Anyway, the cost of the Keys thing is $45, or $36 if you charge it
to an American Express card. If you don't have one, and you can
convince a friend/relative to put it on their card, Disney allows
this. I had a friend of mine with an AMEX charge it and I just
gave him a check. Be sure to make your actual reservations as
soon as possible. Your friend/relative can call at their leisure
up until (I think) 48 hours before the actual tour and you get
assured your spot.
The tour starts at around 10am at City Hall and lasts about 4.5
hours. We had about 15 people in our group, which apparently is
about the max. Our guide was a terribly bouncy guy named Mike
(who has been praised on this group already). I thought his
hypercheerfulness and flaming behavior would get to me after a
while (you could see the husbands whose wives had dragged them
onto the tour roll their eyes whenever he became particularly
perky), but it's the Magic Kingdom and you are required by local
ordinance to be happy. I'd definitely recommend this tour and
this tour guide. Mike was very patient with all questions and
somehow stayed Disney-like and apparently sweat-free in the 92
degree heat. I agree with the person who said he's probably
We learned many cool things about the park (such as how cookie-
scented air is sucked out of the ovens and blown out onto Main
Street so that you'll smell the treats and be drawn inside...when
cookies aren't baking, they put cinnamon and vanilla in the oven
just so there's a constant irresistible smell) and he pointed out
many Hidden Mickeys. The best one is first cloud in the scene in
Splash Mountain where all them nutty chickens are singing zippity
doo dah. It's clearly a silhouette of Mickey lying on his back.
So clearly that you can only see it if it's pointed out to you.
It's quite cool. He also explained where to find the Mickey &
Donald hieroglyphs in the Indy section of The Great Movie Ride.
The hidden Donald that's been so remarked upon on this newsgroup
by the endless hallway in the Haunted Mansion disappointed me a
bit, tho. I've seen it for years and just figured it was supposed
to be a scary face. I'm not totally convinced that what I always
thought was an evil grin is really a duck bill...I expected to
really see Don. Oh well...
He also pointed out that there are chess pieces all over the roof
of the HM, which I must have stared at hundreds of times and never
made that connection. He told us that the song the phantom
pianist is playing is really "When You Wish Upon a Star", slowed
down immensely, of course. He also showed us other cool details
that I don't want to spoil for you in case you ever take this
tour. I forgot to ask him about the ring in the floor. (Is that
even in the WDW HM, or is that just in DL?)
Seeing the garbage tubes (AVACS things) was a big thrill for me.
I'd been telling all my friends that I was going to be able to see
the tubes that sucked trash at more that 3 times the speed of
sound for a while. The termination of the tubes smelled about how
you'd expect. It was near the back of Splash Mountain. Looking
into the reservoir for SM, we saw a good number of hats swirling
around. Then he showed us the facility where the hats are
removed, cleaned, dried and resold. (OK, I made that part up.)
I also got a big kick out of being able to touch one of the
Jungle Cruise's hippos that was in for repairs. (Did you know
that they dye that water so that you won't be able to see the
mechanisms that run the animals?)
Mike was extremely knowledgeable and here's what he had to say
about some things we asked him about:
20,000 Leagues: They WERE going to reopen it for the 25th
birthday, but it would have cost too much money, so now they're
not. So, it's currently back in limbo. They haven't made a
definite decision either way. As I've said a lot around here, I
think they ought to bring it back. Gliding under the polar ice
caps was something I'll always remember from childhood.
Tiki Room: The changes we keep hearing about on r.a.d.p. were
talked about (Zazu and Iago and all that), but there was such a
public outcry about changing Walt's very first animatronic exhibit
that they've decided to do nothing, not even upgrade the sound
system. I think they ought to just fix up the sound system and
fix the broken flowers, totem dudes, etc. There's nothing quite
like raving on and on about how the Tikis are the very best thing
in the park to someone who's never been and finally getting them
in the room to witness their reaction as they realize they've been
duped. Best responses so far: "I hate this" and "I think I'm
slowly going insane". I love the Tikis.
DL's Indy & Fantasmic!: Not coming here any time soon. Disney
wants to keep some of the best things at DL, just so it still has
something WDW doesn't and can remain a separate draw for tourists.
Sounds like they're already hoarding enough goodies with a
functional Submarine Voyage, a fountain inside Mr. Toad's Insane
Adventure and (until recently) a small Toad Hall on some Storyboat
thing I've never seen. Oh well, we have Figment and they don't.
Mt. Fuji ride in Japan: As has been discussed here, he
acknowledged that Japan (in EPCOT's World Showcase) was supposed
to get a Matterhorn clone (which WDW's MK does not have) in a Mt.
Fuji ride. I have heard that there just wasn't enough money and
that Mt. Fuji is a holy symbol and therefore a poor choice for a
thrill ride, but his story was that Kodak insisted that they'd
yank all funding from the park if they erected a Mt. FUJI. Who
He also pointed out that while you can see the Tower of Terror
from inside the World Showcase (something which I am going to
complain about later), the part you can see was themed to fit into
Moroccan architecture. This is because you can only see the ToT
from Mexico (not entirely true, but close) and so it appears to be
a building standing in Morocco. While I think this is neat, I
very much don't like the fact that you can see something in one
park from another. But I'll save that rant for later.
As for the trips backstage and the utilidors, CMs always mention
how krappy these areas are and how they're not really a big deal.
After seeing them, I'd tend to agree, but I would still recommend
seeing them to anyone who has the chance, just to see exactly how
krappy they are. It's amazing to see just how much different WDW
is from the Real World. In one place we saw, there was literally
a sight-line on the ground, behind which guests could not see.
The area was themed up until the line, with appropriate lighting
and pleasant foliage suddenly dropping off into an asphault
wasteland. The effect is more dramatic when you see it right
there...you don't really get a sense of it seeing things from the
Skyway. It's dirty, bland, boring reality backstage and magic
just on the other side of the door. It's this sort of magic that
makes me rather stay at the All Stars than any ritzy off-site
hotel. But that's for the next report...
FDC - J. Thaddeus Toad
Trinidad South is not, however. I don't want to make it sound
awful, as I quite liked it and had a great time, it's just that
other places were a lot closer the Port Royale (and still not
right on top of the noise). I can best describe its distance from
PR this way: When walking to PR from our room, when it felt like
we ought to just be getting there, there was still another section
to walk past. So basically, if we were in any other section, I
wouldn't complain at all about it. (Trinidad South is uniquely
far away from PR...all the other building are sort of in a semi-
circle around it and TS is one more section over.) Anyway, I'm
making too much of a big deal about this.
Speaking of big deals, much has been said on the subject of bus
stops and where they are in relation to each other and which is
the first stop and which is the last and all that. I'd have to
say that this is more fuss about nothing. We never saw anyone
turned away from a bus and were never bothered by any number of
stops that they made. They aren't very long stops and I sort of
enjoyed the free ride around the place to check it out. Another
thing that I cannot complain at all about is the wait between
buses. The literature reads that the buses arrive every 20
minutes, but we never had to wait that long, even when we arrived
just as our bus was leaving and had to wait for another to the
same destination. Besides, the constant flow of buses keeps you
wondering "Is this our bus?" and generally keeps you pretty
interested. Time passes fast. I have nothing but praise the
transpo system. Of course, we never got up at the crack of dawn
and never leave the parks as soon as they close, so maybe we just
missed the rush hours.
As for the rates, I booked late (a few weeks in advance) and
wasn't able to get the MKC rate. Not surprising. It's worth it
to stay on-site anyway. I'll be dragging myself further into this
debate later, just so I don't feel left out. For the record, it
Just a bit more about the CBR before I move on...there was a
disappointing lack of pirates. I was hoping for at least one guy
walking around with a hook or a stump going "ARRR!" every now and
then. Or at least an animatronic pirate. Or maybe a nice ship in
the bay or a diarama or something. I very much enjoyed the
smoking cannons by the main pool, however. The pool was always
too crowded for my tastes, so we pretty much used the auxillary
pools and hung out under the palm trees on the beaches on the day
we didn't park, but it was nice to know the cannons were there. I
visited them at night when everyone was gone and got no end of
amusement from them and liked walking in the "fortress" in the
middle of the pool. My friend was just about completely
unimpressed by the cannons, but what do girls know anyway?
One other thing that bugged me, tho, was that you can't swim in
the waterways by the beaches. (Interestingly, there are "NO
SWIMMING" signs all around the Yacht & Beach Club lake, but also
signs that explain that if you are going to go in the water, you
should wear earplugs, due to the wild things that live in Florida
water. We saw another great contradiction like this somewhere in
the World, but I forget where now.) Anyway, the video and the
brochures make it look like you can just jump right in the water
and muck about in it, like you can in Fort Wilderness, but you
wouldn't want to swim in this water anyway. But I wanted to.
Lots of boaty things to do at this resort (including the very cool
water sprites), but we did not go nautical this time.
The free Disney movies in PR were nice, too. Pity the place
closed before the end of Pokerhonker. Didn't get to see how it
ended. I liked the raccoon a lot, tho. Much better than I
expected. Oh yeah, I also heartily recommend checking out the
boids in the island in the middle of the CBR. If you are patient
and say "Hello" to enough of them, at least one will talk to you.
Of course, if you happen to be by the non-talking parrots, you
just look like an idiot. Regrettably, none of the parrots were
sitting the shoulders of pirates. Nice steel drum music, tho and
more cannons, tho they did not smoke. Bamboo, but no pandas.
On the day we did the MK, we went to the Wilderness Lodge (aka the
Great Northern) and I'll be damned if that guy wasn't right about
the back of it looking like a big grizzly (or is it kodiak?) bear
head. It COULD just be a coincidence, but there are some things
which seem to be there solely to be the "teeth" and the eyes and
snout just look too good. Anyway, this is my new favorite resort
in ToadWerld (my old one was the Polynesian). This place is
great. Just hanging out, waiting for the geyser to go off, or in
front of the fire place...dozing in the lobby just because you
can...it's just one of the coolest places anywhere.
We waited on the beach in the back (where I think you CAN swim)
for the water parade which thrills me to no end and barely excites
anyone else over the age of 8. I've loved the water parade since
I was a kid (the octopus and bronto are my favorites...and I like
when everyone goes "ooooooh..." when the alligator shows up), but
I never cared much for the land parades. Anyway, the water parade
hasn't changed in 20-some years...just how I like it. I was a bit
disappointed that when we did the Keys to the Kingdom, we didn't
get to jump around on the floats. We got to see them up close,
but I read about other people who actually got to go on board. I
wish we had done that. Oh well.
While we were waiting quietly in lawn chairs on the beach, resting
our feet after a day of MK'ing, we were descended upon by a huge
number of noisy children and slightly-less-noisy adults. It was
completely surreal. On moment we were alone, the next there were
people everywhere. They realized that they had disturbed our
solitude and were very good-natured and joked about it, tho. When
we asked "Wow, how many kids do you have?" this guy answered, "I
don't know, but I know that all together there are 27 of us".
This was a big pack of new parents and new children and they
seemed to be having a good time except for the one who didn't get
a chair and started yelling until one showed up for him. Oh well,
the parade is really for kids anyway. And they didn't detract
from my enjoyment of it.
Just a transpo note here...we took the boat to the WL from the MK.
