Sunday, February 13, 2011


I have this habit of writing very long-winded reviews of certain things. I apologize ahead of time for the length! And I, Amanda, have a habit of butting in using italics. Kevin Amanda

I had been to DisneyWorld twice before the trip this year: once when I was way too young to remember anything about it, then later in 1995 when I visited with my family. But the '95 trip was only for one day, and only the Magic Kingdom, and there wasn't really any research (as far as which attractions are the must-dos) put into it, so I wasn't left with much in the Magical Memories Department. So this year was my chance to make up for that and do DisneyWorld "the proper way," with five-and-a-half days to cover all four of the parks, as thoroughly as possible! Starting with...

The Magic Kingdom

One of the first things we saw was a parade made especially for rainy weather, which I liked. Because how can you be upset about rain when the song is telling you to "Splish splash! Tinkle tinkle!"

I loved the improvisation-based technology of Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and appreciated that the improv actors in both of the showings we saw (well, Amanda and I just had to see it again later on a different day!) were actually quite good at it. I submitted a joke that I made up just to see if it would make it into the show, and sure enough it did! I'm not telling you what it was, though. Well now you HAVE to tell me which joke it was! Update! I didn't get it lol!

Stitch's Great Escape! was one of the weaker attractions, but well-done for what it is. There are a lot of attractions that can be equally enjoyed by adults and kids, but this is one that really is mostly made for the younger set. And that's very ironic because it was originally Alien which was too scary for most kids to begin with. Even I was pretty startled back before the rehash.

I don't mind telling you that we went on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin three times. I suppose at this point I should mention that, since we chose the fourth week in January to visit DisneyWorld, the parks were not nearly as crowded as they would be if we had chosen, say, July. Frankly, we were spoiled with the line non-waits. The wait for BLSRS, for example, each time was only as long as it took to walk through the queue area. Do I even need to stress how great it felt?
Anyway, I do enjoy slow-moving shooting gallery game/rides. It's essentially the same as King's Island's Scooby Doo ride*, except that one didn't seem to make perfect sense. When has the Mystery, Inc. Gang ever shot at any ghoulies? And since the ghosts always turn out to be humans, then...well, I'm digressing. You would think that trying to aim a tiny periodically appearing red laser dot (amidst a handful of other identical red dots) at moving targets while in a track-trailing and spinning car would be frustrating and annoying, yet somehow it manages to be really fun. I don't get it!

[*Now that I'm looking it up, it turns out that this has been genericized, as all traces of Hanna Barbera and Nickelodeon characters are now gone from King's Island. A lot of the rides that used to be Hanna Barbera themed are now Peanuts themed, which makes me imagine how funny it would be if they had tried to incorporate the Peanuts characters into this spooky dark ghost-shooting ride. First of all, duh it would be about the Great Pumpkin! And second of all, what?? Peanuts? But I thought Peanuts were a Cedar Point thing! When did Cedar Faire Inc buy out King's Island? Have they always owned it?]

I hope Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress is never removed from the park. It's corny and amusingly approaching out-of-dateness, but that's what's so great about it! It predicted that, in "the family of the future," a grandmother could enjoy playing video games, even though I think it was meant to be a joke at the time! Also I think it's one of the best chances to get a good, up-close look at the classic Disney animatronics. It was so much so that I kind of had to resist the urge to just walk up onto the stage and poke around at the set.

The actual Space Mountain ride is waaay better than the video game. Holy crap! There's a video game???

Mickey's Philharmagic might just be my favorite 4-D film; I'll tell you which is my second-favorite when I get to it. But I don't think there's anything I can say about this one that might potentially spoil it for those who haven't experienced it. Let's just say I highly recommend it!

Speaking of spoilers, SPOILER ALERT: It turns out that it's a small world after all. A small, small world.

Tony's Town Square was a great first-day restaurant. We were definitely spoiled. The recent emptying of the park due to rain left this restaurant over staffed and therefore we had the fastest service of the entire trip. And our server Parvil sang Happy Birthday and lit a candle in Kevin's gelato.

I want to mention the Disney Dining Plan. We had originally planned to take the trip the week before such that my birthday would fall on it, but our trip adviser had found a special promotion that would allow us to have free dining for the entire stay if we pushed it to the next week. Let me just say that the next time we go (whenever that may be), I hope we can get the credit-based dining plan again.

