spreadsheets and suitcases

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Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 8: DHS & MK

on February 17, 2016

We’re approaching the end of the trip report 😦  2 full days plus the travel day is all that is left.  But let us not be prematurely sad, for there is still Disney fun to be had!  Hey, that rhymed!  I’ll see myself out…

OK, another early morning today.  We had finished our packing the night before, so we could drop our bags at the Art of Animation Bell Desk for the Cast Members to transfer them over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Naturally, I also wanted to make Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios, which began at 8am.  Like I said: early.

We sure were pleased to be making the LONG WALK from the Little Mermaid section at AoA to the lobby area for the last time!  We got to the (outdoor at a Value Resort) Bell Desk by 7:15, waited about 10 minutes to be helped, turned toward the line for the DHS bus.  If I remember correctly, the bus was already there and we had to hustle to make it on.

The morning’s plan was to have DD head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania with DS- remember, he had ridden it on this trip, but she hadn’t.  DH and I would walk/run straight to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, one of his favorite Disney rides.  Then, we would meet up, and I would stay with DS while DH took DD to ride Tower of Terror for the first time!  She had been talking about it for a while, having been too scared to try it on our last trip.

We got though the bag check and in line for the tapstiles.  Here again, we saw CMs turn away non-Resort guests to wait for the official opening time instead of getting into Extra Magic Hours.  Once the rope dropped, we headed up Hollywood Blvd, DH and I splitting off hard right towards Sunset Blvd, and DD/DS bearing slightly right toward Pixar Place.

We didn’t break stride all the way to the Hollywood Tower Hotel and into the library.  OMG, I forgot just how well-themed and FUN this ride is!



When we got out, we saw that the line was still just 5 minutes for Standby.  Eager to tell DD, we hurried toward the meet-up spot… and found our kids wandering around the area in front of the Great Movie Ride, looking a bit put out.  Turns out TSMM was down, with no estimated time for it to come back up.

They had stayed in the ride entrance area for a bit, then looked in some stores, and had a few pics done with a PhotoPass guy.  Now it was time to make a decision.

I encouraged DD to go ahead and go with DH to Tower of Terror, and DS and I would head back toward TSMM, with the idea that we could wander the Backlot until they came back, at which point hopefully Toy Story would be back up.  DD refused!  She didn’t want to ride Tower of Terror after all.  I explained that this was our last time at this Park for this trip, and the line would only build without a FP+; this was really her only shot.  After a few minutes of intense discussion, she…still declined!

I was very surprised, but OK then!  We decided to head back toward Toy Story.  We waited for at least 20 minutes, loitering around the standby entrance while CMs scurried to and fro, letting people know the ride was down, and saying there was still no time for it come back on.

The time wasn’t all wasted though…I saw a Green Army Man 🙂 …

vero green army guy

plus we had some precious Disney Down Time to reflect on the trip so far.  Finally, we gave up and got in line for the Great Movie Ride.  Charming as always, just love Old Hollywood stuff, and the updated movie clip loop by AFI was nice.

Having been discovered as movie stars, we headed toward Star Tours.  With a 10-minute wait, we were in like Flynn (Rider).  You’ll recall that I watched all 6 Star Wars movies in preparation for the refreshed ride.  It was worth it, I loved the whole experience.  The kids also loved it, much more than I thought they would.  We all gave Star Tours a big thumbs up.

Now it was time to eat!  Play N’Dine at Hollywood & Vine features Disney Junior characters Handy Manny, Jake (from Jake & the Neverland Pirates), Doc McStuffins, and Sofia the First.  This a character breakfast, but I booked the latest available slot so it would function as brunch for us, freeing up the early morning for low-wait rides, and in today’s case, freeing up lunchtime for transit to another Park.  DS made up with Jake after crying while meeting him the day before.  And he had a cute moment with Handy Manny, dancing along to the theme song to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog 🙂

vero bacon

Mmmmm, Disney bacon.

Bellies full, we made our way through the Streets of America to the next showing of the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.  I had heard rumors (since confirmed) that this show, which had come to DHS as part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth in 2005, would be closing to make way for all the new stuff in this Park.  We hadn’t had a chance to see it last trip, but now it was imperative, with a car-loving little boy as part of our group.  Boy, the stadium is HUGE!  And shaded.  The show was really good.  I had no idea that Lightning McQueen would be part of it, too.  DS talked about the fire effects and stunt driving/backwards car for days.  We really enjoyed it, but were starting to flag a little due to the epic humidity.

vero umbrella

Singin’ in the Rain on the Backlot

Next on our agenda was another experience that would go away soon- the Phineas and Ferb character greeting.  I maintain that this animated series on Disney Channel was the best show on TV for a number of years.  Now that it had announced its series finale, it was definitely on the chopping block.  Ferb had some fun with my sunglasses!


The kids wanted to go back and see if Toy Story Midway Mania was up and running.  I had been checking the wait times on the My Disney Experience app, and it was listed as 105 minutes.  I groaned, but, as I had said earlier, it was the last chance for DD and DH!  We made a potty stop, and got in line.  The Standby was listed as 95 minutes when we got there, and we waited 80 minutes, destroying my personal 30-minute-wait limit.  At one point, I was really struggling, because we stopped moving altogether.  I don’t mind moving very slowly, but standing stock-still…grrrr.   I just sat on the ground and we played 50 rounds of I Spy, and we got through it.  We hopped on, we had a ball, and walked out smiling.  Disney magic, y’all.

We were all done with the Studios, sigh.  Walking toward the exit, I got waylaid by one of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) booths.  Trust and believe that I’ve worked the numbers every which way, and still, DVC does not make sense for us, no matter how much I want it to.  The DVC guy was friendly and persistent, and finally I agreed to have him send me (more!) info in the mail.  I had noticed a dark cloud approaching, told DH about it, and we started fast-stepping to get to the bus stop.