I recommend the ride. By the time we left the WL, there was no
transpo leaving the MK, so we took the bus to the TTC. From there
we took the monorail to EPCOT (I never turn down a free monorail
ride.) and from there, the bus back to the CBR. My friend was
concerned that we were going to get stranded somewhere, but
there's always a way. If it's very late, you can go to Pleasure
Island (which is open til 2am) and get to any resort from there.
During all our creative mass transitizing, we never got ID'd
once...which is good because my ID card was expired the day I went
solo all over the whole ToadWerld. Has anyone ever been ID'd, not
had an ID and not been able to talk their way on? Even when they
used to be "strict", they'd usually buy any story you cared to
pull off the top of your head, sometimes with a knowing smile.
Oh well, the rest of the transpo stuff I'll save for another post.
The last day we spent together on Holy Ground, we went to the
Yacht & Beach Club to illegally use the pool and to check out this
Beaches & Cream place everyone talks about. Unfortunately, my
friend was getting tired of Disney food (I don't understand how
that can happen), so we didn't eat there. We did use the pool
and, man, does it rule. It's huge and has waterfalls, whirlpools,
a nice bubbly area and a current that runs through the whole
thing. Not to mention an enclosed waterslide that's cooler than
many slides at River Country. We only got to ride it twice before
we got sniffed out as lowbrows who were using facilities that we
didn't have right to (WDW policy states that you can only use the
pool at the resort you're staying at) and were told that we'd need
to get a hand stamp to ride again. Oh well.
It should also be mentioned how amazingly conveniently close this
resort is to EPCOT. There is a boat that will take you to the
entrance from the resort, but only the tiredest of the tired or
the laziest of the lazy would take it. It's a very short walk.
Some rooms look closer to EPCOT than to the dock where the boat
leaves to take you there. Too bad the place is so expensive.
By the way, the Boardwalk is going up right across the bay from
this place and I'd have to say that it looks pretty tacky compared
to a bunch of nice trees. It'll be nice that it's so close to
both EPCOT and MGM, but that area really is getting quite
cluttered up. I mean, it's one thing to see the MK across the
lake from the Poly or the Grand Floridian across the lake from the
Contemporary, but those places are spaced out a lot better...soon
there will be nothing but buildings around the lake behind the Y&B
Club. Also, while I don't mind seeing the parks from the resorts
(it creates a nice sense of atmosphere and excitement), I very
much don't like being able to see one park from another (like the
ToT thing I mentioned before). I also think a lot of the magic is
ruined by being able to see the parks on the Disney roads...not in
the parking lots for each parks, but just driving by. It seems
kinda Universal Studios-y to me. Part of the coolness of the MK
before was that you had to go so far before you caught a glimpse
of it...it seemed like you were so far away from the rest of the
world when you finally got there. Seeing the ToT in the car on
the way in is kinda lame. Altho seeing The Big Golf Ball isn't so
bad...maybe it's just that the Tower is so close to the road. A
strange sight in the distance is one thing, but knowing the road
is so close to the edge of the park just seems a bit unDisney.
Oh well, enough of that.
I've got more yammering about Port Orleans/Dixie Landings, the All
Stars, the Contemporary, the Poly and more to add to the ever-
present mug discussion, but I'll save that for next time. It's
You know, I never realized it until I read this, but I do exactly the
opposite: "CaRIBbean" Beach and Pirates of the "CaribBEan".
>(which, irrelevantly, I always pronouce "CarriBEEan", while
>I usually call them the Pirates of the "CaRIBbean"...for reasons
I myself would never complain about anybody doing that - I actually do it
with my own name. I literally have a formal and informal way of
pronouncing my name - and pronounce my last name differently in each case.
>During all our creative mass transitizing, we never got ID'd
>once...which is good because my ID card was expired the day I went
>solo all over the whole ToadWerld. Has anyone ever been ID'd, not
>had an ID and not been able to talk their way on? Even when they
>used to be "strict", they'd usually buy any story you cared to
>pull off the top of your head, sometimes with a knowing smile.
I never had problems getting back onto the monorail if I visited the
Contemporary. And the Contemporary used to be the strictess *monorail*
Resort Hotel (to get on the monorail itself). But I always thought, that
if I could get to the Contemporary, then they better let me leave the
Contemporary. I would usually just ask them what they wanted to see and
they would tell me not to bother and let me on.
11 days 'til I'm a WDW College Program Castmember...
I do have to agree that it always bothers me when we drive by the studios
and see the tower of terror, I feel the same way, I like the surprise of
the first glimpse from the parking lot, and I like the feeling that when I
am in the parks I am a million miles away from the real world.
They stuck us in that Trinidad bldg one time at CBR, I made them find us a
new room! I felt 'out of the loop' there, youre right , any of the other
bldgs are preferable.
Glad you had such a nice time, what did you say when you were caught in
the Y&B pool?? Did you try to make excuses, play dumb, or just admit that
you were on safari?
> Glad you had such a nice time, what did you say when you were caught in
> the Y&B pool?? Did you try to make excuses, play dumb, or just admit that
> you were on safari?
We were fishing for bluegills with our cane poles and cooking what we
caught over a fire we built on the beach.
Of couse, I'm joking. I think the lifeguards are just supposed to make
sure that everyone who goes down the slide has a hand stamp. The first
lifeguard was just nice to us (and extremely cute). They changed
lifeguards on us by the time we went to ride again and she was much less
lenient (and not as cute, either). So it's probably just another "ya
takes ya chances" thing, just like hopping on the buses when you have no ID.
She let us go down the slide once we were up there, but we didn't feel
like pushing our luck. You had to show proper resort ID to get the
stamp, but we didn't test the system by seeing if all it took was
flashing another resort's valid ID or if they ran it thru the dinker.
> Did you still have a resort id the day of the Yacht/Beach Club pool?
> Did your id say what hotel?
Nope. You're right, there's no marking on the outside of it that says
what hotel you're in. That's why I said that I didn't know if they ran
it thru a dinker or would just let you by when you showed it to them.
> We were staying at the Yacht Club at
> roughly the same time and our resort id's did not have the name of the
> hotel as they have in the past. My husband asked someone in a store
> and he claimed they had no way of knowing what hotel the id was for.
Hmmm...probably should've pushed my luck, then. This is good info for
anyone else who is staying on-site, but not at the Y&B Club.
> Last August we saw
> a large family walk into the lobby from the parking lot with coolers
> (!) and towels and go on to the pool.
Wow. Well, they probably had the run of the place...just no free towels
and no slide (when the grumpy lifeguards are in effect).
Looks like another thing similar to the transpo ID thing.
>I myself would never complain about anybody doing that - I actually do it
>with my own name. I literally have a formal and informal way of
>pronouncing my name - and pronounce my last name differently in each
Okay, Kenny, how DO you pronounce it?
>Okay, Kenny, how DO you pronounce it?
If I was good at phonetics, I probably would have distinguished the first
time, but here goes:
Informal version: Kenny Cottrell
k~e 'trel ~e= upside down "e"
Formatl version: Kenneth Cottrell
'k:a tr:ul :a= "a" with two dots on top :u= "u" with two dots
So it all depends on the first name that I used to determine the way I
pronounce my last name - [and sometimes I am so screwed up that I will mix
up the two :)].
So I think I left off with Port Orleans/Dixie Landings. I saw
them for the first time on this trip. These places seem a bit
adulty to me (very little chance of seeing some pirates here), so
I wasn't really bowled over, but there were some things I found
quite nice about them.
The pool at Port Orleans was about as cool I expected, if slightly
smaller. It made me wish that I wasn't in my wandering clothes,
but in proper swim attire...but I had parks to look at, so it's
probably a good thing that I didn't spend too much time there.
Anyway, the sea serpent is very cool, as are the fountains.
There are a few statues around which were OK, but I can't really
remember them. Nothing as wonderful as Dinosaur Gertie at MGM,
but that's not really to be expected, I guess. I'm not much for
shopping, so the stores didn't do much for me. The food court
looked a bit skimpy compared to the others I've seen, but I didn't
really look too closely at the menu, since I was planning on a
nummy turkey sandwich from the Healthy Place in Epcot. Boy, those
I also liked the street signs around the place that look like real
Nawleans signs and are also actually helpful for finding your way
around. The place was not exactly a sprawling complex, but it was
pretty big. About half the size of the Caribbean Beach Resort or
I checked out one of the maps at PO, and realized that it's not
just "possible" to walk to DxL from PO, it's actually pretty easy.
It's a nice walk past a waterway (you can take cruises or rent
boats on it, but not swim in it). As I approached DxL, I saw this
heeyuge building with a fountain out front that looked like
something out of Gone with the Wind. I thought how odd it was
that the main building was on the outskirts of the place. When I
went to get a closer look, I realized that this was just one of
the many buildings you can stay in at DxL. It wasn't the center
of anything, it was just one of the many regular hotel buildings.
The Southern style stuff is really not my thing at all, but I have
to admit, DxL is beautiful. There are more rustic building on the
other side of the place (I ass/u/me these 2 areas are Oak Manor
and Alligator Bayou (I read this newsgroup too much)) which were
not as impressive, but I liked more. The central place has a
large food court, a nice turning waterwheel and other Southern
things that my mom would absolutely love. I'm much more partial
to the sort of things the CBR offers, and so I think children
would like the CBR better too (except for the serpent pool at PO).
However, I did look inside a few of the rooms at PO and DxL and
they looked quite nice. Plenty of room and two sinks, just like
at the CBR.
I had also never seen the All Star Sports or Music Resorts before
this trip. I had been warned about how gaudy they were, and while
you'd have to be a nut to say that they possess any sort of
subtlety, they weren't as bad as people make them out to be. I
think kids would love these places. They look like cartoon
buildings. Bright colors and cool pools. I quite like the Three
Caballeros who hang out in the Music's main pool.
What sticks in your head about these places is Really Big Things.
There are about 5 differently-themed sections in each resort. The
stairs for the buildings in each section are enclosed in Really
Big Things. For example, big tennis ball cans in the Tennis
section of Sports and big speakers in the Rock section of Music.
I liked the big things, even if I didn't like the section. I
liked the big cowboy boots with their tacky, but cool fiber-optic
outlining in the Country Music section. I thought the Jazz
building bordered on being Not Really Tacky, but it was still sort
of tacky. No matter.
You are allowed to request certain sections of the Resorts, but
I'm not sure if you can ever be guaranteed a certain section. I
don't care much for sports in general, but I liked the Surf's Up
section of ASS. Nice waves and fish. My favorite music section
was Calypso (sadly, there didn't seem to be a speed metal section,
a punk rock section or a rap section), which was brightly-colored
and featured the some Really Big Maracas. Huhhuhhuh...big
maracas... Surf's Up and Calypso are also the closest to the food
courts and the bus stops.
And while they're not exactly jam-packed with trees, there was a
lot more in the way of greenery than I had expected. There are
nice secluded sections of Sports that face the woods and there are
clumps of trees amongst the sidewalks that don't suck. There are
impressions of leaves and such in the sidewalks that adults might
not notice, but kids and people like me would. It's not a Big
Thing, it's a small thing, but it was nice that at least a couple
of the minor details were sweated.
