Sunday, January 31, 2010

WDW Marathon weekend with Team in Training! Day 2, Part 2, January 8, 2010

So when I left you, I was on my way to use my fastpass at Toy Story Mania. I ran into some Green Army Men putting some tourists through basic training.

I went through the fast pass line and made my way to the front of the line. Of course, I needed to snap a picture of the glasses:

Here's my score:

Not too bad. I posted it on Twitter and Matt the Esquire complimented my on it. I have to go back and listen to his show again to see where I can get more points.

I then started making my way to the front of the park so that I could head out for my free ride along. High School Musical was out again so I stopped for some more pictures for my office mate. Just one for you though:

I got some pictures of the tree and then made my way to the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center. I love all of the tree pictures, so you get all of them.

I didn't have to wait very long for the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center and once I got there, I went over and asked some cast members how to get to the speedway. It was nice and easy. They actually have a shuttle that takes you over for free. Once I got in the shuttle with some other guests, they promptly gave us a release to sign and then we were on our way to the speedway.

The shuttle bus took us under the race track through a tunnel that made us feel like we were getting a bonus roller coaster ride! Once we got there, I handed over my annual pass and ID, and filled out a form for a drawing to win the driving experience. I got myself into a riding suit and then went out to get my helmet and the other gear that was necessary.

Look! There's my car!

You have to wear a helmet (it squished my cheeks together) and a solid plastic harness that attached to the back of the helmet and went over my shoulders. I can say that I was very thankful I didn't wear my jeans that day. My jeans are a little bit tight and in order to get into the car, you need to climb in the window since there are no doors. Once you are in the seat, they strap the back of your helmet and the shoulder piece to the seat and then put the 5-point harness over your shoulders, hips and between your legs (think of a child's car seat).

Once I was fastened in, the driver (Dan) revved the engine and pulled out, then we we on our way! I wish I had looked at the spedometer when we were in the straight-aways, but I did look at it when we were going slow in the curves. Our slowest speed that I saw was 100 miles per hour. Wow! After we were done I told the driver that I didn't think I'd ever be able to enjoy Test Track again.

We got out picture taken, which I purchased (since I didn't need to pay for the ride, I figured that I could get the picture).

After leaving the Speedway, I started to make my way over to Epcot...

Monday, January 25, 2010

WDW Marathon weekend with Team in Training! Day 2, January 8, 2010

I set my alarm early and managed to get out of bed quickly. I had the grand plan of actually doing my hair before going to the parks (no ponytail for me!). I got ready, packed my bad and headed out to the bus stop. My destination for the morning was DHS. The bus was pulling up as I made my way to the stop! Woohoo!

I hopped on the bus and started checking Facebook and Twitter. One of the first things I saw on Facebook was something about a free ride along for Passholders at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. How cool does that sound? I found the phone number and confirmed the offer and no reservations were necessary! I planned to go on the big rides before finding my way over to the speedway.

For the first time ever, I made it to a park in time for rope drop! They were recruiting for the American Idol show and doing some filming for the promos.

After waiting for a while, we were finally let into the park:

I got all the way up to the rope! We didn't have too long to wait before the show started. I got some pictures:

After the show, I started heading with the group towards Toy Story Mania.

The entire way I was debating with myself whether I would go straight on the ride or grab fastpasses and then hop in line. I decided on the fastpass. Of course when I turned around, the standby line was 30 minutes. So I made my way out of there and headed over to my other favorite rides.

When I got to Rock & Roller Coaster, I think the wait time said 10 minutes, but I walked right into the recording studio. The agent was just ordering us our limo so I didn't even have to wait around too long for that!

Here's the lucky people who got to go to the concert before me:

I made it to the concert on time and then headed over to this place:

Yup! I took a chance with one more ride on the Tower of Terror!

After that it was time to get something to eat, so I stopped at Starring Rolls, caught the end of the High School Musical show and sat down to enjoy my cinnamon roll and OJ. I saw some character lining up so I finished and got in line for some pictures:

Once I was done with my pictures I made my way over to Toy Story Mania to use my fastpasses. I saw some cool stuff along the way, but that will have to wait until my next update!

Friday, January 22, 2010

WDW Marathon weekend with Team in Training! Day 1, Part 4, January 7, 2010

This one will be shorter as I don't have as many pictures...

I knew there was a chance that we could get in the single rider line, so we headed over to the ride. Unfortunately, the single rider line was closed and the wait was 70 minutes. We decided to get in line anyways. I snapped this picture while we were waiting:

We had been waiting for about 10-15 minutes when Mike said that his hunger might be winning out. I thought I would be able to wait until we got on the ride. I knew I'd be coming back in the morning, so I gave him the option of waiting or going to get dinner.

He chose dinner.

Well, at least I didn't have to wait in a 70 minute line.