I wouldn't be too surprised if at some point in the future the Swiss Family Treehouse is removed or renovated to fit the theme of another movie. And in 3-D!! And more interactive. It was nice to look at, but I really wanted to play with things, but it was all behind ropes that were not to be crossed.

I just want to say that our Jungle Cruise skipper reminded me of Paul of Paul & Storm. Also, I wonder what it would be like to listen to Weird Al's Skipper Dan on a personal music player while riding the Jungle Cruise.

Here's a question for the comments section. How do you pronounce "Pirates of the Caribbean? Do you say "ca-ribyan" or "cara-bee-in?" I think the latter sounds more pirate-y somehow, but I caught Amanda using the former. Anway, since this ride is rather dark, I recommend preparing a "pirate eye." Cover or close one eye and keep it closed for several minutes before you go inside, then when you enter, open it and close the other. Your cones will now be prepared for the darkness! Or just buy a scurvy eye patch from the shop before entering. It's the perfect pirate eye preparer!

The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management!) was closed. Aww.

I could ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad all day. It is just my perfect level of roller-coaster tolerance, and a blast to boot!

Country Bear Jamboree was, um...well, let's just keep an eye out for the IDGet comic about this one.

Three hundred years from now, The Hall of Presidents will still exist, and the Imagineers of the Future will have to find a way to fit all 100+ Audio-Animatronic presidents on the stage at once. And the Audience of the Future will have to listen to each one's name being stated in the roll call. One at a time. Slowly. I predict by then the caretaker presidents will be phased out... bless their hearts.
And then the presidents will of course gain sentience and kill everyone.

Speaking of dead people, The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite rides, though I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because the song is so darn catchy. It totally needs to be played on the radio around Halloween. Also, if I was allowed to pick one "cast member" job, it would probably be this attraction's host. Staring creepily at all of the guests sounds like fun!

Peter Pan's Flight, Snow's White's Scary Adventures, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh are all sort of variations on the same experience, but if I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go for Pooh's. I wonder if the part about Heffalumps and Woozles confuses the younger fans, now that there is an actual Heffalump character in the series. Also, why does the store into which the ride leads not sell honey? In adorable little Pooh-shaped squeeze bottles? Or honey straws! Which is what I really wanted.

Besides the furniture being hard and uncomfortable, it would be pretty great to live in a Toontown-style house. What? Minnie's House totally had soft usable chairs!
The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm
is fun and too short, but is it worth going through the line for the ridiculous visual gags along the way.

And if you ever get to see Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, all future Fourth of July hometown fireworks will seem like piddly little sparklers by comparison. Just so you know. I swear to you, the imagineers who orchestrate the end of day displays are beyond ARTISTS. They're more like psychologists who know exactly what music and what images to show to make a person all choked up. I didn't even have a good view and I was still ready to cry cry cry.

Attractions in which we chose not to partake: Astro Orbiter, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (these three are all pretty much the same ride, right?), Cinderella's Royal Carousel, Frontierland Shooting Arcade, Liberty Square Riverboat, Tom Sawyer Island, Mad Tea Party (I would've but Amanda dislikes spinniness), Splash Mountain (it was not hot enough for a wet ride), Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Walt Disney World Railroad. I suppose a recurring theme here might be "riding around in a circle outdoors."


I highly recommend any Kim Possible fan or even person-who-has-occasionally-seen-Kim-Possible-but-enjoyed-it-when-he-has to try out the Kim Possible Save the World Missions. You basically follow instructions to different countries of the showcase from a programmed cell phone, and you can use it to activate various "events" at different locations. And part of the fun is seeing the reactions to the events of the other people around who aren't privy to the game! I would recommend though, that if anyone wants to try it, they should set aside time to do the missions all in one go (perhaps after perusing the showcases at leisure), because the Kimmunicator does not have a sleep mode and gets impatient if left unused for a certain amount of time by abandoning your current mission.

At Innoventions, I got to take part in a funny game show about velcro! And we also briefly tried out Segways for the first time! And posed for a silly green screen video game together! Please please please check out the photos. This was so very worth participating in despite the fact that it was the "shill our products" section of Epcot.

At Club Cool we tasted sodas from around the world, a couple of which were good, others were decent, but the Italian soda "Beverly" is downright nasty and I suspect only included as a cruel joke.