But we didn’t make it!  We only got as far as the Chinese Theater when the sky absolutely opened up.  Torrential rain.  We had ducked in a little area by the theater to put on our ponchos, but our feet were still getting wet.  We braved the rain and pretty much ran for the busses, turning around to say goodbye to the Park at the last moment.

It was now time for our last hurrah at the Magic Kingdom.  After literally wringing out my socks at the bus stop, we arrived at the MK, feet thoroughly frozen by the artic air conditioning on Disney busses. We had a reservation at Tony’s Town Square restaurant right on Main Street.  We were early for a change, so just sat down on the comfy sofas in the restaurant lobby and listened to the tail end of the Festival of Fantasy parade going by.  DH may have briefly dozed 🙂  DD and I shed our socks and stuffed our shoes with paper towels from the ladies’ room to try and dry them out!

We were seated in the conservatory-type area, and enjoyed our meal.  Nothing spectacular, just decent Italian-American fare.

We walked out of the restaurant, but didn’t even leave the building.  We had an FP+ to greet Town Square Mickey.  There was a Three Little Pigs poster in the FP+ holding area- that darn scary Fiddler Pig!

pigs harrumph

I look terrible in this picture.

Now, like all the other FP+s, I had made the arrangement months ago.  I knew I wanted us to meet Town Square Mickey specifically, but I actually forgot why between making the FP+ and this day!

I soon remembered the reason when we walked into the meeting room, and MICKEY SPOKE DIRECTLY TO MY SON.  I think we all gasped, and DS started jumping up and down.  That’s right- Town Square Mickey talks!  And blinks!  Oh man, did I get some Mami points for this experience.  It was great.  And bonus, the gift shop at the exit contained a DS-sized Walt Disney World shirt with a fun word search on the back, effectively replacing the “My 1st Visit” shirt I hadn’t been able to find anywhere.  Double score!

Onto another retail score out on Main Street- I gave up and bought a $21 3-pack of socks.  Mine were useless, and even with the Blister Block thingy, I knew that walking around for 6 more hours in no socks and wet shoes was asking for trouble.  Once again, DD and I padded our shoes with paper towels, then put on the new socks and slipped our feet in.  We replaced the paper towels at regular intervals, and were OK for the rest of the day.  DH and DS were fine, luckily.  And, I was determined to find an MK-specific magnet.  No luck when searching the magnet racks, but I spied a beautiful trading pin…and got it!  I would just knock the backing pin off, hot-glue a strong magnet on, and voila, MK magnet.

Ok back to Park experiences!  Another item to check off my list: the Hall of Presidents at Liberty Square.  I had to see President Obama as the star.  This did not disappoint, me or the family.  Just as I suspected, they all fell asleep, and I got to enjoy the show without interruption.

Off to Fantasyland, for a much-anticipated FP+ meet: Anna & Elsa from Frozen.  They were very good.  Elsa was a bit cool but caring, in perfect character, and Anna was bouncy and super-friendly, calling DS “snowman,” with the PhotoPass guy getting an absolutely precious picture of their conversation.

We decided to stick around Fantasyland, and take in Mickey’s PhilHarMagic.

I’ll tell you guys a secret.  Way back in 2005, I took DD on a mami-daughter trip, and booked the Family Magic Tour.  This is a scavenger hunt through the Park, in our case, looking for Captain Hook’s hook with Wendy Darling (you never know what item/character you might have).  Wendy went with us to PhilHarMagic, and had DD sit on her lap.  This a 3D experience, and in one scene Donald Duck crashes into Ariel’s Grotto and upends a treasure chest full of jewels, which come flying at you.  Wendy had a physical jewel in her hand, and put it into DD’s hand as she reached out, making her 3-year-old self really believe that she had grabbed it out of the air.  So sweet.  I made sure to bring that same jewel with me in 2008, and recreated it, with then 6-year-old DD still believing the effect.  Now it was DS’s turn 🙂

I was ready, with the jewel in my pocket…waited for the scene…and…success!  He was astonished to find a physical jewel in his hand!  I felt great.  DD was a bit sad, having seen me take it out of my pocket.  I just pulled her aside and said, now you have this special knowledge, and can also Make Magic for your little brother or baby cousin, and your own kids in the future.  She smiled at the thought, then rolled her eyes and told me I was being corny.  Yup.  Still a teenager.

Our night was drawing to a close.  We had our final FP+, for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  Got on very quickly, and enjoyed this wonderful ride again.  Finally, we saw on the app that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had only a 15-minute wait.  Frontierland, ho!  DS LOVED this ride so much.  He was “nervous-screaming,” but super happy about it, lol.  It was a great last ride.  I didn’t want to stay for Wishes, having already seen HalloWishes at the Party and wanting to leave ahead of the crowds, so we walked down Main Street for the last time.  I definitely teared up, and said good-bye to the Magic Kingdom.

I was very happy though, to go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge for a comfortable rest.  We got back to the room by 10:30, cleaned up, and…lights out on another Disney Day.


2 responses to “Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 8: DHS & MK

  1. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    “DD was a bit sad, having seen me take it out of my pocket. I just pulled her aside and said, now you have this special knowledge, and can also Make Magic for your little brother or baby cousin,” AND I’m CRYING…..


    • Here’s more: the face he made when he realized that he had grabbed the “ruby” was like a flashback in time to DD’s face when she did it. I saw it as though it were a movie: his face, her face, his face. I couldn’t talk for a few moments, and DH saw and grabbed my hand. A sweet moment for sure.

      On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 3:49 PM, spreadsheets and suitcases wrote:



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