM and a cookie on the plane, I was ready for some real deal good World Showcase food. I’d decided before leaving home that I’d grab a sandwich at Les Halles de Boulangerie in France since it’s not far from the gates and apparently awesome. So I grabbed the Beurre Jambon sandwich and a Mimosa and got going.


I sat down inside because it was noon in Orlando in April and I’m not a crazy person….and was almost immediately joined by a young woman named Heather, who was enjoying a day in the park while her boyfriend stayed at their hotel. We chatted and oohed and ahhed over our sandwiches, she mentioned that she was heading for a wine flight, I said I was going to wander around until I got into my room and then was heading to Hollywood Studios, we parted ways.

I then wandered around World Showcase, peaking into the various pavilions in a way I didn’t get to in October, since it was the Food and Wine Festival and I was focused on well, Food and Wine. I was particularly thrilled when I hit the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Japan and was immediately greeted by my favorite Pretty Guardians.


I caught the tail end of The Flag Show in Italy and also wandered in and out of the shops in China, and by the time I hit Germany, I knew it was time for me to grab a drink. Since I’d done wine in Germany previously, I went to the quick service restaurant and got an Oktoberfest, as well as a big tall water (Hey Water Buddy, even 1,000 away I can hear you in my head!) I drank it and wandered through the German Village and next door to Mexico, and into the pyramid (which is great, because it’s Air Conditioned!) and noticed that the line for La Cava De Tequila wasn’t terribly long. I was psyched, because in October it literally wound four times around the pyramid. So I popped in and got the Blood Orange Margarita, and you guys, I cannot make this more clear, this is the single greatest drink I have ever had. It was everything a Margarita should be, sweet and tangy and smooth and fruity and amazing.

At this point I realized that if I didn’t ride Test Track, I’d probably be too drunk if I waited much longer. So I headed in that general direction, stopping to say hi to Daisy on my way.


Got on the single rider line, got stuck in a car full of cheerleaders and thoroughly enjoyed my first Disney ride of the trip.


I then went to Spaceship Earth, because you have to eat your vegetables and also I love it. (I justify the fact that I never plan to do The Hall of Presidents again, by loving the crap out of Spaceship Earth.) By then I’d basically sweat through my clothes so I decided to see if I could get into my room. I could! So I showered, unpacked and then hopped right on a boat to Hollywood Studios.


Guys this was my favorite part of the trip and I know this post is crazy long, but seriously, it is amazing over there right now. It was like I died, got to heaven and it turned out that heaven was just full of Star Wars stuff. (As I imagine heaven probably is.)  Of course I did the usual suspects, I rode Tower of Terror (twice, once during the day and once after dark), and Toy Story Mania and The Hollywood Rockin Roller Coaster and The Great Movie Ride. I saw The Indiana Jones stunt show.


I skipped The Muppets because when it made sense timing wise for me to do it, I had a headache and the old 3-D was not a good idea. I also skipped Fantasmic, because I’ve seen it and I’d already cried enough by then (I’ll get to it) I hit The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge for Dinner, and had their Shrimp and Grits as well as their white Sangria (for the most part I tried to eat places I didn’t eat in October, and I think this counts because the Lounge menu is completely different than the dining room menu) both were awesome, but especially the Shrimp and Grits which is a dish I would eat pretty much anywhere I see it because it is not common where I live.


Anyway, Star Wars, so obviously, let’s start with Star Tours, which I wanted to ride twice but only got to once. I got to see the new scene where you meet up with Finn on Jakku, and while this creates just a universe of continuity errors (Vader and Finn are not around at the same time, Star Tours…) I giggled and clapped when he popped up on my screen. I saw the tail end of “Trials of The Jedi Temple” show and watched the Younglings with their sabers and cried. Then I saw the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away show and cried. Then I went to do the meet and greet with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca and stood up to Kylo Ren because I was dressed as Poe, he got in my face, I was defiant, and I have a new profile picture (sorry Cap!) then I saw Chewy and he noticed my outfit and roared and saluted me and I cried.


Then I ran around taking pictures of all of Rey and Poe’s props so that Aless and I can use those as reference points (#cosplayproblems) then I found a spot to watch the Star Wars: Symphony In The Stars fireworks and I cried. Look, if you’ve been around for a while you know that Star Wars stuff makes me cry, this isn’t news. (The sangria didn’t help…) Studios was open until midnight so there was a lot of running around late at night getting stuff done but I made it back to the hotel and basically passed out.

Anyway, I figured I’d get the Star Wars stuff in today! May The 4th Be With You!

Rest of the trip report will probably be up next Tuesday…Love you all!

It’s A Small, Small, World

Walt_Disney_World_4

So I’m going to see Tomorrowland tonight and I don’t know that I’ve been so excited for a movie in a while. It is without a doubt the non Star Wars movie I’m most excited about this movie season.

I’ve noted on my facebook a few times that this is a pretty Disney-tastic movie season.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tomorrowland

Inside Out

Ant-Man

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

And as I found out yesterday…I’m headed to the World itself this fall. Which will now be consuming large amounts of my energy and focus, since I’m sure in the ten years since I last visited Walt Disney World a lot has changed. (In fact I know it has, because I love Disney World and I followed the construction of New Fantasyland with rapt attention. I’m going to cut a mofo to try to get into Be Our Guest.) Also, as an adult I can now drink around the world at Epcot, and frankly, I’ve wanted to do that since I was like ten.

So, I was very excited to go see Tomorrowland anyway this weekend. Now my excitement has compounded. Because I’m going to be seeing Tomorrowland again soon, and I really can’t wait! 

