Saturday, January 13, 2018

Where in WDW? Challenge 121

It's time once again to play our favorite quiz game ... Where in WDW? where you get to test your knowledge of Walt Disney World. Everything shown will be in areas where guests can see them - in other words, no backstage shots. From time to time, however, you may be asked to identify something that was but no longer exists. Have fun ... either post your guess in the comments below or other location on which this was posted.


Last time you were challenged to identify Where in WDW you would find this ...


This can be found above the stage at Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom.




Didn't get it? Well, here is another one for you - Where in WDW? would you see this?



As usual, make your guess in the COMMENTS section below or other location on which this was posted and then stop back next time to see if you were correct.



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Where in WDW? Challenge 120

It's time once again to play our favorite quiz game ... Where in WDW? where you get to test your knowledge of Walt Disney World. Everything shown will be in areas where guests can see them - in other words, no backstage shots. From time to time, however, you may be asked to identify something that was but no longer exists. Have fun ... either post your guess in the comments below or other location on which this was posted.


Last time you were challenged to identify Where in WDW you would find this ...


This can be found above the entrance to Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.




Didn't get it? Well, here is another one for you - Where in WDW? would you see this?



As usual, make your guess in the COMMENTS section below or other location on which this was posted and then stop back next time to see if you were correct.



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Where in WDW? Challenge 119

It's time once again to play our favorite quiz game ... Where in WDW? where you get to test your knowledge of Walt Disney World. Everything shown will be in areas where guests can see them - in other words, no backstage shots. From time to time, however, you may be asked to identify something that was but no longer exists. Have fun ... either post your guess in the comments below or other location on which this was posted.


Last time you were challenged to identify Where in WDW you would find this ...


This can be found at the entrance to the Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland.




Didn't get it? Well, here is another one for you - Where in WDW? would you see this?



As usual, make your guess in the COMMENTS section below or other location on which this was posted and then stop back next time to see if you were correct.



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Where in WDW? Challenge 118

It's time once again to play our favorite quiz game ... Where in WDW? where you get to test your knowledge of Walt Disney World. Everything shown will be in areas where guests can see them - in other words, no backstage shots. From time to time, however, you may be asked to identify something that was but no longer exists. Have fun ... either post your guess in the comments below or other location on which this was posted.


Last time you were challenged to identify Where in WDW you would find this ...


This can be found in the Art of Animation Resort in the Cars section.




Didn't get it? Well, here is another one for you - Where in WDW? would you see this?



As usual, make your guess in the COMMENTS section below or other location on which this was posted and then stop back next time to see if you were correct.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December Trip Report ... Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT -or- Where’s my phone?

Day 3 ... December 12


This morning Jenny was dealing with a migraine, so it was just Cathy and me to start the day. 


Not that I was in top shape myself after last night’s tumble. My knee was very stiff when I first got out of bed but continued to loosen up as I walked a bit. Combined with the previous discomforts, it might have prevented me from a day at the parks, but I decided that it was something that I could deal with and if it got to the point that I couldn’t tolerate it any longer, I would simply go back to my room. I took some Aleve and put something on my knee that I had used on my feet in the past, and soldiered on. 

First fasspass for the day was Toy Story:Midway Mania at The Studios. Once there I found that my knee actually wasn’t an issue and my walking was only slightly more uncomfortable than it had been. Standing still had always been the issue for me and today followed that pattern. We arrived and the line to enter the fastpass queue was longer than almost any I had ever seen. It went quite a ways towards the end of the building. But it moved and after we tapped our magic bands and were inside, it continued. At the merge point we were directed towards the new track (to the left) which I had never ridden before and rather quickly found ourselves on the ride. Neither of us did spectacularly - both earning no higher than beaver. 

When we exited, we still had quite a while until our next fastpass … Tower of Terror … so we decided to sit at a table right there for a while, and enjoy the sun and the company … and not push my knee if we didn’t have to. We hadn’t been sitting there long when Jenny texted that she was leaving the room and on her way. I told her where to meet us and then Cathy and I headed over there - though it would still be a while until she could arrive. 

When Jenny got there, there was still quite a bit of time until out ToT fastpass window opened, so we decided to get something to eat at the marketplace along that street. While I was sitting at a table waiting for the girls to get something, I spotted another RADPer, Michele Gregory and her husband Tom. I called them over and we visited for a few minutes before they had to move on. At that point Jenny had to use the ladies room … pay attention, this becomes important … and when she returns, our fastpass window is upon us and we make the short walk to the ToT, stopping to have our picture taken.


Walking along the fastpass queue we pass a gentleman and his children, who were waiting for his wife who had left her phone and went back to find it. We wish him luck and continue on. At this point Jenny realizes that she does not have HER (only days old) phone in her pocket and realizes that she must have left her own phone in the ladies room moments earlier. She leaves to find it while Cathy and I wait. She returns shortly without it, but decides that we should continue to ride and she would check at Guest Services after we finish … allowing some time for the phone to hopefully be turned in. 