Anyway, I only saw one bus stop for each resort, so this might be
a minor problem for those who don't like short walks in the
morning and in the night. I would expect that the stops are very
crowded at key times, but I hopped on a bus at about 9:30am with
about a 5 minute wait, so maybe it's not so bad. You'd have to
ask someone who's actually stayed there for the real poop.
Overall, I liked the places. About the only things I didn't like
were the bedspreads (I looked in the windows) and the big generic
Michael Boltony-looking guy painted on the wall in the Music food
court. Oh, and there were free Disney movies on the teevees in
the food courts and adequate arcades for the kids, too.
Moving on, the Contemporary doesn't really look very futuristic
(or even very contemporary) anymore, but it still has some very
cool things about it. The first thing you notice, of course, is
that the monorail goes right thru the building. You should not
underestimate how cool kids think this is. The central courtyard
is most impressive, just for the size of it all. Unfortunately, I
forgot to look for the 5-legged goat in the tile mural in the
center of the courtyard, but that will give me something to look
for next time.
By the way, usually when I mention that "kids will like this", it
means I like it. Sometimes it's because I remember how much I
liked a certain thing when I was a kid, but often it's just
because kids and I have the same sense of what is impressive.
Anyway, if you get the chance, you should not miss going to the
roof of the Contemporary. You get a great view of the Magic
Kingdom (especially New Tomorrowland), and some sense of the scale
and layout of a lot of the rest of WDW. Plus, I hear it's a great
place to check out the fireworks at the parks if you haven't got
admission for the day. It's also a nice place to watch the water
parade that I like so much, but I'd have to side with tradition
and tell you to watch it from the beach. Also, you can look down
into the courtyard from above and see just how impressive it is.
I'm afraid of heights and the roof gives me the willies, but I
still like torturing myself by looking down from it. It's a great
The pool is nice, but unthemed. The out-lying resort buildings
around the Contemporary are pretty much just concrete hunks with
nice rooms in them. Not much to look at. Not like the buildings
at my previously (before the Wilderness Lodge) favorite resort...
...The Polynesian. This is a wonderful place. Just like the
Wilderness Lodge, it's a resort I enjoy just hanging out at. I
liked the CBR and the ASs, but I wouldn't go there just to hang
out (well, maybe to visit the Caballeros). The inside has a hunk
of rain forest in the atrium, with waterfalls and parrots, which
are always a plus (altho, again, no pirates). The outside also
has waterfalls and ponds with big lily pads and koi (them big fat
goldfish) and, more importantly, tiki torches. Tiki torches rule.
It makes the place all the more surreal at night, when you plop
down on a swinging chair on the beach, with Cindy's castle across
the lagoon, your tired bare feet in the cool white sand and your
bizarre flickering shadow on the ground.
I looked for a nice Hawaiian shirt (also checked at the CBR), but
no luck. They did not have cotton Magnum-ugly colorful ones,
which are the only sort worth buying. They had expensive tasteful
The pools are pleasant and relaxing, and there're trees all over
the place. It's a lot quieter and darker than the other resorts
(or so it seems to me), and therefore, to me, a better place to
unwind after visiting The Toad. And, of course, it's got the
monorail. And, you can walk to the TTC, which means the monorail
to Epcot is within walking distance.
Someone here mentioned that you could stay in a nicer resort in
Hawaii for less money than the Polynesian...but then you couldn't
go to Norway, the Twilight Zone and Toad Hall all in the same day.
I'd rather be in the Polynesian Resort than Polynesia.
So here's what I've concluded from this last trip (in which I
stayed at the CBR and visited every resort except for Shades of
Green, the Disney Villas and Old Key West). I cannot gush enough
about the Wilderness Lodge. I absolutely love that place (see my
first resort report). I was also surprisingly impressed by the
All Star Resorts.
The rooms decrease in size with each resort level (luxury, mid-
range, value), but they are all plenty big for my needs. Keep in
mind I never do Disney with more than 4 people, so this might be
an issue for you.
From now on, I'll either stay at the Wilderness Lodge (or the
Polynesian), or the All Stars. I enjoyed the CBR and liked the
look of PO & DxL, but I can't really justify the money to stay
there. The WL and Poly are just wonderlands, worth every cent to
me, but the mid-range places didn't do much more for me than the
value places. And if I'm only going to be sorta Disneyfied by the
resort, I might as well save the money. Plus there's that
So it'll be ASs when things are tight and the Wilderness Lodge
when things are loose.
I have stayed off-site many times, but I never want to do that
again. I cannot stress enough how nice it is to never have to
drive. That 20 minute drive from the parking lot to your off-site
hotel might not seem like much, but nothing compares to a free
ride home where someone else does the driving and you have nothing
more on your mind than talking about the day or checking out the
scenery as someone else takes you "home". You don't pass any
krappy fast food joints, any place advertising towels for $1.99 in
annoying bright lights...no traffic, no honking, no gas stations,
no left turns across 4 lanes of unceasing lines of tourists.
Nothing to break the spell.
I don't want to start this argument all over again, but I had to
give you my take on it.
Also, I feel I must make my entry into the Great Mug Discussion
which ended a while ago around here, but will probably flare up
again the next time someone mentions them. I got the mug which
allows free refills from the CBR. I felt obligated after reading
about 50 messages on the topic. There were 4 colors in the room,
but no purple ones. I really wanted a purple one. They had sorta
fuchsia ones at the food court, but they just didn't do it for me.
Actually, I would have been happy with my black one from the room
if I hadn't seen some kid running around with a purple one.
My friend got tired of me complaining about the purple mug, so she
called guest relations (or whatever they're called) and they
brought exchanged my black one for a purple one with no fuss
whatsoever. I am not the sort of person who ever thinks of
calling the front desk, so I'm glad she was there. She also got
us more pillows, which I must admit, we didn't use too much, but
it was seemed like a good idea at the time. The point is, they
were very responsive and polite and all the sort of things that
normal companies and people are not.
Anyway, I definitely got my money's worth (about 6 bucks) out of
thing, but there is a catch. I used the mug at the CBR, PO, DxL,
ASS, ASM and the Poly without any fuss. I think that's
technically against policy, but no one even looked at me funny
when I did it. However, if you eat in any of the food courts, you
can pretty much refill your paper cup as much as you want, and
more importantly, if cost if the only determining factor, you
could probably just fill up some cup you brought from home at the
soda stations without any complaint. That said, I felt better at
least using a Disney mug. Plus, it was a very cool shade of
purple. It's in my kitchen now, busy being very purple and cooler
than a mug that says "She's the boss" or "I hate mornings".
That does it for my report on the resorts...I've got at least 2
more reports to file (one for the parks and one for various
miscellany including a review of the transportation system in
general and maybe a report of just exactly how much you can see
when you go solo on a weekday).
We'll see how long it takes me to get to them...
>Moving on, the Contemporary doesn't really look very futuristic
>(or even very contemporary) anymore, but it still has some very
>cool things about it.
Another tidbit that I learned when I went to the DI during Mother's Day
weekend. At *Disney Architecture* we learned about the modular rooms (I
did already know that point). The rooms were made prefabbed and were slid
into the appropriate spot in the tower. The entire concept of the
Contemporary was that they would be able to *pop* out any room that they
wanted to and could easily *pop* in a new one. But they learned the first
time that they tried that the settling of the structure made it so they
couldn't pop any room out. So those plans to be able to update each room
whenever they wanted to by just *popping* it out went down the drain.
Well, this past weekend my friends and I made an impromptu trip to
ToadWerld, so I have now officially lapped myself with regard to
trip reports. I haven't finished the report for my last visit and
I've already gone back. The perils of living in Florida.
Oh well, in this exciting issue, I'm going to report on Typhoid
Lagoon, Gizzard Beach, and some miscellaneous other stuff that
needs to be said. I never promised these things would be very
OK, let's get to it.
Originally this last trip was supposed to be just a journey to
Typhoid to splash about and have a good time. We went on a Friday
(to avoid the locals that flood the place during the weekend) and
luckily the weather was just completely terrible. That's not
sarcasm. Bad weather is a blessing at the water parks, since
everyone goes home and you actually get to spend time on the
slides instead of in line.
The weather was nice in the morning, so there were long lines. So
long, in fact, that we timed how much actual fun we were having
versus time standing in line. My friend would start his stopwatch
at the top of a slide and stop it at the bottom. The two Super
Wedgies had the lowest payoff, time-wise. A long line for a few
seconds of fun. After about 6.5 hours at the park, we had had 1
hour and 17 minutes of fun. The wave pool and Castaway Creek are
good ways to up the fun quotient without waiting in line, by the
Anyway, the park did not close while it was pouring down rain, but
many people left, which is good. When they announced that the
National Weather Service had decided that all of central Florida
was totally screwed for the afternoon, people we fleeing in
droves. The park only closes when lightning is nearby, so if it's
really pissing down, all the better. The faint at heart bail and
us hardcore losers are quite willing to get drenched in the cold,
miserable downpour and make fun of everyone else.
Unfortunately, lightning shut the place down twice. The first
time it was down just about the length of lunchtime, so I had no
complaints, but the second time it was down a long while. We
wandered around seeking something to do or look at and eventually
we went on a quest to find Disney employees willing to entertain
us and cure our boredom.
A nice woman named Sheila (who worked in the ice cream shack)
explained that she was only in Food/Beverage, not Entertainment,
so she couldn't help us, but she suggested checking out the movie
at the fast food joint. Well, we tried that, but the teevees were
busted, so we went back and she told us to bug someone else
So, we went over there, bothered a life jacket guy who told us to
bother the towel/locker rental guys, who sent us back to the life
jacket guy, who sent us to a cute lifeguard named Lynne, who was
from England. He told us to ask her annoying questions like "How
much water is in the pool?" and "How fast does the water in the
creek go?", so we did.
She was very tolerant of us and extremely friendly did her very
best to entertain us. She answered as many of our pointless
questions as she could, told us an amusing story about how she
fell out of her lifeguard tower and made the time go by a whole
lot faster than if we were just sitting in a shelter moping. I
just finished writing a nice little letter to The Powers That Be
about how much better she made our visit to Typhoid.
She did, however, disappoint us by not knowing some British
things, like anything about Lord Kelvin (we asked her the
temperature of the water in degrees Kelvin) and, inconceivably,
she had never heard of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Can you believe it?
I was aghast. But other than that, she was a model cast member.
As for a review of the place, our favorite attractions were the
Super Wedgies (wherein you go down at at least a 45 degree angle
very fast...once you're at the bottom, it's hard to not feel a
little silly for waiting in line for what amounts to a wet fall
from a mountaintop), the Storm Slides (which require no mat and
you can go down head first on without too many lifeguards
complaining... those with nipple rings should absolutely not do
this ever), the wave pool during the surf times and Shark Reef.
The wave pool has 3 modes, the times for which are posted on a
sign near the entrance of the park. One mode is boring-not-doing-
anything mode. The next is a sort of wavey thing where you go up
and down a little but the waves come at you constantly. The best
mode is the surf mode. These huge waves come at you (everyone
screams when they hear the big machinery KAVOOSH!) every couple
minutes or so and you can actually body surf. These waves are
bigger than most waves we get on Florida beaches. Don't let the
Florida surfers fool you, the only time we ever get any waves of
note is when hurricanes roll in, which is which you see meelyuns
of surfers at the beach when they should be home boarding up their
Anyway, the problem with the pool seems to be that the waves are
most catchable in the shallower water, but there's always a horde
of humans in your way there. You can catch it in the deeper water
where you have to keep treading (keeps out the kiddies), but the
ride isn't as good. Still, a minor quibble. This pool rules.