I suppose I don't have much to say about each individual showcase pavilion, but I will say that Japan's was my favourite shopping (well, just browsing in my case) stop. If they had the weird-flavor (like wasabi) Doritos, I would've bought those, though. It also turns out that you can't get poutine from the Canada pavilion (Amanda asked) and though I found no Twiglets at the United Kingdom, I did try Jammie Dodgers as a consolation. We enjoyed lunch at U.K.'s The Rose and Crown, where Amanda has fish and chips and I bangers and mash. And as I was still wearing my birthday button from the day before I got another song! By the way, all of the restaurants at which we sat down and dined had what I would call perfect portions. They were large portions, but not so large that you felt stuffed and roll-y afterwards, but just good and satisfied.

I watched the rear screens for most of the O Canada! 360 Circle-Vision film because I felt bad that no one else seemed to be watching them. I felt a bit dizzy because I was turning round and round and back and forth trying to look at everything all at once!

Captain EO. Oh, man oh man. So the thing is, I had never seen and Amanda was eagerly looking forward to re-seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It wasn't until we were actually at the building where it used to be that we find out it had recently been replaced. It turns out that this happened just this past July, which is confounding because I even remember having mailed to us custom park maps, which did show HIStA. Even if I made those maps before July, you would think they would know that it was going to be replaced soon and make some sort of footnote for it (as in, "Oh by the way this won't be here for long just so you know").
This leads me to looking up its history: It debuted back in 1986 and ran until it was replaced by Honey I Shrunk the Audience in 1994. So Captain EO was given about eight years, with HISTA getting twice as much time afterward. And I am surprised that "Honey..." even lasted that long, considering the film it's based on frankly hasn't been terribly relevant for a long time.
But is Captain EO relevant enough for its revival? Aside from Michael Jackson's enduring popularity...nnno. It's pretty bad. Like, not "Bad" bad, but like Nostalgia Critic review bad. But I actually enjoyed it for its badness, especially since it happened to be the type of bad movie that I can easily laugh at (not with).
If you want an idea what it's like consider:
-It was written and produced by George Lucas
-It features Lucas-esque creatures
-Michael Jackson plays the sort of fantasy version of himself seen in his music videos and uses the power of his music to transform
-There is a bumbling elephant-thing named Hooter whose sole purpose, it seems, is to sneeze on you.
We were surprised to later stumble upon plush toys of Hooter and one of the other Captain EO characters (a butterfly-cat-mouse named Fuzzball) in a couple of the park shops! But what would surprise me even more is if we actually saw anybody buying or carrying either of them around. Did you look that name up or did you actually remember it from the show? Because really? Fuzzball? Really?

So because I haven't seen Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, I didn't get at the time that the character Nigel Channing, who hosts Journey Into Imagination With Figment, is a carried over character from the other show. This could be one case against doing away with HISTA.
The ride sure does try to be as whimsical as possible! But what exactly is Figment? Channing says he "created" Figment, but does that mean he created him using his imagination, or is Figment a work of science designed to demonstrate the effects of imagination, or...I don't know. It doesn't really make sense but there's a part of the ride with an upside-down bathroom on the ceiling and that makes up for everything.

The Land Pavilion has an odd distinct smell whenever I enter it. It reminds me of hospital food, specifically the type you get as a meal in the tray with the foil edges you peel back to uncover the paper lid, you know the type? I don't know if the smell was from the restaurant(s) or the plant-growing area, but it hit me even stronger than the scents piped into some of the WDW rides and shows. Like, for example...

Soarin' was praised and praised in all of the WDW vacation books I'd read, and did not fail to disappoint. And it also goes to show that you don't need 3D to make a film-based ride engaging and immersive!

Living With the Land made me hungry for strange types of foodplants that I had never heard of before.

The Circle of Life
was a nice enough film about the impact of humans on the Earth, but it's another for the "I won't be surprised if it gets updated/replaced soon" bin.

Mission: Space was a blast, and I thought the tamer "orange" version that we did was too tame, and would've liked to try the diehard "green" version, but Amanda wasn't up for that. Maybe next time :) But we had a lot of fun "getting into character" throughout. Would you like to see our video postcard?

To me the most fascinating part of Ellen's Energy Adventure was the mechanics of the ride seats, the way that the people sitting to the left or right of you become the people in front of or behind you after the short film ends and the ride gets going. Apart from that and the energy "lesson" (I know it sounds weird, but it wasn't as educational as I was hoping it would be), it doesn't really offer anything that you can't get from another ride. Well, at least you do get to see an out-of-date Jeopardy! set and Alex Trebek with a mustache.