We were both pretty cold so we decided to head inside for our meal. We headed over to see what the wait times were for 50's Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine (I didn't even think to try the Brown Derby or Mama Melrose, but they are expensive even for Disney). It was a longer wait at 50's Prime Time so we went to Hollywood and Vine. They said about 15-20 minutes, but it didn't seem that long.

We got seated and then made our way up to the buffet. I enjoyed the meal, but nothing in particular stood out. During dinner, I was communicating with one of my friends from the Disboards through Facebook posts to see if we could meet up for Fantasmic.

After paying, we quickly headed over to get seats for Fantasmic. It was the second showing, but I couldn't believe the length of the line! By the time we made it into the arena the seats were almost all gone. We could see some seats at the far left side, but that was where everyone was trying to head. Some people were starting to fill in the standing room only areas too. We went to some seats that we thought were open but they turned out to be reserved for handicapped people. One cast member did say that the seats would likely be opened up to everyone shortly into the show. So we decided to hover. Our strategy worked and as soon as the seats were opened, we sat down.

Of course I love the show. It is my favorite nighttime show in WDW. One funny thing though. The barges with Ariel and Snow White actually collided. Nothing serious, just a bump, but everyone noticed it.

Once the show was over we headed out with the rest of the crowds and made our way to the buses.

One last look at the Christmas tree:

When we got back to the resort I remembered my confusion at bus stop #4 so we hopped off at the main stop. I ran into the building to buy my refillable mug. I was upset with myself because I didn't bring my one from August with me. It is the same design too! (No haters please!) I got one more picture of the tree in the lobby and then headed back to my room to get some sleep and be ready for rope drop the next day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WDW Marathon weekend with Team in Training! Day 1 Part 3, January 7, 2010

Once the bus gets me back to the resort, I hop off at stop #4. I was pretty sure that was the stop they told me was the closest at check in. I proceed to wander around aimlessly trying to get my bearings before I can find my room. I finally find things that are familiar to me and make my way back to the room.

I snapped these pictures of the quiet pool outside my room:

I put my stuff away and packed my bag. In my rush to get out of the house in the morning, I forgot a touring bag, so I packed up one of my good bags instead. I sent Mike a text and told him to meet me at the pool and then we would head to the parks. He left it up to me where we were heading and I dragged him to Hollywood Studios (I had to force myself to say that throughout the trip because I didn't know who would give me funny looks if I called it MGM). My plan was to stay there until Fantasmic and then head back to get some rest.

I was excited when we got there because the holiday decorations were still up!

I knew it was too late to head towards Toy Story Mania. I grabbed a times guide and saw that we had some time to get to Lights, Motor, Action. On our way there, we swung by Star Tours to see how long the wait was. It was 30 minutes (!) so we grabbed our fastpasses for there and wandered around the streets of America on our way to the stunt show.

They still had the lights up for the Osbourne lights:

We grabbed drinks and snacks and heading into the line for the show. Once we got our seats, I started snapping away (I love my new camera!)

We tried our hands at some of the trivia that they run on the big screen before the show (he got some right, I got them all wrong). The show started pretty late, but they still put on a fun show!

I kept trying to get a picture of the cars mid-air.


Whoops! Missed it!

Not yet!

So close!

Well, at least I got the big explosion!

They didn't have the jet ski portion of the show. I guess the weather was just a bit too cold for them (whimps!).

We made our way out of the stadium and headed over to use our fastpasses. I got some neat pictures while waiting:

I started wondering out loud if the ride would agree with me. I'm not always good with the motion simulation rides. Mike begged me not to get sick because then he would get sick. Once we were seated, he aimed me away from him so that he would be safe. It was a fun ride, but I can't wait for the refurb. And I didn't get sick! Mike also has amazing will power and even though he claims to be a Star Wars geek, he escaped the Tattooine Traders without making any purchases.

We headed over to the other end of the park and decided on the Tower of Terror. I reminded him that TnT had really splurged for us this year and we were staying in this historic hotel. The wait for our rooms wasn't that long.

The bellman looked familiar, so I had to get a picture with him.

Is this the guy from Samantha Brown's specials?

Once we were loaded into our service elevator, I made sure to let out a blood curdling scream at the first stop (Mike complained about his hearing after that). And then I waited anxiously for the rest of the ride. I managed to put my hands in the air in time for the picture and then promptly grab on to the seat before the next drop.

After they got the elevator under control, they let us out and directed us to the exits. I guess our rooms weren't quite ready yet.

We then decided to head over to my favorite ride ever!

(I never got a picture like this with my old camera!)

The single rider line was closed and there were no more fastpasses AND there was a 70 minute wait. I knew I would be heading back to the park before our trip was over so I left it up to Mike if he wanted to wait that long. Well, we got in line, however, both of us were getting hungry...

Would our hunger hold out until we got on the ride????