October 2011 Disney World Trip Report, Pt XI

The last day is always the worst day of any trip, and this one was no different. At least, unlike on the last day of some other trips, we had an idea of when our next trip would be, which made leaving a little more bearable.

As for the more immediate future, I had to get packing. As an added wrinkle of “fun” to the packing, I had to clean the room to the condition it was in prior to arrival so that I could take photos and video of the room for TouringPlans.com. This meant I had to make the beds. I never make beds, and quite frankly, I have little expertise when it comes to this task.

Despite my lack of credentials and experience, I rose to the occasion, making the beds like a champ. After that, I moved our suitcases to the far corner of the room (behind me) and started walking through the room, filming the video. Check it out on TouringPlans’ YouTube page.

With this task complete, we headed out and towards the Custom House to stash our bags with bell services. We probably could have had someone come pick us up in one of those convenient and air conditioned vans, but I find their response time spotty and unreliable. We like to be the masters of our own fate, even if it means a little bit of a walk (and possibly taking longer) rather than standing around, twiddling our thumbs as we wonder when the transportation will show up. We tour the exact same way–I’d rather criss-cross the park multiple times and potentially spend more time walking to hit an attraction with a shorter wait time because it gives me a greater sense of productivity. I absolutely abhor standing around waiting in a long line.

This mentality led us to take a taxi that morning, which was our first big mistake of the day. We took the taxi rather than waiting for the bus, as it was clear that we wouldn’t get on the first bus that arrived for the Magic Kingdom. Not to jump around too much (to be fair, this is stream-of-consciousness rambling, essentially), but we had decided to visit the Magic Kingdom that day, despite our earlier commitment to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom at least once on this trip, because we still hadn’t experienced a lot of key attractions at the Magic Kingdom. We didn’t do any attractions during the Halloween Party, hadn’t done any during the Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up, and besides those two nights in the Magic Kingdom, had only spent one other morning there. Although Disneyland has made the Magic Kingdom lose some of its luster for us, most of our can’t-miss attractions at Walt Disney World are still located in the Magic Kingdom. So we headed there.

Taking the taxi was a mistake, it turned out, because the taxi broke down right by the Epcot exit. The taxi driver was quite apologetic and immediately called the taxi company, which informed him that another taxi would be there in 5 minutes, but after 15 minutes of waiting, it became clear that we weren’t a priority. Finally, one arrived.

To add insult to injury, instead of taking us to the Magic Kingdom, the replacement cab took us to the Ticket & Transportation Center. I later discovered that this was standard operating procedure for taxis heading to and from the Magic Kingdom, but at the time, I thought they were just being difficult. Even if the taxi didn’t break down, it would have been faster to wait for a bus–or tell the taxi we were headed for the Contemporary Resort!

Despite all of my above belly-aching about not doing enough attractions in the Magic Kingdom, our first stop once we arrived there was at the Main Street Bakery. We were hungry, and Sarah is willing to consider cupcakes as a nutritious meal during Disney trips. This is a stark contrast from the usual mandate that I eat these things called “vegetables” and “well-rounded” meals, so I was elated at the prospect of a cupcake for breakfast. Much to our surprise, the original “awesome” 40th anniversary cupcakes were out in the bakery!

They might have been two days old at this point, but we didn’t care. Those were the elusive cupcakes we had complained about not receiving on October 1st, and we were definitely going to get a couple. As you can see, they looked awesome, and decidedly better than the one we purchased on the actual day of the 40th.

Unfortunately, things don’t always taste as good as they look, and these definitely tasted a little old. Not two days old, but not day-of fresh, either. Or, maybe they were fresh, but they just weren’t that great to begin. In any case, the “bootleg” cupcake we had two days prior was much more delicious. That said, even a bad cupcake is delicious, and decidedly better than Quinoa (look it up–it’s disgusting).

After we accomplished the task of consuming the cupcakes, we headed off into the rest of the park, all hopped up on sugar and pixie dust!

First stop, Splash Mountain. Despite Splash Mountain being one of my favorite attractions, we do it far too infrequently. I think this is because Sarah is afraid of the attraction. Not in the traditional sense of the final drop being scary, but because of that water canon that goes off when a log drops as you approach the first lift hill. This bad boy has soaked us many times.

As a counter-measure to the water canon, Sarah now wears a poncho on the attraction, even on the sunniest of days. While I like to give her grief about looking like a dork wearing a poncho on a sunny day, with her hair the length that it is, I understand why she does it. Still, it’s humorous for me.

Prior to the trip, I had decided that I’d record some attraction ride-through videos as tests. I hadn’t really recorded all that much video prior to that day, so I decided Splash Mountain would make a good test. You know, because it has many hard-to-photograph dark scenes and water that shouldn’t touch my camera or lens. Obviously this made it a prime candidate for one of my first tests of on-ride video. Brilliant idea.

I think the video actually turned out fairly well (although I’ve already made adjustments to my setup for next time), but the best part of all was the awesome on-ride photo. If I were into purchasing on-ride photos, this would have been the one to purchase. You may not see Sarah in this photo, but she is sitting right next to me. Of course, I have my camera held steadily in front of me as I plummet down into a watery briar patch. Suffice to say, Sarah ended up substantially less wet than me. I wonder why…

After Splash, it was off to Pirates, after which we met up with Henry and headed to Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceranger Spin. I don’t know how Henry continues to find us in the parks despite me doing my best to dodge his phone calls and text messages. I think he had some sort of honing device installed on my shoes. He is a dangerous hacker, after all.

Of course, normally my goal is to beat Sarah on Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceranger Spin, but on this day, my objective was to beat Henry. I found this was setting my standards really low, as I think Henry scored a grand total of around 5 points. He seemed infinitely more amazed by the fact that his ride vehicle could spin around 360 degrees.

After Buzz, it was time for a rousing showing of the Carousel of Progress. The Cast Members seem to be enforcing the “no photography” rule less and less in there, so I snapped a few shots. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have the largest collection of Carousel of Progress photos in the Western Hemisphere.

It was time for lunch at this point, so we headed to Cosmic Ray’s. We hadn’t spent nearly enough time there on this trip, so I was relieved to be heading there for lunch, which would give us enough time to catch a full set by Sonny Eclipse.

There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!

10 Responses to “October 2011 Disney World Trip Report, Pt XI”
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