The friends I went with this time were too chicken to visit Shark
Reef, not because of the sharks (itty bitty 2-3 foot long ones),
but because of the cold water. I have to admit that I hate the
cold water too (it's only about 72 degrees, but that's 27 degrees
colder than my body wants to be) but I think it's worth it. In
their defense, there was no sun and it was raining down a lot of
cold water. I did get them to look out the portholes of the
shipwreck to check out the sharks, rays and colorful fish, but
they didn't spend nearly enough time in there for me. But then I
spend at least an hour and a half in the Living Seas every time I
go to Epcot and this seems to drive people nuts. Also, one of my
friends had repeatedly hurled overboard just one weekend before
when we took him snorkeling in the Keys, so I think that might
have...ahem...left a bad taste in his mouth.
Anyway, the crowds had so thinned out by 5:30 that we got tired of
all the slides, so we bit the bullet and paid the 13 bucks (or
whatever) for the After 3:00 passes (for FL residents only) to
check out Buzzard Beach. By the way, all the written material
said TL was to be open until 8pm that night, but it was actually
open until 10pm, so be sure to call ahead to be sure. I called
CRO the day before and found out that way. We weren't really
planning on hitting both water parks, but since we got lucky with
the place clearing out and all...if we had known this was going to
happen, we would have probably hit the parks in reverse order.
Anyone have any idea what they're building directly across from
We had gone to BB right after it opened and none of us were
impressed. Not all the slides were open yet and (the thing that
must have left the poor impression in our heads) the lines were
ginormous. Luckily the last time we went there, there was a
special Water Hopper pass available, so we left and went to
Typhoid after spending 1.5 hours in the park and doing 2 slides.
So we kinda had the idea BB sucked. We were completely wrong.
Although I like the theming for TL better, I now think BB is a
superior park. The wave pool is not as exciting, and there are no
sharks, but the slides are a lot nicer. We particularly liked the
family slide (you all get in a giant tube...this ride is MUCH
longer and more exciting than the one at TL), the Small Intestine
of Doom (which is completely enclosed, but has some holes in it,
so it's not totally dark) and the Amazing Colossal MegaWedgie
(which is like the Super Wedgies, but to the extreme...supposedly
yer going 65mph at your max speed and boy does your butt feel like
it when yer done (ouch!)...really scary, but great fun).
Another great thing (as has been mentioned here before) is the
Really Cold Water that runs off the "mountain" and freezes the
cajones off anyone who floats under it in the relaxy creek part.
My friend screamed and flipped out of his tube when he hit it.
Some other guys laughed like crazy at him and thought he was a nut
until they went under it and did the same thing.
Also, for some reason, there are a lot of bumblebees in this park.
I happen to like bumblebees, so I consider this a Good Thing. I
did NOT, however, like the wasps that live on top of the Amazing
Colossal MegaWedgie, but it was scary enough up there that I was
busy being frightened at more important things.
By the way, the view from up there is incredible. I could clearly
see construction on the new Animal Kingdom (looks like the Tree
framework has begun), Space Mountain, the Grand Floridian, the All
Stars and a lot of other resorts and attractions including the
Tower of Waffles and the Giant Golf Ball. It was also cool to see
Catastrophe Canyon blow up now and then. I did not like that big
ugly Mariott, tho. I wish they'd blow that up. You can even see
it from the Super Wedgies at TL, and that place is a lot more
secluded than BB. They did a great job in keeping TL cut off from
the rest of the world. They didn't seem to care as much about
that at BB, but I guess I can't really complain too much about the
view. Still, I wish things were different...
All in all, I was forced to seriously upgrade my opinion of BB and
now I think, given a choice, I'd go there before I'd go to
Typhoid. It's a pity, tho, that they wouldn't let us do the T-bar
(like they have at River Country). "Twelve and under, boys", the
cute lifeguard told us. Rats.
Before I move on, also worthy of note at BB are the toboggan ride
(head first on a mat) and the Humpty Hump which is almost as high
as the Super Wedgie. It's got 3 bumps in it and you tend to catch
air on the third one. Very cool.
Something I have to mention here...they have done another Horrible
Thing at WDW and this time I'm REALLY pissed. They've changed the
damn song for the water parade. Luckily, they haven't tampered
with any of the floats (my favorite, the Big Red Octopus, is the
same as always and everyone OOOH!ed appropriately for the
alligator), but the music is awful!
It's the same type of music (that synth-organny sort, like the
music from the Main Street Electrical Parade), but the songs are
wrong wrong WRONG! They play "Walk the Dinosaur" for the bronto
and some Little Mermaid song for King Neptune. It's completely
wretched. I've already written to complain, but that never seems
to do anything. We must put a stop to this keeeerap! Using
violence, if necessary.
The old music was wonderful...this new music is a cheap knockoff.
It's like getting a GoBot when you asked for a Transformer! When
we passed the crossing guard who works at the road between the
Contemporary and the MK, we mentioned the new krappy music and she
said "I know, isn't it awful?". Apparently they changed it about
a month ago. Someone up there needs a good ass-kicking. I think
maybe we have a new task for Kenny?
Oh, and I don't talk about food often, but there is a totally
underappreciated restaurant that I haven't even seen mentioned
around here that is most excellent. I forget it's proper name,
but it's at Fort Wilderness (just a boat-ride away from the
Contemporary or the Great Northern). It's an all-U-can-stuff-in-
your-face buffet. Dinner is $12.95, lunch and breakfast are less,
but all I can report on is dinner.
This place is great. I don't eat cow, but there was plenty for me
to munch on. They had roast beast, ribs, chicken, fish, pork,
salad, pizza, pasta, rice, 2 kinds of potatoes, rolls, pies,
donuts, pastries and many other things that I didn't like the look
of, so I don't remember what they are. But everything is really
good. None of us left anything on our plates (and some of us
regretted it afterwards), but what a fine meal. Don't miss it.
Well, I have so much more to babble about, including some not nice
things about off-site hotels, Celebration and the Disney Village
and some nice things about the Contemporary, Planet Hollywood and
the WDW transportation system. But all that will have to wait, as
it is very late.
I don't think I'm ever going to finish with these reports. So
much to say...so much to say...
Cindy - gonna be there in November - can't wait - can't WAIT!
Wow, I didn't realize they were so close together. Guess I need to look
at a map. You know, for all the talk how much land there is at WDW, they
seem to be shoehorning in an awful lot of things lately.
Oh well...does this mean that you aren't interested in kicking the butt of
whomever changed the water parade music? I was hoping that since you are
so close by, you might drop in and adminster a well-earned beating.
>Oh well...does this mean that you aren't interested in kicking the butt
>whomever changed the water parade music? I was hoping that since you are
>so close by, you might drop in and adminster a well-earned beating.
I was going to let you have that honor, I thought you might need another
excuse to find your way back up here.....
Time for another completely erratic installment of my trip report
that is now a combination of two trips (one a real vacation in
which we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, the other a weekend
quickie to the water parks in which we stayed off-site). This
entry's got a couple things about the water parks I forgot to
mention in the last report, some comments about Celebration, the
ToadWerld transportation system and some other random krap. I'm
never going to get to the part about the actual parks. Oh well,
here we go.
Some things I forgot to mention about Typhoid Lagoon...one is that
there's a macaw that you can talk at on the way in. We rushed
past him on our way in, but had plenty of time to talk at him when
the slides closed due to lightning and we were wandering around
looking for entertainment.
This bird hated us. We said "hello", "goodbye" and other parrot-
like things to it for a very long time and all it did was glare at
us angrily. We could just hear his thoughts ("Leave me the f**k
alone!") as we tossed sticks at his house to see if we'd even get
a reaction out of him. He just glared and occasionally shifted
his footing. Oh, and he pooped once. Not very Disney cast
memberly of him, we thought. Jerk. We gave him the bird, but he
didn't seem to care.
There were also some of those telescopey things near the bird that
gave you a close-up view of the boat impaled on the mountain and
the wave pool, which was of course empty while we waited. Not
very interesting once you've been in the place a while, but a
great teaser if you haven't been inside yet.
After we were done with Gizzard Beach, we decided to go to dinner
at Fort Wilderness. Since we didn't have our dry clothes in the
park, we planned on changing there. A couple of my friends hadn't
seen the Contemporary before, so we parked there (and took the
boat to FW). We saw the Contemporary Racquet Club and figured
there must have been changing facilities there, so we asked and a
nice CM showed us where to go. The only reason I mention this is
because it had a hair dryer there. Not one of the standard "Push
butt. Rub hands lightly under arm..." dryers, but a real hair
dryer. OK, so it wasn't very good, but we took no end of pleasure
in using it. It was a free amenity that we hadn't expected, so it
was a great big hit.
Also, we finally saw the much-lauded five-legged goat in the mural
and it was everything I had hoped for and more. Actually, first
we spent a good while arguing about a deer that appeared to have
five legs (or was it a tail?), but later, up on the monorail
platform, we saw the undeniably five-legged goat. A good time was
had by all.
One more thing about the water parks...TL plays better music than
Gizzard Beach. At TL we heard that Dick Dale song from Pulp
Fiction, some Jimmy Buffett and the Surfin' Bird. At BB we were
subjected to that awful Beach Boys song that goes "Aruba, Jamaica,
ooh I wanna take ya..." over and over and over again.
Alright, that's enough about the water parks.
Something else we got to see on our last trip was the site for
Celebration, and I have to say it's not very impressive. Not the
community itself, which isn't complete yet and will probably be
gorgeous...but the location. It's right at the intersection of
I-4 and 192 (Motel Hell!). Right there, next to all those ugly
flashing signs that advertise towels and shirts for 99 cents and
special room rates for children.
Disney has A LOT more land that's undeveloped and is further away
from all that touristy krap. From an environmental standpoint,
it's nice that they're only plowing under a fairly developed
section of land, but from a real estate standpoint the location
location location sucks sucks sucks. I'd be pissed if I spent a
zillion dollars to live in the perfect neighborhood and right
outside my door there's nothing but tourist traps and 167 Waffle
Houses. (Sour grapes.)
Maybe they plan on building a giant force-shielded dome over the
whole community and it will be entirely self-contained (except for
secret underground tunnels into ToadWerld).
Anyway, since Celebration was right across the street from the
hotel we stayed at (on the second trip), now is as good of a time
as any to segway into the next rant...
Staying off-site sucks. (This should be my last word on this
subject, so I apologize for whacking the dead beast of burden, but
allow me one final indulgence.) Never mind the quality of the
hotels themselves. Our place wasn't wonderful, but it was
inexpensive and nice enough. And while I am one of those people
who thinks the "magic" is worth the extra money to stay on-site,
that doesn't even enter into the main issue...
...we stayed VERY close to ToadWerld and the traffic on the way
there (not even at peak morning time, since we overslept) was just
awful. I hate stop-n-go traffic anyway, but it especially bothers
me on vacation.