Speaking of things that I expected to be more educational than they were, I'm not sure if anything was really taught in the interactive Turtle Talk With Crush. But I guess the educational content is determined by the questions the kids ask, and the questions at our showing were, um. Well, one of the questions was "Are you in Nemo?" and I'll leave that without comment. But the bulk of the presentation is pretty much an extended audience warm-up routine. Which is not to say it isn't fun and worth attending, though.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends ends with a "How did they do that effect" that, to me, is at least as impressive as the effect that ends Haunted Mansion. And come to think of it, the rides are kind of similar in structure. Hm, I call copycat!

Not liking seafood didn't prevent me from enjoying Coral Reef Restaurant. I had the excellent dish called wild mushroom lasagna, which I can only dream to find in the menu of any other restaurant I ever go to. Seriously. Are there any restaurants in the Parma, Ohio area that serve wild mushroom lasagna? Wrapped in phyllo dough too. Oooo fancy!

Let me talk a bit about the Photopass service. It is a terrific idea: numerous professional photographers around the parks can take pictures of you in front of landmarks or with characters. All of the photos taken during your stay are sent to the same account via the free Photopass card that you hand to each photographer. You can later view the pictures online, but unfortunately to get prints or even download them costs quite a pretty penny. To give you an idea: to download one of the pictures costs fifteen bucks. Yep.

At the Epcot Character Spot, we had our pictures taken with Pluto, Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy (no Daisy, though. She must be to Disney character gatherings what Betty Rubble is to Flintstones chewable vitamins)! I wish I could have taken a video of Donald reacting to a girl who was wearing a Donald Duck butt hat. And we did end up getting a backwards Goofy picture! But it's on Photopass...

Spaceship Earth is probably my favorite audio animatronics-based ride and is an awesome way to get an idea of just how huge that giant "golf ball" is. A newly updated version lets you select your own personalized future. Here's ours!

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was worth the colder-than-I-expected temperature I had to endure during it. I suppose at this point in this post Amanda will comment about how I am a "cold baby." You are a cold baby. I was wearing a thinner jacket and was totally fine. Come on, it was FLORIDA. hee hee

Things we did not do: Reflections of China (never got around to it) and Test Track (I think Amanda was scaredy-pants)

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Midway Mania has got to be without a doubt and by far the most popular attraction at the moment (not counting the night time celebrations...though, maybe still...). Before noon it had run out of Fastpasses. And this was during a light January week - remember what I said earlier about the other rides having pretty much no lines? So this is the only ride for which we waited a long time in line. But the queue is charming enough that it's hard to mind. Where else can you see a life-size ViewMaster reel? And yes, the ride itself is totally worth the wait. Whereas Space Ranger Spin uses a button for its shooting, TSMM has you pulling a ball on a string. Though this helps the game feel more interactive, man does it wear out your arm! The only first person shooting game I've ever beat Kevin on! He never made it past beaver, but I got to wildcat!

Muppet Vision 3-D is a blast, and I loved it mostly for the "real" outside-of-the-screen characters. Sweetums's appearance makes me wonder why there aren't any Muppet character greeting opportunities. Is it because they wouldn't talk? Also, Waldo C. Graphic is a parody of Figment, right?

Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey was the second show-featuring-a-stand-up-comedian-turned-self-titled-sitcom-star-now-known-for-being-the-host-of-a-daytime-television-series that we saw. It was, well, pretty much what I expected. Do you think people are going to get used to seeing Trim Drew Carey on The Price is Right and then be a bit jarred whenever they see him as Bigger Drew Carey in anything older he's been in? In case you have to ask... and I did... the other person was Ellen. I am clearly not all there when it comes to sitcom stars.

The Great Movie Ride was, well, great! We saw the "gangster" version. I like to think of what live-action movies of today will be considered "classic" enough decades later to be possibly added to the Great Movie Ride. Any suggestions, commentators? I was thinking maybe Titanic? ET?

I haven't played Epic Mickey, but I figure seeing Walt Disney: One Man's Dream is the next big thing. Maybe better?

Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a stage show, not to be confused with the upcoming Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, which will be a ride in the Magic Kingdom. The show is a fun treat, but I'm glad we saw it before another certain aquatic stage show that I'll mention later, as that one blew VotLM out of the water. But still see it if you're a Little Mermaid fan.

