Thursday, 6 September 2012

Staycation Numero Dos! (Part 1)

Well, let's go back to last Wednesday shall we...

Tyler and I managed to get to MK with about 2 minutes to spare before the MM&Y... we got a spot near the Partners statue and watched it from there. Then Wishes. Then we walked to the Contemporary and there were a million new CPs who had all been to MK there so the bus home kinda sucked... eventually got home and crashed out.

Thursday was back to work because I'd switched my days off. I worked a PM and I was in section 311 which was a bit sucky. Plus it meant I was back on ice yet again as my sidework. Non-eventful evening.

Friday I was a Mid again... unfortunately I ended up outside for the AM and inside for the PM (ideally it's the other way round). My section was 508 for the AM which was okay but one of my big-top tables never even got sat once - this shows how dead the parks have got recently. I had a quick break and came back for 4.15pm to find out my section was 106 for the PM - a 3 table section yet again - and ice was my sidework for the third day running! I was a little bit annoyed but I made the most of my section by turning and burning. I had a nice table of Brits whose daughter had just celebrated her 18th birthday so I made a fuss of that and gave her a shoutout, crown, glowing tinkerbell etc. Got them a table down on lower deck to watch the fireworks from. They were dining plan as well so they had dessert and didn't leave until about 9.45pm... it was EMH as well but luckily I didn't get sat after 9pm. Simultaneously I had a table of Floridians on the table next to them - honestly the most stereotypical Americans I've ever met. Actually quite hilarious. Especially considering they were sat next to these super-English people.... the boy actually asked me to "Speak American" for him and then proceeded to ask me if there was anyone who looked like the boys from One Direction working at the R&C so he could take a picture and wind up his sister at home. It was a totally random end to the very long day! After work, I met Nick and we got a Burger King (makes a change from McDonalds!).

Saturday was my Friday for 6 whole days! Needless to say, I wanted the shift to go quickly but it dragged of course. I was a 1045 and then I had section 508 yet again. It was boring and hot. I persuaded the assignor to not sit me too late and then not sit me during the time I was waiting for the PM server to take their break so that I could get out quickly! I did the quickest bank out in history then got to costuming by about 5pm to grab a new shirt... got the bus to Chatham when I got a text from Hayley that she was outside the Commons!!! She was arriving that afternoon and made the snap decision to come pick me up from the Commons so that was exciting! I literally met her, went to my apartment and packed my last few things before leaving again and we went to Pop Century to check in!

When we had checked in, the Magical Express arrived and with it, her sister Laura and her sister's boyfriend Dan! So that was a good coincidence... we got them checked in and realised their room was the opposite end of the resort to us so they said they would move us the next day. We got our resort mugs as part of our dining plan as well which was quite exciting because it means unlimited soda in the resort (like I don't have enough unlimited soda in my life...) and then we went to our rooms to put our luggage away and got some quick-service dinner (I had a chicken breast Parmesan with salad... nom!) before we went to Walmart for a few things. Finally, we went to bed - all of us exhausted! I felt like the one with jet lag!

Sunday: day one of the Staycation! We decided to go to Seaworld because it was a bank holiday weekend so we wanted to avoid Disney... this was a good plan. We got there at 10.30am and went to see the Dolphin show. It's been a long, long time since I did the shows at Seaworld so that was something new! It was very impressive. Hayley and Laura got the all-day dining deal which worked out good value for them - it was $30 for the day and you could get unlimited food and drinks from certain locations in the park. We got loads of bottles of water because it was a very hot day! Anyway, we spent the entire day in the park - saw almost everything including the Shamu show (still didn't like it... didn't like it when I saw it 8 years ago either), an acrobatics show, sea lions show (loved it), saw some whales getting frisky in the tank (hilarious), saw sharks, touched sting rays and finally saw the special sea lions show that they put on for the bank holiday weekend which was basically a piss-take of themselves! It was very amusing. Really tired, we left at about 9.15pm and went back to the resort to sleep!

Monday: up VERY early at 6am. This was gross but necessary because it was morning EMH at Animal Kingdom! Wahoo! It opens at 8am and that was the time we got to the park. I have never been there that early in the day and it was really nice. Minus the having to get up at literally the crack of dawn... the park looked beautiful in the early morning sunlight. We went straight to Safaris and saw loads of animals... I made the discovery that they've got rid of the Little Red & Poachers storyline which was a bit sad because it was amusing but also better because it means you have a little more time to see the animals. We then went over to Everest and did it twice! Then we got some breakfast at Pizzafari - I had a spinach and goats cheese fritatta which was more like a quiche consistency in a round shape with 'breakfast potatoes' aka wedges. Yum. Loving the dining plan so far! We then went over to Dinoland USA and did Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl (used to be one of my favourites but really needs updating...) and then got in line to go to Finding Nemo the Musical. We also randomly met Russell and Dug from 'Up' which was cool! By this point it was about midday so we left the park (just as it started to get busy!) and we went to the Premium Outlets for a bit of holiday shopping... I managed to not spend much money. Then back to the resort for a couple of hours. We then got ready to go to Magic Kingdom (yes, on Labor Day...) for the LAST showing of MM&Y! We got to MK at about 7pm and had our dinner at Tony's Town Square Restaurant. Italian themed... I had a pasta dish with shrimp and garlic sauce. It was nice but not amazing. We  did get a nice table by the window and the service was reasonably okay considering it was Labor Day and busy in there. After dinner, we caught the end of the night parade and then got a spot for MM&Y and Wishes. We were a little bit too close to the castle for Wishes really but seeing MM&Y from there was good.. just a little bit sad it's done forever. They are bringing a new show to MK in November called 'Celebrate The Magic' which I'm sure will be really good too but I don't even know if I will see it.... (more on that later). After the fireworks were done, we left and got the resort monorail back to the TTC and managed to get home in about 45 minutes which was impressive. SO TIRED!