There simply is no substitute for waking up all bleary-eyed,
stumbling on to a bus and being dropped from the Tower of Waffles
before you're even fully awake. I have never had a problem with
the WDW transportation system and I don't understand the
complaints I've read on this newsgroup. The people who complain
must either be on a completely different schedule from me and my
friends or just plain grumpy. The feeling of not worrying about
where the car is parked or how you're going to get from one place
to another is just great. It's all worked out already for you and
all you have to do in transit is talk about your day. We never
had to wait longer than 10 minutes.
The only disappointing thing about the transportation system is in
getting from hotel to hotel. On the day I spent in ToadWerld by
myself, I wanted to see Dixie Landings, Port Orleans and the All
Stars, which I'd never seen before, and I wanted to visit the
Contemporary and the Polynesian. The only way to get from one
hotel to another (except for those within walking distance of each
other or on the monorail) is to go to a hub (like the TTC or
Disney Village) or a park and then get on another
bus/boat/monorail/whatever to where you actually want to go.
On my Expotition, I parked at the All Stars, took a bus to MGM,
bus to Port Orleans, walked to Dixie Landings, bus to Epcot,
monorail to TTC then the MK, then vice-versa back to Epcot,
monorail back to TTC then to Contemporary then to Polynesian,
walked to TTC, bus to Pleasure Island, bus back to All Stars.
(Quite a day!) I had many things to do and see at each place and
I didn't have to get in a 120 degree car all day.
The longest wait was for about 10 minutes at Dixie Landings. And
I didn't have to worry about driving or parking at all, I spent
all my time deciding what I was going to do next and looking out
the window. It was great. To give you an idea of how little time
I had to wait, I brought a book along (because I had never done
ToadWerld solo before) and I only read 17 pages all day. I only
read in line for Norway (after finding all the Hidden Mickeys),
during lunch and waiting for transportation. I didn't read at all
on any of the transpo, because I like the free tour of the place.
There's always something to see on the monorail. (Be sure to
always look out a different side on the way back as you did on the
way there. Even on the tree side, there's bunnies, armadillos and
deer to look at.) Plus, you can see where everything is in
relation to each other (as well as secret back ways to places) on
the bus trips.
The boat rides are especially relaxing. We took the boat from the
Contemporary to Fort Wilderness and back. Got to see the water
parade twice, the second time from behind it. Fortunately, we
were in the middle of the lake on our boat and couldn't hear the
awful new soundtrack the second time. (Had to get that in there
somewhere, you know.)
Anyway, the point is, the Disney transportation system alone is
reason enough for me to stay on-site. It didn't help that I got
all confused with the construction on the way back to our off-site
hotel and I managed to end up going west on I-4 just past where I
wanted to be. You have to go 9 miles before you can turn around,
you know. That's an 18 mile trip I could have lived without. At
least my friends (helpfully enough, I thought) didn't snore too
loudly as they slept. They were worn out from a day at the water
parks and had full bellies (from the all-you-can-snarf place at
Another thing that I often see discussed in this newsgroup that I
don't quite agree with is that everyone insists that you have to
be at the parks as soon as they open. Well, that's good advice if
you're a morning person, but we're not. I find that getting there
in the late morning is just fine. You go on a couple nice air-
conditioned attractions (like the Living Seas) and then it's time
to eat a late lunch after everyone else has eaten.
The park is just about as empty late at night as it is early in
the morning, plus I think the parks look a lot nicer at night as
well. I'm a night person, tho, so maybe that's just my slant on
things, but I don't think that there's much argument about New
Tommorrowland being prettier at night as well as much of Future
Of course, this only works during those times of the year that
parks are open late. But I find getting up at the crack of dawn
(I usually awake at the crack of noon, myself) leaves us irritable
by the end of the day. And I don't like taking a break in the
middle of the day. Once I'm at a park, it's very hard to make me
go back to my room and lounge. It goes against Nature.
I've also noticed that many people who insist on going so butt-
early often leave the parks before the end of the day. This is
just nuts. I like to dawdle in the furthest point in the park
from the exit as the place closes and then slowly wander out late.
The place is deserted and you can get a good look at things that
are often surrounded by great masses of humanity. Plus, there's
no insane rush for the transpo. Perhaps that's part of the reason
why I never wait very long. I don't like to Power Disney and rush
around constantly. Take your time, you're on vacation. If you
don't see some things, well that's just more look forward to on
your next trip.
There's a couple things I learned on the day I went solo to
ToadWerld that I'd like to mention. One is that I thought going
by myself would be lonely, maybe even depressing, but it was just
the opposite. It was probably my very best Disney day ever. I
did everything I wanted to with no complaints (BOTH sides of
Toad!), ate where I wanted to, skipped attractions with lines that
I didn't like that much...AND (as you've read) I went absolutely
everywhere! All over the place. Left the parks to go see the
water parade, then went back, visited hotels (filling my CBR mug
at all of them), saw many of the Epcot sideshow things I'd never
seen before...and finished off the day by spending an hour under
the tiki torches of the Poly, eating dinner on the beach, my feet
cooling in the water, staring at Cindy's castle and contemplating
my day. My Figment hat and I had never had a day like that
before. (Actually, it wasn't quite the end of the day...I still
had to see the fireworks at Pleasure Island and get back to the
All Stars, where I parked.) I heartily recommend that you try it
at least once. I'd definitely do it again.
The other thing I that I absolutely cannot stress enough is to, if
at all possible, visit ToadWerld on a Tuesday! (I'd expect
Wednesdays and Thursdays are also just as good.) For years I'd
only been on weekends, Fridays and Mondays...so I was not prepared
for just how short the lines and how small the crowds were, even
after spending the previous 4 days on Disney ground.
I waited no more than 5 minutes for the Tower of Waffles, even
after wandering all around both the All Star Sports and Music
Resorts. I didn't even get to the resorts until at least 9:30, so
this was not just as the park opened. I went on Splash Mountain
with almost no line whatsoever, and the line at Space Mountain was
amazingly short. We're planning on going back in January and
we've booked at the Wilderness Lodge for the middle of the week.
Well, I thought I was going to get to some stuff about the Disney
Village, but this one's getting pretty long, so I don't want to
start a brand new topic right now...next time...
Well, so much for timeliness. The longer it takes me to write
these things, the less useful the information is...I'm doing the
best I can, tho. Anyway, I now proudly (more or less) present the
next scintillating installment of my ToadWerld trip report. In
this issue, I finally get to what I have to say about the Disney
Village and finish yammering about some other odds and ends before
I actually get to the parts about the parks themselves. C'mon
everybody, here we goooo....
I finally got to see the volcano (still being constructed) at the
Rainforest Cafe. I was disappointed. I'm sure it will be way
cool when it starts erupting and all (and it was pretty cool
seeing workers rappelling down the side of it), but the copy I'd
read about it suggested that it was going to be absolutely butt-
huge. Don't get me wrong, it is pretty durn big, but I expected
it to be ginormous. I guess that's just my problem, tho. Anyway,
there was a hippo painted on the sign, so hopefully that means
there will be hippos inside the place. (As you can see, I was
there a while before it opened, just to give you an idea of the
age of this report data. I have since heard that the volcano does
nothing but steam. I was really hoping for some lava, even if it
was just like those "science experiments" we all did as kids with
baking soda and vinegar. What that was supposed to teach us, I'm
not sure, but it was pretty cool.)
You know, even tho it looks like it's going to be pretty
impressive, I don't really like the idea of outside restaurant
chains being on Disney ground. Granted, the Rainforest Cafe is
hardly McDonald's, but still, Disney restaurants should be unique
experiences, not something that you can see in Minnesota.
That said, I have nothing but good things to about Planet
Hollywood. Maybe it would have made more sense at MGM, but that's
sort of a trivial (and moot) detail. I really liked all the stuff
there was to see (it even had the evil Bruce Campbell from Army of
Darkness!), and it was interesting to see just how lame of some of
those props look close up (Stormtroopers' guns and Conan's sword
look like they're made out of wood!).
Of course, the memorabilia is a bit Disney-heavy (does anyone
really care about Condorman?), but most of it was still quite
cool, like Herbie the Love Bug and Tron's outfit (which looks
horrifically lame without its special effects). The food was
good, not particularly better or worse than regular Disney food,
with equivalent prices. We went in the middle of the day, with a
VIP card, so I can't complain about the wait, but from all I've
heard, getting there for lunch seems to be the key to avoiding the
Anyway, there's all sorts of great stuff there from great movies,
not the bottom-of-the-barrel props that hang out in MGM's back
lot. Definitely worth the modest expense. Don't think it's
important to go there every trip, but it's something you have to
see at least once if you like movies.
By the way, there are also many concrete handprints on the walls.
I got vigorous cheap thrills from putting my hands in Clint
Eastwood's, Sigourney Weaver's and Jimmy Stewart's imprints.
Also at the Disney Village is an excellent fountain that children
(and adults) can play in, much like the one in Epcot. We enjoyed
watching children try and race across it without getting wet and
took particular pleasure in watching one less-than-sprightly woman
take a jet full-on up the booty. Entertainment for the whole
family. I would have definitely played in the fountain myself if
we weren't just about to sit in the air-conditioning for a few
hours. This is a great fountain, but not as cool as the one I saw
in Portland that had a similar set-up, but also had multi-colored
I'm not much for shopping, so we didn't check out any of the
stores, especially since lots of what we saw is available not only
in other parts of ToadWerld, but also in Disney Stores everywhere.
Regardless of this, if you've never been (or even if you just
haven't been recently), don't write off the Disney Village as
merely a glorified mall. There's lots you can see and do without
spending any money. Plus, it's a nice break from the parks or a
good way to kill that first half day on Disney ground without
squandering a full day's worth of park pass.
Another cool thing you shouldn't miss is the water sprites.
They're those mini-speedboats (basically water go-karts) that they
have at many of the resorts and at the Disney Village. They were
all out at the DV dock when we were there, so rather than waiting,
we went to the Contemporary, because their boats are purple. It
was a couple bucks more expensive there (about $17/half hour vs.
about $15/half hour at the DV), but there was no wait. A half
hour doesn't sound like much time, but I managed to circle
Discovery Island, check out the geyser at the Wilderness Lodge,
cross that cool water bridge, buzz the MK, ride around a couple of
those islands, investigate the Grand Floridian and where they
store my beloved water parade in the day time, and then have my
boat konk out while testing out the reverse.
A friend tried to help me, then his boat died. The Disney Coast
Guard guys showed up (after we alerted a passing ferry of our
problems) and about 2 seconds after he asked what the problem was,
I got my motor started again. My friend was not so lucky and he
had to be towed back to the dock. (Another friend of ours saw
this and thought he had been busted for reckless driving or
something.) At least he didn't have to pay for his ride. He got
about 20 minutes out of it, so it wasn't a bad deal at all.
Don't forget to slam the steering wheel 90 degrees to either side
after hitting full speed, splash over the wakes of the larger
boats, race your friends (passenger weight seems to dramatically
affect the speed of your boat, so little kids will fly),
investigate some nooks and crannies of the lagoon and to have a
great time. And if you plan on giving your sprite a workout like
I do, plan on getting very wet. Extremely moist. Wear your swim
I highly recommend the water sprites if you have some of those Fun
passes or as part of other package deals. They're great.
