After finally resting up and drying my tears at being missed by the other Fan Boys, I finally get to relay my trip report.
I arrived at Downtown Disney late Thursday morning, on the hunt for a Full Montague. After feeding the need, Tim texted me saying they were picking up their rental and heading to the condo. I met him & Marie at the condo, when Paul & Ashley texted us that they had just arrived. Since Tim had just come from there, I do not have a GPS (like he does), and living in SW Florida I have no need for the Orlando International Airport, I let him guide. Tim was nice enough to point out the turns we needed to take after we already passed them, so it took us a little longer to get to MCO than expected.
After getting Paul & Ashley, we briefly stopped at the condo, then were off to EPCOT. While Tim went to Ticket Services, the rest of us went to take pictures at the big ball thingy. Paul, Ashley, and I went to Guest Services so they could get their Just Engaged pins. When I joking told the cast member it was Paul and I who got engaged, he unsurprisingly became very excited. After about 20 minutes, Tim’s attempt at a hostile takeover failed and he settled for Platinum Fast Passes, which got us “Chuck Norris” ride placement. After stopping for a quick frozen treat (uncomfortable choice), we headed off to Via Nipoli (according to Tim’s tweet) and admired the decor. As I’m sure you’ve read, the Italian Balls appetizer was extremely bland. The four-cheese half of our pizza was outstanding and is a definite re-order when I return with the family in December. Paul and I were noticing the couple next to us and how she seemed more into texting than her date. I guess it was another night alone on the internet for him. After our early dinner, we continued to Future World and went on Test Track & Mission: Space. We watched Illuminations, where we finally ran into the World’s #1 Hacker. What are the odds?
Friday it was off to the Magic Kingdom. We first went through Tomorrowland where we went on Space Mountain, MI Laugh Floor, Buzz Lightyear’s SRP, and TTAP. We then went through Fantasyland, where construction left an eerie looking, large empty area across from Pooh. As we continued towards Liberty Square, Paul pointed out a celebrity sighting of Princess Fiona in mid transformation. We couldn’t tell if it was Princess to Ogre or vice-versa. After roaming though Adventure & Frontierlands, we made our way back up to the Haunted Mansion. Along the way, I spotted a better dressed guy with a one person film crew. Upon closer inspection, I announced to the others it was Lou Mongello and we stopped to watch the taping. Tim seemed to doubt my photo-bombing abilities, so like a Comic Con attendee thinking Mystique would actually go out with him, I proved how mistaken he was. After their repeated takes, due to guests who couldn’t see the filming, I decided to assist the less aggressive. I explained to Team Lou how it was funny at first, but was now just annoying, and proceeded to block the blind leading the blind. It all worked out, as Team Lou was very grateful and stayed to chat for a few minutes with all the Fan Boys. We then were off to the Haunted Mansion, where I was noticeably the single rider, even after skipping eats at Pecos Bills. We went on Pirates and Jungle Cruise, where Tim’s former comedian sensitivities didn’t seem to appreciate my four non-inturruptive comments. I hope he doesn’t think I’m an anti-comedite, as hate crimes are so last year. Around 8:30 it started to rain, cancelling the parade. It was very entertaining watching guests cling on to their primo parade spots, even through a raging downpour. The fireworks still went on as scheduled, which ended our day at Magic Kingdom, and began my onset of cold symptoms.
Saturday, we humored Tim and went to the zoo. Since I had plans for dinner and had to stop for cold meds, we took two vehicles. As I was pulling into the Animal Kingdom parking lot, Tim texted me, when I told him I had gone to EPCOT. He texted back that they were on their way to Festival of the Lion King, which I was now approaching. As I reached the entrance, I saw the back of Paul and proceeded to call Tim on his phone, while he passed me within inches on the bleachers. By the time Tim answered his phone, everyone had seen me and watched as Tim gave me crap for going to EPCOT. By the time he realized I was only 4 people down from him, I think even the animals were in on it. After the Festival, which was very impressive, we went on Dinosaur, Jungle Trek, and Expedition Everest. I took off for an early dinner and we met up again later at Bongos Cuban Cafe. We proceeded to walk around all of Downtown Disney, stopping at Ghirardelli’s long enough for my ice cream hat. Paul & I grabbed one more Montague for a late night snack and we were on our way.
Sunday, we revisited EPCOT for a more complete tour of World Showcase. After going on Mission:Earth, we then walked through every showcase, watching O Canada! to see if anyone knew Rob. Lunch at Japan with booze at Norway, we completed the Showcase with Mexico and the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Is it me or does Donald only seem happy when he’s with other birds(his kind)? We then went back to Future World, where Captain EO called out for us to experience. If we were really like this in the 80′s, can we just delete that decade and pretend it never happened? Everyone then humored me and went on Journey into Imagination, where I promptly took a nap. Then it was off to Soarin’, Living with the Land, The Seas w/Nemo & Friends, and Test Track. Now it was time for dinner at ‘Ohana, where we met a Jack Nicholson-type cast member who gave us plenty of inside Disney dirt. Paul then ate enough meat to set vegans back 20 years and enough shrimp to embarrass a Beluga. After he was showered with admiration for his impressive nom-fest , we returned to the condo where we thought we would be crashing early. Tim had other ideas, as we recorded a late night podcast for our many fans. I made sure to make editing take extra long for this one.
Monday was my last day with the Fan Boys (and Fan Girls) and Hollywood Studios was our destination. We went straight to Tower of Terror, where they added the new drop from when I went on last year, then to Rock n’ Roller Coaster. After a stop at Sweet Spells, Tim picked up (and shared) a very tasty Carrot Cake whoopie pie, then we were off to Toy Story Mania. Even with Tim’s Chuck Norris Fastpass, it was still a good 20 minute wait. Tim’s cord yanking skills came into to play once again, where he got the best score of all of us. It was then off for what would be our actual final trip to Endor, before Star Wars is rehabbed for a much anticipated improvement. We went for lunch at Backlot Express, and then it was time for my tearful departure. Once Tim let go of my leg, I was on the road back to Naples.
All in all, this was a fantastic trip, shared with some truly great people and genuine Fan Boys/Girls. Paul, Ashley, Marie, and Tim are some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of vacationing with, and I sincerely hope we can make this an annual gathering at minimum. Next time I plan on staying from start to finish and will even feel safe falling asleep first. I’ve also found the place we all can live someday.
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