The rest of my story about my most recent trip to Orlando -
We left off Monday morning with a Game of Thrones hangover and nothing on my schedule all day. I spent most of it wasting time in some of my favorite ways - talking about tv on twitter, eating donuts I only eat on vacation, petting the dog and chatting with people via the (type)written word. When Adrianne got home from work we ran to Publix to get stuff for dinner.
My brother grilled out in the crazy rain for us and we tried to find a movie he wanted to show me. It was his bedtime before we made it through one. I curled up with my iPad and read every twitter post about Game of Thrones while I continued to listen to podcasts.
On Tuesday morning, my first friend from the DCP Adam brought his wife and his super tiny baby to pick me up and take me to Disney breakfast.
We ate at The Wave, an underhyped restaurant tucked away on the first floor of the Contemporary. We had talked about eating there or at Trail's End. Both are buffets that cast members get a good discount on, but they had never been to The Wave so that seemed like the best choice. I've done their breakfast buffet a few times in the past and am a fan of the sweet potato pancakes. It was good and they were glad they tried it, but unanimous consensus was Trail's End is better (just in case you were looking for a Disney breakfast recommendation).
Dianne came to pick me up that night when she got off work. We were looking for something quick and tasty for dinner so she took me to Tijuana Flats. Delicious giant tacos, great guacamole and an entire hot sauce bar to can check out. I didn't even think I liked hot sauce until I tried some of those.
On Wednesday, we went back to the parks. My two Disney goals for this visit were to see the new fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and check out the new land of Pandora at the Animal Kingdom. I was determined to get both done that day.
My DCP roommate Dianne (who I was staying with) had to get a different roommate since I left so now shares an apartment with a guy who works in the Festival of the Lion King show at the Animal Kingdom. He's one of the always entertaining Tumble Monkeys, and he is such a sweet guy, he put us on a VIP list for the show.
We sat on the front row and this was our view. I've seen this show many times but wow, it looks different from down on the floor. I mean it's always fantastic in this theatre, but the different perspecitve was exciting. For example I noticed the costumes in that show. They are so intricate and fascinating. It's the kind of attention to detail that gives things depth and make them interesting.
After the show we were rushed out by an usher behind the theatre for a chance to chat with these kind animals and have our pictures taken with them. Huge thank you to these guys (who will never read this). That stilt walker? Yeah. He's way up there.
After the show we rushed to Pandora to ride Flight of the Navigator before we headed out. I wanted to slowly wander around the new area, drinking it in, but it was way too hot for that kind of nonsense. Next time I go I will check out every inch, but in August? No thanks. So we headed straight for the ride.
The wait time was over an hour, but we were prepared for that. I'm pretty sure it's always that long. Since the main point of my trip was to visit we figured chatting in line (and we had some great chatting) instead of in her living room would be fine.
On the left below you'll see a hidden Mickey Dianne found. It's in the queue, near the entrance. The other shots are from inside.
Let me just say that ride was incredible. Incredible. I screamed and laughed and had the best time. It was way worth the wait and I can not wait to ride it again.
After the ride we headed out to the Magic Kingdom. It didn't feel anything like fall but I love these decorations the most
We realized we hadn't eaten. Fireworks time was close so we decided to eat at the closest place - Cosmic Rays. Not either of our favorite places but they have chicken and fries so there we were. It was insanely crowded. Beyond. Dianne was going to grab something somewhere else and meet me back there but decided not to because of the crowds. She hung out with me while I ate but as we fought the crowd back to Main Street she decided she was going to bail. The crowds were pretty out of control, but I was willing to endure them for new fireworks.
I found a pretty good spot in the middle of the street outside of Starbucks. It was so hot I found myself wondering "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I passed out right here" but I was fine.
The fireworks were amazing. I am a fan. I didn't take any pictures because I wanted to just experience it since it was my first time. It was gorgeous. I felt inspired. And fireworks!! There were lots and lots of them. I loved it. And honestly, seeing fireworks all alone on Main Street is probably the very best way to see them.
I knew Dianne had been waiting for me. And I know right after fireworks at the MK is a crazy rush time, especially with this many people watching. But I also knew I as already halfway down Main Street, and I knew that one person in a hurry can cut through crowds pretty quickly when motivated. I didn't leave early, but as soon as the show was over I booked it out of the park and out toward the ferry. I made it on the first boat out of the park, and then onto the first tram to the parking lot. Trust me, I was super proud of myself. I told just about everyone about it and no one seemed as impressed as I was. Whatever. I consider that quite an accomplishment.
I was firework drunk by the time I made it to Dianne's car. I was still so excited and in love with everything. Dianne said later she had never seen me like that and I admit it was kinda crazy. I couldn't stop smiling. I was glowing. I was in love with the world. And I wouldn't stop talking. We were in our pjs checking FB one last time and I kept stopping her to tell stories about every friend who had posted. Firework drunk. It's a thing.
There were a couple places I was hoping I'd get to eat on this trip. One was Flippers, another Via Napoli, and another D'Luxe Burger. None fancy, but oh so good. My flight out wasn't until early evening so Dianne suggested we stop by Disney Springs for late Burgers!
We left for the airport after that. She dropped me at the skycap and he got me all checked in. I hate saying goodbye, but it helps knowing I'll be back in January.
I had to check in with a Princess before they let me leave the city.
Oh and here's my favorite TSA story ever.
The lines were crazy. Once you got past the person who looks at your id the line snaked around for about ever. There was a sign that said the wait was about 45 minutes. I like to be super early to everything flights so I wasn't worried but I bet some people were. I heard a worker guy ask someone how long the line was, and then he shouted out for everyone to empty their pockets, keep their laptops on their bags and leave their shoes on because they were bringing in a canine unit!! The mood of the crowd instantly changed. A dog? Suddenly we were all excited and chatting with each other. Really? We can leave our liquids in our bags as long as we get sniffed by a dog? What's the bad part?
When we made it to the dog, he was inside a little rectangle made from the stanchions. His handler was there and the dog would walk around sniffing us as we made our turn past him. After that the rest of security was as breeze. Can was always just have dogs? Seriously.