Speaking of passes, I just want to mention that, if you live in
Florida, but not so close that you can pop over to ToadWerld after
work, you should definitely check out the Florida Resident
Seasonal Pass. It allows you park-hopping access to the three
main parks (tho not the water parks) during a good portion of the
year. The only blackout days are the in the dead of summer (when
the parks are hyperhumid and hypercrowded anyway) and during a
couple holiday times when it's also really crowded. I actually
consider the blackout days a plus, since it prevents me from going
when I would be most uncomfortable. It leads me not into
I'm actually to the point when I can start discussing the parks.
I've babbled about everything else on my list. Hooray!
Stay tuned for the next installment, which will surely be more
interesting than this one, since it will have content on the heart
>Well, so much for timeliness. The longer it takes me to write
>these things, the less useful the information is...I'm doing the
>best I can, tho. Anyway, I now proudly (more or less) present the
>next scintillating installment of my ToadWerld trip report. In
>this issue, I finally get to what I have to say about the Disney
>Village and finish yammering about some other odds and ends before
>I actually get to the parts about the parks themselves. C'mon
>everybody, here we goooo....
< Hedge Clippers happened here >
Love the continuing saga. Keep it coming.
FDC King Kamehameha's Gardener
Next WDW 1/16-22 1997
FDC voice of the Epcot talking fountain
"Next time, have it with a twist of lime."
"Hippos for breakfast." <j...@winona.cs.miami.edu> writes:
(Speaking of weasels, I wish they still kept the "Dip Machine" going on
the tram tour.)
Well, anyway, so that dress is a good one, but you have to admit, other
than the car from Blade Runner, there's not too much that's very
impressive outside... that Flight of the Navigator spaceship? And the
fake houses that are used as locations in dead sitcoms like Golden Girls?
And does anyone even remember what happened in Dick Tracy?
They did have a couple cool things in that building at the end of the
tram tour, but certainly you'd expect better from "The American Film
Considering that stuff is in a theme park and Planet Hollywood is just a
Besides, Disney props are cheating!
Did you happen to notice as I did during my visit last week that the
rental rates on the water sprites are not the same? Example: rented one
at WL for $16.50 + tax per half hour. Later that same day I was at the
DV Marketplace and noticed the price there was only $14.50 + tax per
half hour. Wonder if this is a trend that all the resorts are higher?
This is true, but last time I was there, there was a 45 minute wait for a
sprite at the Marketplace and no wait at the Contemporary. And the
Contemporary boats are purple, which makes them go faster.
Maybe it is related to how far you can go? At the Disney Village,
you're limited to a fairly small lake to putt-putt around in, and your
options for nautical excess seem to be limited to racing the "Empress
Lily" and jumping its wake! Not a lot of fun.
Whereas at Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, etc, you have two
lakes to play in, with a bunch of islands, ferrys, channels, shallow
spots and other hazards!
As a footnote, I've always wanted to be able to rent a water sprite at
(for example) FW, putt-putt around the lake for a while and then drop
it off at the GF. Have coffee at the GF, then rent another sprite for
the journey home. Oh well.
Nigel the Nautical
Nigel A Conliffe Analog Devices, Inc.
nigel.c...@analog.com Three Technology Way
Phone: 617 461 3129 Norwood, MA 02062-9106 USA
My husband noticed, for instance, that the sprites out of the Wilderness
Lodge had more horsepower than those at the CB.
Just a thought.
"Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the forest and thought
about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, 'why?' and sometimes
he thought 'wherefore?' and sometimes he thought 'inasmuch as which?' --
and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about." A.A.
Milne -- Winnie the Pooh
Wow, I've finally gotten to the Magic Kingdom portion of my
ToadWerld trip report. I thought I'd never get here. This is
less of a standard trip report and more sort of an amalgamation of
many unwritten reports. I almost always attack this park with the
same game plan, so I've just kinda merged 25 years of ToadWerlding
together. Well, let's get started.
As far as I'm concerned, there's only one thing to do when you
first get to the Kingdom. People who stop to get film and loiter
on Main Street drive me nuts. It is imperative to speed mosey to
the bumpetty bridge that leads to Adventureland. Once in
Adventureland, you must run as quickly as possible (taking note of
the toucan outside the Tikis) to the Pirates. Nothing gets me in
a Disney mood like starting the day with some hearty looting and
I have no idea whether this is the "proper" way to do the MK,
based on the guide books and such, but it's how I've always done
it and since I almost never go when it's really busy, it's always
worked just fine for me. Blame my father for hard-wiring this
behavior pattern into my brain.
Pirates is my second favorite ride in the MK. You can probably
guess the first. Anyway, it is extremely important to watch the
two dead pirates playing chess for a good while, regardless of
whether other people in line start passing you up. Also, you must
say the word "explosivos" out loud at least once.
I envy those who frequent Disneyland and get to see an extended
beginning to Pirates, since that calm scene with the ship in the
distance by the loading zone is one of my favorite things in the
ride. A little more foreplay before the "Dead men tell no tale."
cave would probably just make my trip. Anyway, when I become
immensely wealthy, I will not only have a skeletal pirate at the
wheel of a pirate ship in stormy weather in my lobby, but I will
also have a flooded living room with cannonball explosions and a
fortress. "Avast, ye scurvy scum!" That's probably my favorite
When I was a little just a tadpole, my favorite scene was the one
at the end with the soldiers tied up in the back and pirates drunk
and loaded with booty. I'd swear this has changed in some way
since my youth, but I'm unable to say exactly how. It could just
be my mind playing tricks on me. Anyway, it's still a great
scene. And the fire scene is tremendous, not to mention the
fabulous singing dog and donkey.
I've already voiced my dismay at the PCing of the pirates-chasing-
women scene, so I won't go down that road again. I do so miss the
rooster chasing the hen, though. Oh well, there's still some fine
unPC pirate entertainment. "We wants the redhead! We wants the
After my first "We're all gonna die!" of the day (during the
little drop), I have to examine all the merchandise to see if
there's any pirate gear I want to buy. I always have to almost
buy a sombrero, too. I never do, but last time I came really
close to buying a t-shirt with a skull on it. The only problem
was, it didn't actually say "Pirates of the Caribbean" on it, so
in real life it'd just look like a dorky skull shirt. Oh well.
Guido, a friend of mine, once purchased about eight shirts in this
place. It was pretty much his wardrobe for the year. He's a
fairly piratey kinda guy.
Anyway, then it's time to enjoy the parrot with the tattoo out
front for a moment. After getting a drink from the coldest water
fountain in the MK, it's time to move on to Frontierland (the
hippos and Tikis will have to wait for later).
Big Thunder Mountain is next. It must be ridden at least twice in
rapid succession. It is also important to point out every noun
and mention to the rest of the passengers how it spells imminent
peril for us all, (eg, "Bats! Bats! We're all gonna die!" or "Oh
no, not the avalanche! We're all gonna die!"). If you aren't
completely hoarse by the second ride, you're not trying hard
Then it's time to get a scrumdiddlyumptious BBQ chicken sandwich
from Pecos Bill's. I have to say that I absolutely love Disney
food. Given a choice, I prefer fast food to real food and Disney
makes the champagne and caviar of fast food. I'd rather have
Epcot pizza than a nice spread at Victoria & Albert's. It also
helps that I'm almost always starved at ToadWerld, from all the
running around. Some of the best meals of my life have taken
place with Mickey staring up at me from my napkins contemplating
the wonderfulness of my food.
Anyway, we have found that even when Peco Bill's is packed, just
around the corner is the edge of El Pirata y el Perico with plenty
of seating. The lightbulbs here are quite funky and mimic candle
wicks. Little touches like that are what I love so much about
ToadWerld. Also, only the most brave and foolhardy birds will
actually hop up to your table to get bits of fries in this semi-
indoors area, so you won't get swarmed with sparrows. Actually, I
kinda prefer the little sparrows to the burly blackbirds, but my
friends tend to prefer the blackbirds. Unfortunately, you can't
hang out with Buff in this section. And you're eating your food
in the wrong Land. The birds don't seem to mind, though. When I
was a kid, I never really distinguished between Adventureland and
Frontierland...the whole western side of the Kingdom was just one
big brown Land to me.
The next stop depends on who I'm with. Splash Mountain is always
packed at this time, so it's time to leave Frontierland.
Sometimes I do the Presidents, sometimes I don't. I do enjoy
hissing at Reagan and Bush and cheering for FDR during the roll
The Haunted Mansion cannot be missed, so this is often next. I
like to try and goad the butlers into doing that blinkless stare
thing to friends who haven't been before, just to see how unnerved
they'll get. The more uncomfortable my friends feel, the more
likely I am to put in a kind word at City Hall for the CM. There
was a Scott there about 6 years ago that was truly wonderful. His
stoney gaze had Guido laughing self-consciously from reading the
gravestone of Dear Old Fred all the way til the Dorian Gray
painting looked its most unwell. Then, in the stretch room, he
stood behind Guido the entire time, staring directly at him and
breathing down his neck when Guido became completely unsettled and
turned away. He disappeared when the lights went out, just in
time for me to yell "We're all gonna die!" right after "Of course,
there's always...my way!"
I am of the school of people who just recently in their ToadWerld
career realized the ride is an actual trip thru a haunted mansion
and its backyard. I never saw it as anything other than a series
of cool scenes until I noticed that you're actually exiting thru
the attic when you turn backwards.
The endless hallway is most definitely one of the coolest effects
in any ride. The amazing ballroom scene also deserves the
excellent press it gets. My favorite painting is the sailor with
the starfish stuck to his raincoat. And when I become immensely
wealthy, I am most definitely going to wallpaper at least one room
with that wonderful eyes wallpaper they have in the hallway.
I'm a bit arachnophobic, so I'm no fan of the Giant Freaky
Spiders. And it seems the corpses that popped up in the graveyard
used to be a helluva lot scarier with their special Disturbing
Wail, but either it's been out of whack the last few times I've
been or they've toned it down.
When I was a kid, my dad used to cackle loudly to my delight and
my mother's embarrassment. Occasionally, he would reach out and
grab the arm of a stranger when the doom buggies turn sideways and
some of the shrieks that came from those guests were scarier than
anything in the ride.
At the end, you must always remember to bet on which ghost is
going to hitch with you. Kinda an undead version of Pooh Sticks.
I usually pick the right ghost, but I have never won a game of
Afterwards, sometimes someone gets a fake granite rock. I have
never been able to talk anyone into purchasing an invisible dog.
Then it's time to get warmed up for Fantasyland by getting It's a
Small World out of the way. It has to be done. It's not a real
visit if you don't stop in. At least there's air conditioning.
And I like the big happy sun, the dancing penguins and the hippo
with a porthole.
The thing I don't quite get is the ending. With everyone in white
all together. Is this supposed to be Heaven? If so, everyone
you're partying with is now DEAD! Oh well, nothing a trip thru
Toad Hall can't fix. It's obviously the antidote to this ride,
considering how it ends.
Actually, I would imagine that the books probably tell you not to
visit Fantasyland in the day time, what with all the kiddies
around. Having the kiddies around is good for playing the "Who's
going to be crying when they exit Toad/Snow White?" game. Which
is a lot less fun at Snow White since they ruined it. We're not
about to leave the parks once we're there and since EVERYTHING is
packed and you're going to be waiting in line somewhere, it might
as well be Fantasyland. Tomorrowland is better at night anyway.