Of The USS Enterprise and Old Friends

Going in to college I definitely had a little bit of the nerd thing going on. Mostly concentrated on my love of musical theatre and the bizarre Mighty Ducks fanfiction thing, but extending into the mainstream nerd-fests of Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings, and obviously Batman.

But I was deeply closeted. Like a midwestern Baptist gay kid on a Ryan Murphy show, I was about to discover my true self. Because for the first time in my life I was spending my time around other nerds almost exclusively.

Because generally speaking, “cool kids” don’t attend small liberal arts colleges in North Eastern Pennsylvania and join the choir and student theater group and the yearbook. Do you know who does do those things? Nerds.

But it was mostly because of Jen.

Jen was my freshman year roommate. Jen owned her nerdiness in a way that completely awed me. She didn’t scribble fanfiction in her journal in the middle of the night and hope no one found out. She just laughed when I finally admitted to it and talked about playing Redwall RPG’s. Jen didn’t silently thank the TV powers that be that The West Wing ended our senior year of high school because then she didn’t have to admit to her new college friends that she loved it. No, Jen owned and displayed her West Wing box sets proudly. (Only the first 3 seasons, anything post Sorkin was not worth her time or attention.)

Jen and I sat around late at night talking about C.S. Lewis or Arthur Conan Doyle. We watched Futurama reruns and introduced some of our favorite things to each other. (Jen to Me: Quantum Leap, Me to Jen: Kevin Smith and Orlando.)

Pictured: Me feeding Jen to Jaws at Universal Orlando. The girl looking away is our other friend, Jenna.

Pictured: Me feeding Jen to Jaws at Universal Orlando. The girl looking away is our other friend, Jenna.

Then, one night, we watched a Star Trek marathon on TV Land. I’d never watched Star Trek before. Basically, everything I knew about it was from Futurama. One of the episodes that I clearly remember, was the episode “Mirror, Mirror.”  In this episode Captain Kirk travels to an alternate universe where everyone is evil, except Spock, who is Spock with a beard.

I don’t know. It made an impact, because I thought it was pretty stupid but still gave a crap. Also, I understood the premise as it was the same as Bizarro world from Superman. Anyway, with the switch of Good Kirk and Evil Kirk, of course Good Kirk had to have sex with someone, a character that Jen and I still refer to, to this day as “Bizarro Space Whore.” I wasn’t hooked on Star Trek. I still didn’t love the show. It was too slow, too cheesy, I came to it too late in life. But I understood now, I got why people did love it. And I found my own things to love.

When the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie came out, we were both wary. Jen because she loved Star Trek and me because I didn’t, but loved Lost.

We went to go see it multiple times the weekend it came out. We loved it. It had it’s problems, but we loved when Kirk found Old Spock on Hoth (I mean, that other Ice Planet, that was totally not Hoth.) we loved Karl Urban as Bones, we loved Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

With Star Trek: Into Darkness coming out next week I was just thinking about Jen, and how lucky I was to have someone who was so at home with herself and didn’t care if I was just myself. She’s a great friend and I miss her very much.

Live Long and Prosper, Jennifer. I’ll always think of you when I notice a red shirt. And of course I’ll be thinking of you next weekend when I go to see Into Darkness.

Use The Force Mickey

Alternate Title: What the Disney Buy Out of Lucasfilm Means To My Dumbass Friends

So I’m still without power at my house, but we checked in to a hotel. It’s a huge pain, but we’re all safe, and our house is fine, so we’re counting our blessings.

Last night I hit a bar with some of my oldest friends. It was great, but when my friends started talking about the Disney Buy Out of Lucasfilm that was announced on Tuesday, and because we were in a bar and we had been drinking mind erasers, the conversation got a little loud and incomprehensible.

My friend Adam was dressed as Han Solo though, so that gave us some special insights.

The guys did seem very excited about the prospect of a seventh Star Wars movie, which surprised me because, well, these are fanboys.

But of course, I began to get indignant when they were talking about how excited they were for the prospect of Star Wars at Disney World, in combination with Disney’s ownership of Marvel Comics. I believe it went something like this.

Friend Mike: There will be Star Wars characters at Disney World now.
Friend Adam: Yeah! Oh and they can combine it with Marvel, it’ll be great.
Me: Actually, um, there’s already Star Wars at Disney World at MGM Studios (I will never call it Disney Hollywood Studios), and when Disney bought Marvel, Universal retained the theme park rights, because Marvel Superhero Island is already a thing.
Friend Scott: Only for four more years. That’ll change.
Me: Probably not, and I doubt they’ll build more Star Wars stuff since they just redid Star Tours like two years ago.

We went around in circles for a while (due to the vodka) and I realized I wasn’t going to win so I went to talk to other people.

Here’s the thing, since I was two years old, I’ve been to Orlando, Florida for theme park vacations at least eight times. I’ve been to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando a bunch of times. I love Orlando. I would go there every year if I could afford it. I understand the delicate balance that exists between Universal Orlando and Disney World. This balance is hugely upset by the fact that you can walk around Universal with a beer and it’s like seven times cheaper.

Because the two resorts are in constant competition, I seriously doubt Universal is going to let the theme park rights to Marvel go. Also one of the things that I think they’re pushing for, with the construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is to become the ultimate fanboy and girl vacation destination.

Besides San Diego in August.

Anyway, the point is, my friends know a lot about Star Wars. They probably don’t know as much about Orlando as I do. As far as the theme parks go, the acquisition of Lucasfilm probably just means that we’ll finally get the Indiana Jones ride that’s been huge at Disney Land in Disney World, because the rights issues will be easier. And maybe there will be a few more Star Wars weekends.