I want The Magic of Disney Animation to stay around forever, but what of the new-fangled computers and things?
After the "show" part, we met and gret Lotso! And yes, he does smell like strawberries! While we were waiting in line he was excused to leave the room for a few moments. I'm sure he needs to use the restroom every once in a while, but I bet he has to periodically freshen up his strawberriness too.
There was also a meet-and-greet area for Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. It says a lot for the popularity of Pixar movies that their characters from 2004 are still making the rounds in WDW. I'm just sayin', it's not like I saw any G-Force or Meet the Robinsons characters hangin' around.

I'm glad I was able to dine at 50's Prime Time Café even if only to see the set-up itself. I had seen the 1950s-style-home look in photos before, but what surprised me was how well the layout of the restaurant itself was made to be like one really big family house. As for the theming
from the actors, we didn't get much from our server but I did get a kick out out of watching the table across from us. It makes sense in hindsight that the concept works better for large families and kids than for, say, a grown-up couple. And I guess it didn't help that I kept my elbows off the table and ate my veggies on my own anyway. And I've always been a dish stacker.

I had already seen a video of a lot of the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, and I'm afraid that spoiled the experience of the live show, since there weren't really any surprises for me. But it is still all very impressive. It turns out that the show has its own music soundtrack, even though I could've sworn the soundtrack was just VRRROOOOOOOM-ROOOOM, ERRRRRRGGG! BANG-BANG-FWOOOMP, SQUEEEEEEAL, etc.

The Studio Backlot Tour is Disney World's way of saying, "What, you want to go to Universal Studios? F that! Here, we'll give you a thing that's just like half of Universal. You'll like it." I think the only movie prop I recognized was the souped-up lawnmower from Home Improvement, and I don't know whether that says more about my knowledge of movies or about Disney's influence with live-action movies and television shows. I agree with this a lot. Also I was a little sad that it was too cold for audience participation in the pre-show, because really, that's what I remember as one of the best parts.

The Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure is still up! What are the odds that it'll soon be rebranded the "Gnomeo and Juliet Movie Set Adventure"? That's actually really clever and I'm proud of you for thinking of it.

One of the minor things we wanted to experience was the Disney World turkey leg. A lot of the vacation books mentioned that certain food vendors sell turkey legs, and you know it must be "a thing" because you can also buy a t-shirt with an image of a cartoon turkey leg and the simple straightforward caption "turkey leg." So we used one of our counter service credits (note: an entire turkey leg, it turns out, is meant for one person and we later learned that one turkey leg is on average 1.5 lbs or 680 grams for you metric folks) and shared one as we waited in line for Fantasmic. This would turn out to be a great idea.
Fantastic was easily my favourite of the nighttime spectaculars. And I'm not just saying that because it's the only one of the three in which the audience gets seats! Anyone who sees this has no choice but to be amazed and entranced and in awe. It's like a law of physics or something. What with the explosions and the water and the videos and the stunts and the dragon that -you know what? Just make sure you see it for yourself.

Also as we exited Fantasmic, we choose to leisurely stroll through the shops instead of allowing ourselves to be herded by the many many other people straight to the park exit. We decided a good snack would one of the giant chocolate covered rice crispie treats. Yes, we only needed one and the counter worker graciously split it for us. Each HALF was bigger than a rubik's cube and it only counted for ONE snack credit. Sheesh!

The no-gos:
American Idol Experience (You know, I would have been interested in this if I knew for sure I was going to be one of the three on stage but that's about it.) , Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian (for both: NOT interested), Star Wars (was undergoing renovation. B'OH!), Rock & Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (I was skittish about both), Beauty & the Beast - Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (never got around to either) We did try to see Indy by hopping parks on one of the last days, but darn it, we didn't check the times guide and ended up a mere 10 minutes late to get in.

Animal Kingdom

The Kilimanjaro Safari is basically the land version of Jungle Cruise, but taken more seriously. And with real animals. I was amused by the storyline built into it. I was impressed with how natural the surroundings were! I was also impressed by the way they create opportunities for you to see the animals by making the out in the open spots the most desirable for the animals to stay in.

Is it weird that of all the different types of birds featured in the Flights of Wonder, the one that most entertained me was the chicken? Perhaps because I'm partial to chickens, but also because it was hilariously the least exotic of them all. Also, the idea of a chicken chasing a person around is hilarious. Also, one of the hawks flew so close to us I quite literally felt the wind from its wings as it flew by.