And it's too hot for Tom's Island.
Back to the trip, it's time for (hooray!) Pan. This ride is
great. I don't think they've done anything as uniquely fantastic
as this ride since. When I become immensely wealthy, I'm
definitely going to have a busy little model of London in the
You know, I think they've moved the Moon further away because I
remember once reaching out and actually touching it and realizing
that I was no longer a little kid. It had always been out of
reach before that. It also used to bother me that I could never
see the lava in the volcanoes. Now I know there is no lava.
Anyway, the way this ride tells its story by only showing you a
tiny bit at a time and forcing your eyes to look where it wants
you to is beautiful. Especially the way the scene on the pirate
ship changes just by being able to see on the other side of the
I love the ending, as well. "Help me, Smee!"
You know a friend of mine hated Pan because he insisted the sail
was in the way, so he couldn't see anything. I explained that the
whole point of the ride was that things were off to the sides and
that you could see different stuff by riding again and sitting on
the other side, but he just didn't like the concept. Then again,
he's always looking backwards at the black lights or looking at
the mechanics of things instead of just enjoying the show.
Next up is a quick check to see how the wait is for whatever's
going on in the place where the Lion King show is now. If it's
reasonable, it's a go.
I was unexpectedly impressed with the Lion King show. Although
quite bummed to see that Magic Journeys (definitely the best 3D
movie they've made) and Donald's 3D short (Don is my favorite of
the "standard" ToadWerld characters) were gone. And some members
of radp recently dislodged ancient memories in my skull of the
Three Amigos who once lived here.
But the intro to the Lion King is such an amazing piece of
animation, coupled with that awesome music, that I always get all
teary-eyed and embarrassed when I see it. I distinctly remember
seeing the trailer in a Disney store for the first time and
thinking "Holy krap! I have to wait 6 months to see this
movie??". In contrast, I laughed out loud when I saw the
Hunchback coming attraction in the theatre. I thought for sure it
was a gag.
Er, getting back to the actual report thing, the show is very
good. I was initially completely stunned by the amazing
animatronics...until I realized they were puppets. I guess that
just shows that animatronics, while they can by great (eg, The
American Adventure) still have their limitations. I also get a
morbid kick out of the dead Mufasa puppet. I leaned over and told
my friend "I could puppeteer the corpse", but she just hit me.
She was busy pretending she wasn't crying and I was spoiling the
Next is either an argument or Snow White. If I'm Toading with
chicks, there is almost always a fight about riding the durn
carousel. I do not like the carousel. The argument has been
delayed only by making that sharp left at the end of Main Street
on the rush to Pirates, but there's no ignoring it now. Sometimes
you can get away with the "It looks so much better night, let's
come back then" and then happily ride Splash Mountain three times
in a row until they kick you out at closing time with a hearty
"Shucks!" in the monorail on the way home. Some chicks are wise
to this plan however and the bullet must be bitten. Chickless
guys, of course, will never make a fuss about missing this one
(except for dads).
Snow White used to be a wonderful cure for the carousel blahs, but
now that they've eviscerated it, it just makes me angry. They've
removed a good hunk of the scary bits and replaced them with a
cheap tacked-on happy ending. In fairness, they did make the
entry to the ride a little nicer, but that hardly balances the
fact that you don't get killed at the end of the ride any more.
This used to be a sure-fire bet for the Crying Children game, but
now it's hardly worth playing. It was quite frustrating the first
time we were playing the game and no kids were playing along. I
had no idea what they had done.
Not only does this irk me from the standpoint of ruining the game,
but also because it was a big part of my youth. This ride scared
the poop out of me when I was little kid and it felt so cool when
I was finally butch enough to not only keep my eyes open the whole
time (at least the first big scare and the spooky trees are still
in place) but to--gasp!--go on it all by myself. Man, that was
great. Now it might as well be Barney's Adventure.
Well, OK, that was uncalled for. It's not that bad. But it's not
the Snow White of old.
My fingers have been getting kinda sweaty on the keys here.
Anyone who's been to the MK knows what's next. OOOoooh, yeah.
The best ride in the park. Riiiiight next door. I can hardly
But I must. This thing is getting too long and it's time to break
this into Part I.
But don't worry...Part II will be coming soon and nothing could be
finer than the attraction that comes up next...
I really enjoyed your trip report. I think it must be because we are
near the same age (I'm 26) and I remember many of the attractions the
way you do. The pirate treasure scene in my mind has changed somehow
too. I remember more treasure, and something else that just seems
different. I sympathize with your carousel dillema, though I happen to
be one chick who can bypass it. (I mean you can ride a carousel almost
>After my first "We're all gonna die!" of the day (during the
It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to ride with you.
We went on Haunted Mansion and a guy screamed really loudly in the
stretch room after the hanging scene and it made it so much more
>I am of the school of people who just recently in their ToadWerld
>career realized the ride is an actual trip thru a haunted mansion
>and its backyard. I never saw it as anything other than a series
>of cool scenes until I noticed that you're actually exiting thru
>the attic when you turn backwards.
>I'm a bit arachnophobic, so I'm no fan of the Giant Freaky
I know, I hate spiders myself
>When I was a kid, my dad used to cackle loudly to my delight and
>my mother's embarrassment. Occasionally, he would reach out and
>grab the arm of a stranger when the doom buggies turn sideways and
>some of the shrieks that came from those guests were scarier than
>anything in the ride.
That sounds hilarious!!
>But don't worry...Part II will be coming soon and nothing could be
>finer than the attraction that comes up next...
Yes! More More More,
I really like your writing style!
St.Jon Principe (st....@ilinks.net) wrote:
<part of the post snipped for space>
: It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to ride with you.
: We went on Haunted Mansion and a guy screamed really loudly in the
: stretch room after the hanging scene and it made it so much more
I thought you would enjoy an experience I had in the HM last Jan.
I have a very tiny folding tripod for my camera that I carry with me in
the parks. Folded it is about 9" but extends to about 5'. While riding in
the doom buggies, I had a friend in the buggy ahead of me, so while
facing forward I extended one leg of mt tripod and began tapping on the
back of his buggy. then I noticed he had his arm resting on the edge of
the buggy, so I tapped his elbow. The suprized eep was hilarious. even
more so, when the buggied turned, and no sign of a long stick could be
seen, as I had compressed the leg back to small size and it was fully
hidden in my arms.
<more stuff snipped>
: >JT Toad
: >Toadi Acceleratio
: Yes! More More More,
: I really like your writing style!
Randy Berbaum email: rber...@prairienet.org
Champaign, IL (FDC Orchestra-Silly Noises)
usual wonderful JT Toad report snipped here
JT (if I may call you JT) -- I have to ask this - do you have a home
page somewhere? If so, I would love to be able to go visit it. Your
trip reports and commentary crack me up and I find myself printing
them out to take home to read to my family. Please keep up the good
Please excuse me if this shows up twice. I don't think the first one made
It's been a while since I've been able to tune in to this newsgroup but as
my trip is getting closer (18 days and counting down....wheeeeeeeee!), I
have forgotten: Can someone please tell me if there are refridgerators at
CBR in each room or do you have to order one and pay for it?
....Would you believe I've already started to pack?????????
Staying for two weeks, we found it was not worth the expense. We were
chilling mostly beer and wine and found that the ice bucket would have
done just fine and saved us the $65. If you wish the refrigerator for
cold drinks, etc. just remember that the CB refillable mug is a great
value. We actually plan on filling it up at the drink bar with milk for
morning coffee every night (Saving more $$$. BTW, if you are a coffee
drinker, come prepared (or take a trip to Goodings) with coffee filter
packs or filter bags for your caffeine fix. (It is a 10 cup domestic
We preferred filter bags because there was no cleanup -- we just used the
coffee maker to heat water.
One other suggestion -- If there are things in the (refrigerated) mini bar
that spark your interest (ie: soda, beer, etc.) why not buy the items at
Goodings. Take the cold coke out of the mini bar, and replace with your
room temperature one. This way, one gets the use of a refrigerator at no
Just a few thoughts. I know this all may sound cheap and petty, but every
little bit saved goes into my piggy bank for the next trip. Every penny
brings me just a little bit closer to Mickey!!
Best of Luck,
Well, I've never met Guido, but then I've never met Laszlo Toth,
either. You see, Hunter Thompson is my image of JT Toad.
> Anyway, then it's time to enjoy the parrot with the tattoo out
> front for a moment. After getting a drink from the coldest water
> fountain in the MK, it's time to move on to Frontierland (the
> hippos and Tikis will have to wait for later).
Yes! You are giving away one of the great hidden secrets of the MK by
pointing out that water fountain, however.
> Some of the best meals of my life have taken
> place with Mickey staring up at me from my napkins contemplating
> the wonderfulness of my food.
Another Thompsonesque image. That and the bats from Great Thunder.
> When I
> was a kid, I never really distinguished between Adventureland and
> Frontierland...the whole western side of the Kingdom was just one
> big brown Land to me.
I divide the MK into: Main Street, Left-brain, Right-brain, and
Left-brain is Tomorrowland, Right-brain is Toadie's big Brown Land, and
No brain is Fantasyland and (now) Toon Town. It all depends on what
part of your head gets the most work while you are enjoying a given
<snip of some more great stuff>
> Back to the trip, it's time for (hooray!) Pan. This ride is
> great. I don't think they've done anything as uniquely fantastic
> as this ride since. When I become immensely wealthy, I'm
> definitely going to have a busy little model of London in the
Not me. *I'm* gonna have a flying boat.
This ride is so awesome. I always feel seven years old when I am on it.
> I love the ending, as well. "Help me, Smee!"
<snip some more>
> My fingers have been getting kinda sweaty on the keys here.
> Anyone who's been to the MK knows what's next. OOOoooh, yeah.
> The best ride in the park. Riiiiight next door. I can hardly
> contain myself.
> But I must. This thing is getting too long and it's time to break
> this into Part I.
> But don't worry...Part II will be coming soon and nothing could be
> finer than the attraction that comes up next...
Yep. He was a drug dealer in a previous life. Give you just a little
taste, get you hooked, tell you about something even better.
SWEAR WORD. SWEAR WORD. MORE SWEAR WORDS. VERY LOUD SWEARING AND
Never mind. *I* can just wait. The nerve of some people.
TDC Barbie Headhunter
FDC Sniff-around Trusty
I have not seen an answer yet so I'll speculate! What I have HEARD is
that the only differences between CBR and PO/DxL is CBR rooms are a
little bigger, CBR has a coffee maker (and the usual # of rooms/theming
stuff that's obvious) SO .... I inferred from that that you will have to
pay $5/day for a fridge too! HTH!
> ....Would you believe I've already started to pack?????????Of course, you only have *18* days! I've started and I have 76! A.
Alicia Koury Calsyn
"It's hard to be b-b-b-brave when you are such a small animal!"
Thank God, I'm not the only one. I even have my clothes laid out to wear
on the plane. My boyfriend and friends think I'm NUTS!
.....10 days....Someone hold me down!!!!!!!
Well, you can point your browser at www.cs.miami.edu/~jam for entrance to
Toad Hall. It's got a teensy bit of Disney content, but...uh...well,
let's just say it's less than informational.
And yes, there is more to it than the opening screen. Click away.