Tuesday: Not quite such an early start on this day... but we were off to The Other Park - Universal's Islands of Adventure! You could instantly tell from the wait times it was not a busy day... and the fact it was only open until 7pm. We went pretty much straight to HP World and walked-on to the Forbidden Journey! Then did Duelling Dragons (sorry... Dragon Challenge) where we rode Fire. Dan doesn't like big rollercoasters so he sat this one out. Then we got butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks before leaving HP World to go to do water rides! We went on Jurassic Park first (I should mention, it was a bloody boiling hot day and I got rather sunburnt so I didn't mind doing the super-wet rides on this occasion!)... then we went on the Popeye Rapids ride (I forget the proper title) and got absolutely soaked. We thought, seen as you can't get much wetter, we'd go on it again.... so we got on the ride and did half of it. Until it stopped. Half way up the ramp for the big drop... we sat there drying off in the sun at a bit of an uncomfortable angle until we got the announcement that they needed to close the ride and would be evacuating us all off it! Exciting! Never been evac'd off a ride before... so after about another 10 minutes someone came round and let us off, guided us down the steps and off the ride. The best part was that we got a 'fastpass' equivalent to use on another ride! The park was so quiet that it was a little pointless but we ended up using it on the log flume ride because that had a 45 minute wait... so we got wet all over again. Other highlights of the day included the Spiderman ride (walk-on), the Hulk (walk-on), Dr. Doom's Fearfall (walk-on... seeing a theme here?!) and going in the shops. It was a super good day out even if I did end up quite red!

We went home and got changed ready for the 9.30pm seating of the Hoop-de-doo Revue. I'd not seen this throughout my whole program so was quite looking forward to it... it was okay. As the resort had clearly emptied out.. the seating was probably only at about 25% capacity! It was still a good atmosphere though but the food wasn't really my thing (ribs and chicken and the singing/dancing was good. It was 2 Table Service credits on our DDP though which I'm not sure is worth it but there you go... but you do get free wine, Bud Light and sangria! We got our photo taken and we bought it so that was good. They also put on buses to return us to Pop which was very convenient.

Wednesday: MAGIC KINGDOM DAY! Up reasonably early to go and meet Tina & Tony at Company D so we could buy them some pins. Met them at 9.30am and went to Company D, Cast Connection and Property Control before finally leaving that area to park at the TTC. I got two more photo albums for the massive amount of $12... win! Got to MK in time for our reservation at the Liberty Tree restaurant.... SO GOOD. Definitely my favourite food so far (we're almost half way through the vacation now), I had a salad with so many yummy things in it! It had apples, candied walnuts, craisins, honey shallot dressing, cheddar cheese, lettuce and a chicken breast on top - NOM NOM NOM. Then I had a fruit crumble thing (I think it was rhubarb!) and Hayley had the toffee pudding so we shared and it was amazing. We waddled out of there completely stuffed and went to Haunted Mansion... then It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Philarmagic, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc and Stitch! PHEW!! As you can tell... there were no lines!!! It was amazing! We saw 75% of a showing of the Castle Show (rapidly becoming my favourite character based entertainment at WDW!) and then went to Crystal Palace for dinner. This is character dining with Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger. The food is buffet style and it was okay.... some nice pasta salads. Some standard stuff like chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Several dessert options which were alright. Obviously the attraction is meeting the characters which I did really enjoy. Afterwards, we wondered around and then saw Wishes again! <3 Love it! The park closed at 9pm so we came home and went to the pool side for a glass of wine before going to bed. Probably one of the most productive days at MK I've ever had!

Thursday: This finally brings me up to date.... today, I got up early and met Nick for some breakfast at Panera. He dropped me off at DHS and went off to University and I wondered around watching Disney Channel Rocks until Hayley, Laura and Dan arrived about an hour later. We had reservations at the Sci Fi Dine-In theatre which was fabulous... I had a chicken burger with rocket and balsamic in it. Yum. Our server was Tula (I think) and she was great! Best service I've had so far on our dining plan without doubt. We didn't have to ask for anything, she constantly brought us refills, the food was great and she got about a 25% tip from us! :-) After lunch, we went to see the Beauty and the Beast Show which was really good (haven't seen it on this program so far!) then went and did an animation class (we drew the Genie!) before meeting Mr Incredible and SORCERER MICKEY! After this, we went over to Lights, Motors, Action (never want to see it again... that's enough times for one lifetime of that show...!) then straight over to Indiana Jones which was good. Then Star Tours, American Idol Experience and then we had fastpasses for Toy Story Mania in which I came last in our vehicle! Awful! Haha! Then we decided as it was 8pm already to just go and see Fantasmic even though we'd not intended on it... I LOVE THAT SHOW. I hope we get to see it again next week when we go for EMH. I swear they've put new fireworks in it at the end as well... it seemed to have a much better ending than before! We left after that and got back to the hotel at about 10pm where all I've done is wash my hair and write up this blog!

The only other notable thing to write about is that there is now a D-Day... the 23rd November is when my flight home is booked for. I got a really good deal ($400) so I had to book it. It's only $50 to change it and $200 to cancel I believe so that's good. But yeah, made me rather sad that I had finally put a date to it. Wahhhhhh.

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