Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 7 – Feb 16 – Do You Believe In Signs?

Miles 2334

Planning your next Disney trip? Well, I have some signs for you. Patience, my friend, the signs will appear .
Where am I? 


If you said in front of Pirates, you would be WRONG!


 I was at the line for Pirates, not to be confused with actually standing in front of the attraction.  Welcome to Presidents Week!

Let’s see where this line stretched…. No, there’s no break, that’s ALL line! 


Do you see the ride?  Do you see the cast member with the sign? (Look at the blue building) Let’s zoom in so you can get a better look…


Oh! He’s moved because the line is growing & curling around the corner even as I speak!


OK, but maybe the ride had been down, that’s a fluke, right? Sure, go ahead and book your Presidents Week Disney vacation. Did I mention I can get you the castle suite for a steal as long as you have cash? Uh-huh!  This is only part of the story. Just around the corner, Pirates had opened an alternate entrance, and that line was rapidly growing.


And here’s what the mass of people looked like from in front of Pirates….


But I am getting ahead of myself!  Before we could get to the Magic Kingdom and to Pirates, we had to park the car. (Signs are coming)


At EPCOT.  Yep!  MK parking was CLOSED! Security blocked the road and redirected traffic. Not even on NYE have I parked at EPCOT to go to MK!


And EPCOT was utilizing every bit of space. It was the best parking spot we’ve ever had!


HotPinkMickey PurpleMickey GreenMickey

Do You Believe In Signs?


100_1454Dumbo 110 min  100_1505 Jungle Cruise 70 min


Barnstormer – 95 min


Small World – 55 min


At 5:00 pm when FastPasses were depleted for Space Mtn & Little Mermaid *120 min wait each

There is no gray area here; the omens are clear.  Your Presidents Week packing list should include a script of Valium. There are 51 other weeks in the year. Utilize them. If you are still compelled to tempt fate and come this week, psychotherapy is in order. (Insert legal mumbo-jumbo statement denying any plausible culpability on my part if you persist in traveling at this insane time of year.)

Being an Annual Passholder, I felt free to navigate the mosh pit Magic Kingdom without the necessity of actually riding anything. Not even these wait times were going to induce me to suffer the torture watch the outdated and corny Country Bear Jamboree.


Valentines Magic



Between City Hall and Package Pick-up


Over the tunnel as you pass into Main Street


Cinderella’s Coach   



Happy Endings

Every good Disney tale has a happy ending, and so does this one.  (No, our camera was not returned.)  What makes Disney magic is the people, and I had the good fortune to meet one of those very special cast members who made this a day to remember (shhh!  Don’t tell my husband I said that! We were celebrating Valentines Day, after all!)

Meet Curlie who has worked at Disney for 40, as in 4 Score, years!  In 2 months she will have 24 years of perfect attendance! That is not a typo, it’s 24 years perfect attendance. She’s  in housekeeping, and she has her work closet decorated.  She takes real pride in her work, and of all her many tasks, enjoys keeping the restrooms clean for guests. She told me she loves to clean, keeps her house *clean* (bet it’s sparkling!), and likes to keep Disney restrooms clean. She still loves Disney after 40 years! See, it never gets old!



First, the men and women who keep the restrooms clean are the unsung heros of Disney.  Seriously, that can make or break the day. Second, she is the kind of person I want my kids to look up to and emulate, not celebrities. Here’s a woman who is taking pride in her work, showing real integrity. Third, if we could bottle her work ethic and inject it into our populace, we could accomplish anything. So many of our social and economic problems would be resolved, because people would be more self-sufficient, productive, and determined to overcome obstacles.  You don’t get 24 years of perfect attendance without determination, dedication, and commitment! 

Curlie’s closet is at the MK restroom by First Aid, so if you are in the area, keep an eye out for her and thank this awesome woman for her hard work. You might get to sneak a peek into the closet if you time it just right. I will be looking for her, just hoping I can introduce my kids to her. (Don’t you just LOVE the Mickey ear buns?) She is every bit as adorable as they are! Meeting her was the highlight of my Disney day!


  • Disney during Presidents Week
  • Valentines Limited Magic (expected more)
  • Pictures with Cinderella’s Coach
  • Meeting Curlie, a cast member of 40 years


  • Believe in signs and plan accordingly

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 8 – Feb 17: Absurdity Compensates for Cheating

Miles 2696
Where am I?
 Last week needs no explanation!

Let’s get right to it…I’m a cheater. 
I defined a week as Mon-Sun (Bolt of lightning headed my way?) then decided to alter the fabric of time and call Sat & Sun different weeks. I plead the insanity defense.  First, doing back-to-back day trips from Jax to Orlando rather than getting a hotel room calls into question one’s mental state. Second, it was a mental health trip to help a cancer patient (Oh, yeah…I just played her C-card!) prepare for upcoming surgeries. That’s right, I was doing service. It was a totally self-sacrificing act out of the goodness of my heart as opposed to completely and utterly self-serving escapism (That was on Sat.) There is a difference, I’m sure of it…well…maybe? Anyway, Sunday isn’t on my list of days to go, but there were extenuating circumstances, a greater need than my own, and I did attend church hoping to avert a second bolt of  lightning. Thus, a week shall be whatever serves my purposes, but usually Mon-Sun.   

Set-up on Main Street for Live With Kellie and Michael filming the next day.  They had started set-up on Saturday.

No stroll down Main Street is complete without a stop in the Confectionary.
You don’t even need to buy anything. Just enjoy the ambiance and the aroma that Disney helps waft outside. Yes, it does entice one to buy, but Walt intended it in the spirit of providing the best possible Disney experience by incorporating the sense of smell. Walt wanted peppermint for Christmas, and in the summer you can smell vanilla. You can watch treats being made, something I love to do.
Mickey Crispy Rice treats with chocolate ears are, I promise, better than homemade. I have a recipe on my Pinterest board that is pretty good, closer than the regular homemade version, but it’s still not Disney. There’s a secret ingredient. Maybe if I eat another one, I’ll be able to figure it out  
 On the walkway from the Barnstormer to Tomorrowland, we spotted this area for service dogs. How many times have I walked right past this and not noticed? 
I found no receptacle of plastic bags for owners to do cleaning duty, no sign of an appropriate disposal bin, no smell, and no “jobs completed”, so I’m wondering if Disney has an official pooper-scooper position.  
Dumbo cuppy cakes available only at the shop across from Dumbo, Big Top Souvenirs, which is my favorite gift shop.  I love any place where I can watch those Disney treats being made! 100_1597
Cinderella’s Carriage was still out and required we take our picture. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about our inside joke that makes this picture utterly hilarious.  But maybe you can figure it out…100_1590 
Kind of bright inside Space Mountain, don’t you think?  We saw that it was closed, so we hopped on the TTA to bring you all the excitement of a roller coaster track in the light. oooh! aaah!
Let’s take a ride…or 2…or 3, shall we?
100_1623 100_1642
I’m not going to win any awards for this photography, but here’s what my point-and-shoot could do on red eye reduction. Yes, it really took 3 times around and mild frostbite to get these. 
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We just couldn’t do a 4th time, not that I think it would have improved the quality of photos at all had I risked hypothermia, and for the record, it DOES dip below freezing every now and again in Florida.
We ended the night with a showdown at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  I’ve never been beaten this badly, and Jean is done riding this with moi. That’s right, she’s completed her Space Ranger mission. Any further attempts are futile. 
She was feeling slightly competitive…..
And this preceded the weekly “Where am I” picture, because my face was stuck like that for an hour. Not sure I’m buying that carpal tunnel act…               
Congratulations Space Ranger, Jean!

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