If you survive that experience (and are very brave), you can check out the
Maximum Penetration Industries home page at
It's, er...hmm. Well, it's not for the fragile of heart, but at least
it's informational and you can see what I do when I'm not in a Disney
frame of mind.
Its Disney content is nil, but, remember...you did ask...
> Your trip reports and commentary crack me up and I find myself printing
> them out to take home to read to my family. Please keep up the good
Well, I'll try. I've been about as busy as a one-armed park ranger with
poison ivy on his unmentionables, but I did manage to complete Part II of
my MK report this weekend. Can't make any promises for Part III, but I'm
doing my best.
Thanks for the kind words and my apologies to your family for that crass
Thanky much. I just finished the latest installment, so it should be out
there soon, if this news server is worth anything.
> I think it must be because we are
> near the same age (I'm 26) and I remember many of the attractions the
> way you do.
One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the intangible "magic" depends
on when people started visiting ToadWerld. I can't remember a time in my
life when I didn't love riding Toad and Pirates. It's part of my
childhood and I think that comes out a lot in my reports.
I have friends, however, who are going for the first time in their
twenties and thirties and it's just not the same for them. They see a
cool place to visit, but it doesn't have the same sense of history. They
didn't visit with their parents when they were still together (not many
of us Gen X'ers have parents who are still married). They'd already been
driving on their own when they had a crack at the Grand Prix or the water
It's just not the same.
That's not to say that everyone who misses out on ToadWerld in their
childhood can't appreciate it...but this is the sort of thing that has to
slip under the Cynical Rader for a lot of us.
> The pirate treasure scene in my mind has changed somehow
> too. I remember more treasure, and something else that just seems
I seem to think there was more clutter in the area when the pirate who's
sitting on the boxes and barrels and things is.
> I sympathize with your carousel dillema, though I happen to
> be one chick who can bypass it. (I mean you can ride a carousel almost
I agree...except for that part about actually riding a carousel somewhere
> We went on Haunted Mansion and a guy screamed really loudly in the
> stretch room after the hanging scene and it made it so much more
Sometimes we get a really lively bunch an almost everyone in there screams
their fool head off. The first-timers must think we're all insane. Which
may be the case.
> I really like your writing style!
Well, thanks again. I really like that you really like my writing style.
Good for the ego, I suppose. And it encourages me to write more, much to
the chagrin of some people, I'm sure.
But at least my reports are always clearly marked, so they can be easily
I meant to write "Radar", not "Rader". Duh.
I also made a few other mistakes, but this one confused me as I read it
back. Not that that's very difficult, in general, but I usually at least
understand my own ramblings...
> One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the intangible "magic" depends
> on when people started visiting ToadWerld. I can't remember a time in my
> life when I didn't love riding Toad and Pirates. It's part of my
> childhood and I think that comes out a lot in my reports.
> I have friends, however, who are going for the first time in their
> twenties and thirties and it's just not the same for them. They see a
> cool place to visit, but it doesn't have the same sense of history. They
> didn't visit with their parents when they were still together (not many
> of us Gen X'ers have parents who are still married). They'd already been
> driving on their own when they had a crack at the Grand Prix or the water
> It's just not the same.
> That's not to say that everyone who misses out on ToadWerld in their
> childhood can't appreciate it...but this is the sort of thing that has to
> slip under the Cynical Radar for a lot of us.
I was born smack in the middle of the Baby Boom so I was grown before
ToadWerld opened (although I did visit Disneyland once when I was 10).
Now it is true that very few people would describe me as a typical 43
year old, but I think the Fantasyland rides are the most magical, even if
they aren't the most thrilling. I love Mr. Toad and whenever I read in
one of the guide books that Mr. Toad is strictly for kids, I have to yell
at the book (OK maybe I'm not even a particularly sane 43 year old) and
tell it that there ARE adults who get at least as big a kick out of Mr.
Toad as the kids. (BTW, I also like Dumbo a lot.)
> Sometimes we get a really lively bunch an almost everyone in there screams
> their fool head off. The first-timers must think we're all insane. Which
> may be the case.
Riding with screamers always makes it more fun! I usually like to start
it and try and get everyone else going.
<snipped more than I meant to here, including another fan's compliment on
our JT Toad's writing style>
> Well, thanks again. I really like that you really like my writing style.
> Good for the ego, I suppose. And it encourages me to write more, much to
> the chagrin of some people, I'm sure.
> But at least my reports are always clearly marked, so they can be easily
Or found easily. Please keep them coming. I look forward to the day
when I can purchase JT Toad's Off the Wall Guide to ToadWerld at my local
> JT Toad
> Toadi Acceleratio
Amy (& Eeyore)
"We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
Hmmm. Well, I'm a lot younger than Hunter, but probably not much younger
than he was during his Where the Buffalo Roam days. And I've done a
whole lot less drugs than he...but that includes just about every being
on earth, I'd imagine. Even lab rats.
I kinda like the Hunter image, tho...altho I'm probably more familiar
with Uncle Duke...
> Yes! You are giving away one of the great hidden secrets of the MK by
> pointing out that water fountain, however.
Well, there should still be enough water to go around. There are SOME
secrets that I am deliberately not mentioning around here, since it seems
that every time something really catches on, the Disney Cops put a stop
The Living Seas trick is one example, but I have since seen other splain
the trick. I don't want to ruin the fun for everyone.
By the way, I saw an episode of that Hulk Hogan show which featured The
Living Seas as an underwater prison. That show sucks beyond all
previously erected boundaries of suckiness.
> Another Thompsonesque image. That and the bats from Great Thunder.
Hey, I didn't invent the bats, I just react to them...
> I divide the MK into: Main Street, Left-brain, Right-brain, and
This is a pretty cool analysis. I wonder if anyone consciously divided
things this way. Or maybe their ids made them do it...
> Yep. He was a drug dealer in a previous life. Give you just a little
> taste, get you hooked, tell you about something even better.
I posted Part II DAYS ago, man. Actually, maybe you've already read it
and replied to it, but I'm still seeing news filter in from last Tuesday,
so who knows?
> SWEAR WORD. SWEAR WORD. MORE SWEAR WORDS. VERY LOUD SWEARING AND
> By the way, I saw an episode of that Hulk Hogan show which featured The
> Living Seas as an underwater prison. That show sucks beyond all
> previously erected boundaries of suckiness.
Lessee. That would be the "Barney on Steroids" series, wouldn't it?
Or maybe the "Barney Fyffe on Steroids" series. Not much different.
> > Yep. He was a drug dealer in a previous life. Give you just a little
> > taste, get you hooked, tell you about something even better.
> I posted Part II DAYS ago, man. Actually, maybe you've already read it
> and replied to it, but I'm still seeing news filter in from last Tuesday,
> so who knows?
Yep. Read and commented on that as well. I checked headers trying to
figure out where stuff is hanging. Two candidates: InternetMCI and
Usenet/UF. I vote for the latter, having once upon a time dealt with
NERDC on a daily basis. Still, I demand instantaneous communication and
immediate gratification of all my wishes. Nyah.
Not Tourette's. Just want to get into a touring car.
Very strange. I just replied to you yesterday (or maybe 2 days ago) and
I've already got this response. I STILL haven't seen your response to
Part II. Oh well, at least I know for sure that it's getting out there.
It takes me FOREVER to see Kenny's posts, but some responses I see the
very next day. I don't quite get the whole thing. Does everyone's news
server act this way?
I often see the beginning of a thread about a week after I read the first
of many responses to it. Shrug.
The Net is probably AntiToad in some way. This would not surprise me.
> Still, I demand instantaneous communication and
> immediate gratification of all my wishes. Nyah.
A perfectly reasonable position. I completely understand.
>I often see the beginning of a thread about a week after I read the first
>of many responses to it. Shrug.
>The Net is probably AntiToad in some way. This would not surprise me.
Consider this a "you're not alone" post - I also frequently see the
response to someone's post a day or two before the original post -
this is running Free Agent off a news server.
>Concrete Skull <j...@winona.cs.miami.edu> wrote:
What's really strange is that every now and then I see responses to
my own posts a day or two before I see more original message. Gotta
love the net.
Duke Nukem RTS Distribution Center
I think the reason it's different for my friends is that our generation
(I feel like an idiot speaking for millions of people I don't even know
or like, but here I go anyway) is about as cynical as they come. People
my age who didn't get the Disney bug when before they went cynical have a
lot more armor against that sort of thing now. Disney is a huge
multinational corporation to them, not a Holy Land.
> Riding with screamers always makes it more fun! I usually like to start
> it and try and get everyone else going.
Sometimes people get quite angry with me because all my screaming of death
make their children upset. That's not really the intent... (Honest!)
> I look forward to the day
> when I can purchase JT Toad's Off the Wall Guide to ToadWerld at my local
Hey, that would be great. Imagine getting paid to go to WDW for
"research"...hmmm. Too bad the market would probably only be the sorts
of loons who hang around here. (No offense intended, but probably will
be taken anyway.)
Whoa. Glad I reread this, Doc. I thought *you* were responding to your
own posts before you saw your originals. Whew! Okay, pick one as the
model of the net:
Disney: The Black Hole
Vonnegut: a chronosynclastic infundibulum
Curry et al.: Let's do the time warp again....
>mDa...@waters.com (Mark Davies) wrote:
>>Concrete Skull <j...@winona.cs.miami.edu> wrote:
>>>I often see the beginning of a thread about a week after I read the first
>>>of many responses to it. Shrug.
>>>The Net is probably AntiToad in some way. This would not surprise me.
>>Consider this a "you're not alone" post - I also frequently see the
>>response to someone's post a day or two before the original post -
>>this is running Free Agent off a news server.
> What's really strange is that every now and then I see responses to
>my own posts a day or two before I see more original message. Gotta
>love the net.
Yeah, same thing happens to me. The Internet works in mysterious ways,
> On Mon, 30 Sep 1996, Amy (& Eeyore) say:
(snip of important comments)
> > I look forward to the day
> > when I can purchase JT Toad's Off the Wall Guide to ToadWerld at my
> > bookstore!
> Hey, that would be great. Imagine getting paid to go to WDW for
> "research"...hmmm. Too bad the market would probably only be the sorts
> of loons who hang around here. (No offense intended, but probably will
> be taken anyway.)
> JT Toad
> Semper Absurda
Mr Toad, sir, I can think of no better company than that of the "loons who
hang around here"!!! Best group of lunatics on the Web!
And your posts: please don't ever stop writing. You are entertaining and
And you have a very good sense of the ridiculous. This is important in this
I suppose you are right. When I try and remember when my fascination
(obsession?) with all things Disney began, I think it may date back to
the Mickey Mouse Club show that I watched as a pre-schooler. I remember
I wanted my own mouse ear hat like Annette and friends wore but my mother
either couldn't find one or didn't want to spend the money on them so she
put pipe-cleaner ears on an upside down chicken pot pie tin and let me
wear that. It worked for me. (Hey I was four years old, what did I
know?) The neighbors must really have wondered about us! I was 21 when
I got my first "real" mouse ears. They are currently on display in my
Sorry, a little off topic there, but I can't remember a time when I
didn't think a trip to Disneyland (and now WDW) was one of the most
magical things there was to do in the world. My family thinks I'm nuts.
But then I think they are boring! Well to each his own.
I'll stop rambling now.