Festival of the Lion King is not to be missed, especially for the monkeys. And the talking walking Timon, which intrigues me, anyway!

What seemed like I had read most about It's Tough to Be a Bug! was that, for every show, there is at least one crying child. And sure enough! But wow, it does seem as if the show does as much as it can to go out of its way to try to terrify small children. There are bugs in front of you! Bugs above you! Bugs in your back! Bugs on the floor! BUGS EVERYWHERE THERE'S NO ESCAPE!!
Though I'm thinking that if it weren't for the horrified screams, the show itself would only be that much less remarkable.. Am I a bad person for thinking the screaming terrified children were hilarious? Maybe. I'm okkay with that.

The Conservation Station was one of the least crowded character meeting spots, and I sort of felt kind of bad that not many other people (besides us) wanted to meet Jiminy Cricket. He's a classic character, people!

Finding Nemo: The Musical was better than I expected it to be! It seems a missed opportunity that it doesn't lead into a store at which you can buy the CD. But we did eventually find it! I think if not for it being only 30 minutes long, it'd be worthy of being shown in venues outside of "the World." If it were to be extended into a full 1 or 2 hour show, I would absolutely go to see it again or try out for it if it came to a theatre near me.

If you love bumpiness, you'll love the Dinosaur ride! But really, it is terrifically fun. Just...not as fun for those with stiff necks! Loved it. All I have to say about that. Loved it. Also around this time I was thinking it would be very convenient to be able to put the automatically taken ride photos on your photo pass card.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade was my favorite parade if only for a bit where I caught Timon flirting at a distance with a park guest. I didn't realize he was such a ladies' man!

The "Maybe Another Time"s: We avoided Kali River Rapids for wetness reasons. TriCeratop Spin is, yes, another going-around-in-circles-at-a-height-outside ride. Primeval Whirl was closed, and Amanda seemed uninterested anyway. Nah, I woulda tried it :) As for Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain? I was considering trying it out - I figured, hey I can tackle the other mountain-based rides - until lunchtime when, from across the water at the Flame Tree Barbecue, we could hear the screams of the people riding Everest. And also to see just how huge the thing is. I was, um, kinda scared.

The Resorts

We stopped at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at the highly-praised Boma: Flavors of Africa. Which was easily worth its praise! I had heard a lot about the superb zebra domes, but the other similar truffles were equally delicious.

I can't not mention the on-site hotel at which we stayed, right? Disney's Pop Century Resort had a lot of great Stuff-on-the-Walls and Giant Decorate things to look at. The room itself was ... budget. Nothing bad about it, just very basic. Table chairs beds TV bathroom. I couldn't help but notice that the TV showed only local television channels and Disney channels (ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Disney XD). Are the television channel lists edited to only cycle through those or do they get a special cable package made especially for Disney? And how can we get in on that package???
As you may or may not know, the Pop Century buildings are divided into different "decade" sections. We chose 80s just because we like 80s things, but in hindsight it would've been more practical to choose the 60s so that our walks to and from the shuttle curb and dining area would be shorter. Pop Century's dining, incidentally is... well, not great in contrast to our other Disney dining experiences. Though they do offer waffles in the design of the Pop Century logo, which is darn pretty special. Do all of the Disney resorts each serve their own style of waffle?

We visited the Contemporary Resort for a dinner at Chef Mickey's. I couldn't help but have a character meal, for novelty's sake! The most memorable part of the buffet meal was definitely the Mickey Truffle.

Downtown Disney

I got to go to the Lego store! Oh and there were some other stores we went to I guess. But, Lego store! I was a big fan of Little MissMatched which sells nothing but socks, tights, gloves and armwarmers and other things that don't match. Plus everything came in sets of three so not only is it okkay if you lose one, but you could buy any number of trios and they would all go with all the others! I already want more and will be on the website for a while now.


I had never theme parked for more than a couple of days in a row. This may be why, at around the fourth day or so I felt a bit...overwhelmed. It was unusual to have that much constant stimulation for that long; I admit I actually felt like I needed a break from it. But aside from that - which I got mostly got over anyway - it was an incredibly memorable trip and I find myself reminiscing an awful lot about it. I learned that I need to schedule nap breaks in for Kevin because seriously, he slept on the bus to and from each park. He slept in some of the educational theater shows, and he fell asleep INSTANTLY every night. Usually he does a little fidgeting and a little scratching, but MAN did he fall asleep fast.

So. When can we go again? (!)

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