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Old 02-24-2002, 01:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Bob & Larry\'s Excellent WDW Adventure

Day 2, Part 1 - February 7, 2002: A "Hot" Time at Disney-MGM Studios
We left a wake-up call with Mickey for 8:00 AM, but were up by 7:00 AM. The CM who checked us in had left a welcoming message after midnight, which while it did not ring, left the light blinking on the phone. While we appreciated the courtesy, it was annoying in an otherwise dark room! The weather is somewhat warm, breezy, and cloudy. We left the WL, opting to go directly to Disney-MGM rather than to stop for breakfast. We, like many others, bemoan the demise--hopefully temporary--of the early park entry; D/MGM is opening at 9:00 AM. There were some fussy kids waiting for the bus, but they were not too bad. When we arrived, we had to go to Guest Services to convert our previously purchased Annual Pass (AP) vouchers to the real thing; given the number of days we were staying we had decided that the AP was the more economical option (vice length-of-stay pass) and plenty of incentive to return before the year is up! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] The CM said he did not see many folks from Alabama; perhaps they just don't get Annual Passes? We hit Sunset Blvd and went directly to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (ToT), probably our mutual all-time favorite attraction. We pretty much went directly into the Library with a minimal wait, and ditto for the elevator, where we were in the first row! ToT is a great ride and even better now with fantastic "hang time" on the latest drops. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] From there, we went on Rock 'N Roller Coaster with Aerosmith (RnRC)--twice. Bob's first ride on RnRC was on our last visit, but now he's definitely hooked. As we came out to where the pictures snapped from the ride are displayed on the monitors, the CM asked the man who had ridden behind us with his young son if this was his first time riding RnRC. "And my last," he stated with feeling. His son obviously loved it. We moved on to Starring Rolls for "brunch" at 10:30AM. Bob had a cherry danish and large OJ and I had a cinnamon roll (good but not the best the parks have to offer) with a large coffee (gotta have that coffee!).

After this I suggested The Great Movie Ride (TGMR), but Bob suggested Who Wants to Be A Millionaire-Play It! (WWTBAM), which had slipped my mind completely. We went over to see if we could get into the first show of the day (11:00 AM) or to get a FASTPASS (FP) for the second. We were able to go into the first show, and were seated about 10 minutes later. The preshow and explanations are well done, although upon returning I find myself paying more attention to how the crew (cast) changes and their slightly different take on "the script". We started with the Fastest Finger question ("Place these Pulitzer Prize winning authors in order of their awards..."). I just hit the buttons willy-nilly, oblivious to the correct order and, WHAM!, the next thing I know Bob is poking me in the ribs--that's MY seat number on the big screen! So I made my way down to the Hot Seat and we started. Probably you already know that there are three significant differences between the D/MGM version and the TV version: (1) you play for points, pins, and prizes, (2) they have time limits on each question (longer for the harder ones), and (3) you phone a complete stranger out on Mickey Avenue. I remember asking the audience for help on a bird question ("Which bird does not make its own nest?") and did not need help on the plural form of "Poet Laureate" (Do you know? Hmm?). Having made my way successfully up to and including the 16,000 point question, things rapidly went south on the 32,000 point question. Now, I had already won a hat and 9 limited-edition pins (one for each question), but I was now going for the matching polo shirt. However, I did not know the answer to the art history question and neither did my "stranger". So I walked away to keep the 4 pins above the 1,000 point level. With the pressure off, the host asked what I would have guessed and, of course, I happened on the correct answer! Oh, well, still a lot of fun even though I was nervous. Oh, when I sat down the host asked me a couple of questions, one of which was, "What do you like to do when you come to Disney World?" "Eat," says I. I was escorted off stage by a very nice CM who took my name and address, explained the waiver I needed to sign (no getting into the Hot Seat for 30 days!), and gave me the goodies: WWTBAM 1,000 point hat, limited edition pins (100 to 16,000 points), and lanyard with WWTBAM "badge". I then got to return to my seat where Bob was still working hard answering questions. BTW, except for the 650 odd folks watching you (they wear strange hats and things!), in some respects being in the Hot Seat is easier than being in the audience because since you're already there, you can take longer to answer the questions, at least up to the limit. And if you use a lifeline, you actually buy yourself some more time because you use the first time limit to decide to use the lifeline, and then get another 20 seconds.

Anyway, after it was over we went to "One Man's Dream" just up Mickey Avenue, and really enjoyed the history lesson and seeing some of the attraction and park models. From there we moved over to TGMR and got the cowboy for this trip. It was raining heavily (actually the hardest I had ever experienced in the parks) so we dashed over and under the Sorceror's Hat for cover, where I bought a bunch of pins while we waited for the monsoon to abate. We then made our way back down Sunset Blvd to get some lunch. I had a Pepperoni Pizza and Diet Coke (hey, you save calories for the good stuff, right?) and Bob had chicken fingers and fries with Diet Coke. We headed for the bus, stopping at the Disney Villain's Shop for Bob to buy a 100 Years of Magic (YOM) cap (I was planning to buy a new cap but would not have to after WWTBAM [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ) and for me to buy a bag of candy (chocolate peanut butter)and a poncho. On the way out of D/MGM Bob got a 100 YOM ice cream bar (looked good but I would hold out for some candy). We grabbed the bus back to the WL to recouperate before our PS at Flying Fish Cafe. Once back, we walked down to Roaring Fork to fill up our souvenir mugs (more coffee for me!). We stopped at the Pin Station where I couldn't resist buying a WWTBAM Fastest Finger pin. We proceeded to discuss the next 3 days of eating (beginning to see pattern here? [img]graemlins/yuma.gif[/img] ) and returned to the lobby to Guest Services to make PS arrangements to return to Artist Point (more on that later) on Friday, Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge on Saturday (both for supper), and Le Cellier in Canada at Epcot for lunch on Sunday. Carla was the CM who helped us with these, and since there was no line, we talked to her a bit about how much we enjoy the WL and that we have taken the Lodge and Restaurant Tours, etc. Bob told Carla that he really wished that the tour included the roof, since he had read about the great view. Carla explained that for safety reasons that is just not possible, but a few people are allowed to help raise the flags in the morning. Then she looked at us and asked how long we were staying. We told her until the following Wednesday, whereupon she flipped open a binder and announced that Wednesday was open and did we want to help raise the flags? We quickly agreed, and were very happy to then discover that Stan would be the CM in charge; we had met him previously on the tours and when he was greeting new arrivals.
Oh, and on the way back up to the room a man stuck his hand out and congratulated me on my stint in the Hot Seat at WWTBAM. Woohoo! Sitting in our room with the balcony door open we can hear the kids in the WL Villas pool, but off in the distance we also heard the whistle of the WDW Railroad at the Magic Kingdom. Cool!

We headed for the WL Bus Stop--this time to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) to catch the Monorail to Epcot near dark. This was Bob's great idea as the incoming train actually makes a loop through Future World in Epcot before arriving at the station, and it's always neat to see everything lit up. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] We headed into Epcot, and this time had nothing for Security to search because we had exchanged fanny packs for jackets. The rain had blessedly cleared and it was getting cooler. We rode Spaceship Earth and then hit the Single Riders Line for Test Track, the best non-secret for a major attraction in the parks. (CM to Larry at the entrance to the line: "Single Rider?" Larry to CM: "Yep, never married!" He let me in anyway....) From there we slid out the International Gateway to make our way to the Boardwalk and our much-anticipated return to the Flying Fish Cafe.

Next: Flying High with the Fish!

[ 03-02-2002, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: LLaffinPlace ]
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