After we are finished, we start to head towards Guest Services but the girls suggest that rather than make the walk all the way back to Guest Services that I rest my knee at a table behind the Starbucks while they take care of it. The phone isn’t there when they arrive but they wait for the next park sweep to be turned in. When that turns up empty, It’s suggested that Jenny try the nearest gift shop to the ladies room in order to see if anyone turned it in. Cathy came to sit with me and let me know what was happening while Jenny proceeded to do as suggested. It wasn’t there, but they in turn suggested checking with a bellhop at the ToT. Turns out that they have a lockbox where they store lost items. As she came back to the table at which Cathy and I were sitting, we were both relieved to see her phone in her hand. Relief all around!!!

Now it was time to save the galaxy so we headed over to Star Tours. 

Once we safely delivered the Rebel spy, we were all ready to eat again, and with the paucity of options at The Studios, we left for EPCOT. We boarded a Friendship (a concession to my knee once again I’m afraid) and soon entered the International Gateway on our way to Japan where we go to Katsura Grill - the counter service restaurant. 

From there we continued around World Showcase until we arrived at Mexico for a boat ride. There are rumors swirling around that this will eventually become a Coco themed attraction. While I miss the original theme song from the boat ride’s former incarnation … I think that a Coco theme would work very well here. You already have a large Day of the Dead presence during the trip, and I could easily see bits of the movie fleshing out (if you’ll pardon the pun) an entire trip. This would be a change that would very likely be popular. I for one would like to see it. 

The ride came to an end, and with a bit more effort than usual … even me with my short legs didn’t have much room to stretch them out causing my knee to be a bit angry at the moment … I managed to get out of the boat. We started heading back towards Future World where Jenny mentioned that she would like to see the fountain show after dark. As we walked that way, we passed a sign for the Cookie shop that had set up in the former Odyssey restaurant. It was indeed time for some cookies for all three of us, and wine for the girls (I passed on this one as I had just taken a pain killer) - while watching old Mickey Mouse shorts.

After a quick stop at First Aid so I could get a new bandaid or two for my hand, we started heading towards Future World. Jenny and I found a spot to watch the fountain show while Cathy took a brief look through Mouse Gears. Cathy soon joined us. Once the show was over, we headed to the buses where this  time I managed to stay on my feet!!!




Day 4 … December 13 … Back to the real world -or- The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day


Unfortunately, at least for two of us, our time here comes to an end today. Jenny has to return to Tennessee and the farm for business commitments she must keep followed by family obligations. I have to head back to NYC where I have a date with a syringe of medication … the fourth in a series of 6. I will have to return north once more in January and then once in February before I complete my cancer treatments.


Cathy, however, gets to stay and have a second Disney vacation as her husband and son will be arriving the next day.

For me - even with the pain of the radiation side-effects and then my self-inflicted injuries - it was a diversion that couldn’t have come at a better time. But now back to NY for a couple of days and then right back to Florida.

See you at the parks!!!




Monday, December 18, 2017

December Trip Report ... Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios -or- Things that go bump in the night

Day 2 ... December 11 ... 


Today’s plan is to start in Animal Kingdom where we have a 10:00 fastpass for Primeval Whirl. Still unusually cool for Florida in December, but it is warmer than yesterday and should make its way into the 60’s today. But we are still rather bundled up. We arrive at Animal Kingdom and since neither of the girls carry bags with them, we are able to go through the No Bags line as we do all week. (Cathy is questioned at one time about her wallet, but that is quickly dealt with and no harm, no foul.) 

We headed towards our first destination and rode Primeval Whirl ... once. Unlike last time when we were there in a torrential downpour and they let us ride over and over without getting off, today we had but one go ‘round.

And then ... it was lunchtime. We walked over to Flame Tree where the line was long - it may have just opened - but moving rather quickly. By now the sun had warmed the air sufficiently that eating outdoors was not uncomfortable. Pleasant meal - pleasant company ensued and after a while it was time for our next fastpass ... Dinosaur. 


And then - our final original fastpass for today - Expedition Everest. 


Now let me explain - while there is no doubt that I do enjoy this ride, I do have an issue with the part where you go backwards. Not even the whole time that you do ... but there is about 12 seconds where you feel like you are being folded in half rather aggressively. I am less than thrilled about those seconds, but I deal with it and always enjoy the rest of the trip though Everest. Hopefully some day they will get the Yeti back to its full glory. I have been lucky enough to have seen it as such in the early days of the attraction. Now you could almost miss the Yeti entirely if you don’t know it’s there.


I later discovered that I actually appear in this photo as well ...



Once we have braved the Yeti, it is time for our traditional treat - a FROZEN BANANA!!! While we partake of our snacks, we check to see if the nearly impossible can take place as we check for fastpasses for the Pandora attractions. No luck so we decide that after naps for all and a change of wardrobe to deal with the colder weather we will encounter this evening, we will go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With that decision made we check to see what fastpasses are available there. We settle on the holiday show of the Frozen Sing-a-long.

Naps taken and wardrobes adjusted, we make our way to the Studios. Have I ever mentioned how bad my singing is? As Music Director for many a musical over the past few decades, I have often had to sing cue lines for my actors during rehearsals. My ear is good but my singing is terrible. I even offend myself, and my band has been known to throw things at me at these moments! Happily neither of the girls threw anything at me today. (Jenny has a beautiful singing voice I should mention.) I don’t know if it’s because of the added holiday component of the show, or just not the best “royal historians” we saw, but the jokes and “ad-libs” today left a bit to be desired. The holiday overlay generally consists of songs from the controversial short that was shown before Coco and then pulled to be shown as a TV special. (By the way, I was very impressed with Coco and do highly recommend it if you haven’t yet seen it.)

Our fastpasses now all used, we went to see what the standby wait was at Star Tours. It showed 40 minutes but we decided to give it a go. However, while waiting in the queue and before we actually got into the building, the line came to a complete standstill, and since we had fastpasses for it the next day, we decided to bail out and try to find something for dinner. Our target was the former Pizza Planet ... Pizza Rizzo. None of us had been there since the changeover. However, when we got there it was closed so we needed to consider other options. Mama Melrose is nearby so I went in to see if we could get a walk-in seating, but was denied. So we started walking. 


Not too long into our journey, we passed the former spot of the Writers Stop (Buy the Book before that)  which is now Baseline Tap House, so we decided to see if this would provide anything for us. It did. A cheese and meat selection went very nicely with ciders all around ... so we sat, ate and drank and generally had a good time. 


The sun was now down and time to see the nighttime projection shows, starting with the one on the Tower of Terror followed by Jingle Bell Jingle Bam! Then it was time to leave the park. 



Although I was having some physical side effects from the radiation treatments, I was able to get through the discomfort and not really have to slow down. That would soon change. As we are walking to the bus - remember it’s dark and at the moment a bright light is in front of me - I step down on the soft material that they have around the trees. Ordinarily that’s a good thing and feels nice, but it was quite unexpected and I felt myself lose my footing. I thought I could recover but quickly realized that I was not going to be able to avoid the inevitable, and in seconds went down hard!! I rolled and was completely laid out face down on the pavement. (Embarrassing to say the least!) At first I felt that I was okay other than a bit of a scrape on my hand, but on the bus I noticed the blood on my hand from a nasty cut. I also felt my knee start to tighten up. Later on I would notice bruises on my arm where I landed. This could not be good!!






Saturday, December 16, 2017

December Trip Report ... December 10 ... Magic Kingdom and EPCOT -or- This is Florida, why is it so cold?

Day 1 


Fastpasses start this morning at the Magic Kingdom. It was a very cold night (into the 30’s) so we are quite bundled up. Also, I am feeling some muscular/skeletal issues from the sessions of radiation I had just finished before coming down. That would stay with me throughout this trip. Arriving at the park, Jenny, Cathy and I head towards Space Mountain, our first fastpass of the day, but notice that there is zero line for the Astro Orbiter. Jenny and I had only been on that once in the past and I believe Cathy had never been on it so we decided to take advantage of the situation. Remember it was cold and we were now going up in the air and round and round. We survived! So now it was time for Space Mountain. 


After Space Mountain it was time for coffees (Jenny and me) and a hot chocolate (Cathy) followed by a tour of Tomorrowland on the TTA Peoplemover. Our next fastpass takes us towards the Jungle Cruise, now wearing its Jingle Cruise overlay. 


After a pun filled trip, hunger started setting in and Jenny suggested Columbia Harbour House which met with all of our approvals. While all three of us got the clam chowder, it’s not served in the bread bowl as in days past, but a plain cardboard container. It was tasty and did however warm us up.


Lunch done, our next fastpass would be Splash Mountain, but as we headed over there, we discovered that Cathy had never experienced the fun that is the Country Bear Jamboree, and since there was still some time until our fastpass window opened, it became a necessity to introduce her to the bears. I dare say that a good time was had by all.

Time to walk over towards Splash Mountain, but it wasn’t yet time for us to use our fastpass, so we just hung out for a while until the window opened, at which point we proceeded on. The cold weather did not dampen (see what I did there?) our spirits and while we did get a bit wet, it was nothing like the soaking you would get on Kali RIver over at Animal Kingdom. (That had been the ride that I had never experienced until last year - on a day that even with my big umbrella we couldn’t get any wetter - Jenny and Cathy did get me to ride.) Jenny is there ... hanging on to Cathy's arm.


Lunch would happen at Coral Reef over in EPCOT, and since the day was winding on, it was time to head over there. Don't you love the Disney Magic Pictures? 


Perfect timing as we got there right as our reservation time approached. I checked in and then we had a short wait until we were called. I had been there in the past a number of times but neither Jenny nor Cathy had. We were seated up close to the tank - though you have a good view from wherever you sit - with a wonderful view. The food was good and the adult beverages went down nicely.


After lunch we went on a quest for a cider flight ... not really sure where it could be had. At Canada Jenny and I decided to each get an icewine flight, and Cathy would get a wine of her choosing. Turns out that one of the wines that made up the flight was out of stock and as such the flight was unavailable, so Jenny and I got  Riesling icewines. While there, the cast member pointed us to the location of the cider flight - the Bavarian stand in Germany. We headed over there. They did indeed have the flight we were looking for, and three flights were ordered. 

By this time it had started to get quite cold, so it was time to head back and call it a night.