Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Disney Diary - Day 2

Nemo is Scary? Who Knew?
August 24, 2008

When I made our reservations for Disney, I had to make two reservations because of the free Dining promotion. Disney has a dining plan that can be purchased with your vacation that entitles each member of your party to 1 table service ( a sit-down restaurant), 1 counter service (like fast food), and one snack (like a pretzel, popcorn, or ice-cream treat) for every night of your stay. I don't remember the exact price per person right now and I'm too lazy to go look it up, but I know it would have added $990 to the cost of our vacation if we had to pay for it ourselves. Anyway, I had to make 2 reservations because the dining promotion didn't begin until Aug 24th and we wanted to arrive on the 23rd. This is also why we did DisneyQuest on our arrival day because our park tickets for the 4 major parks were tied to the reservation with the dining plan and we couldn't use them until the 24th.

So I set my alarm for 5:45a to check back into the hotel - I knew there would be a lot of people doing just what I was doing, and there would be a higher number of people checking in for this date because of the dining promotion. I also wanted to be early to check in because I wanted to stay in the same room we were already in before they assigned it to someone else. I got down to the lobby right at 6am, which is when the cast member told me I could recheck in. The line was 4 people ahead of me, but the line went quickly and I got us rechecked in and our tickets activated with our dining plan etc. There was one small mixup with my credit card that I had tied to our reservation and my Key to the World card, but it turned out to be that my credit card had expired and then renewed between the time I made the reservation and the time we checked in - so she just had to update the info. Somewhere in that mess though she gave charging privledges to Alex and me rather than Sean and me, but I was too tired to care - and since I handle EVERYTHING anyway, it didn't matter that Sean didn't have charging privledges on his card. In fact it actually came in handy that Alex could charge on his - I let him go down in the mornings to get milk and breakfast items from the Roaring Fork (counter service place in our resort).

A word on the dining plan - I would not pay for this out-of-pocket. It was way more food than we needed and way more sit-down eating than we would have otherwise done. We would not have spent $990 on food if we did not have the dining plan. That said, it was very convenient and we used it well to our advantage - since it was "free" I'm glad we had it - just wouldn't be willing to cough up the extra $$$ to buy it. YMMV of course.

So this was Epcot day - the plan was to ride Soarin', Mission Space, and Test Track first and then do Living with the Land, Nemo and Crush and then see if we had time to do anything else before lunch. That went pretty well, but the park was pretty busy and our fastpasses for Soarin were for 11:30am (we went to get them pretty much right when the park opened at 9am). I had thought that Katie would be able to ride Mission Space with us this time, but the height requirement is actually 44 in. - not the 40 in. I was thinking. (Katie is 42 in.) In the end it was good she didn't ride as it was actually a little more intense than I remembered it. We do the green version, which is the less intense version of the ride, with no actual spinning, but it is still a simulator and she might have been afraid. Basically the ride has you as part of a team aboard a space craft to Mars and you get to "help" land the spacecraft on the planet. The ride makes it seem you are going to crash, but just in time you save the day (of course!). I was more disappointed that this meant Sean didn't ride either. We know about the "kid swap" option, and the cast member tried to talk him into doing it, but when he heard Katie couldn't ride he lost his nerve to go. Sean is a big chicken when it comes to rides - in fact he was pretty annoyed with me last year for taking him on the Peter Pan ride because you are sort of up in the sky looking down on the (fake minature) city below. It never occured to me that a kid ride like that would scare him, but I guess it was the heights thing - although to be fair the heights was more perceived than real.

We didn't get to do Test Track because we already had a fastpass for Soarin and the wait was already 40 min. when we finished with Mission Space. We decided to do it later in the week - we were coming back to Epcot more than once and we did Nemo and Crush instead. Crush was a fabulous hit with Katie, just as he was last year - though she doesn't remember him from last year. Crush is an interactive attraction and he holds a real conversation with members of the audience - very cool. Katie kept asking to go back to see Crush again. I thought she'd love Nemo too - and she was very excited to ride Nemo, until we actually got on the ride. First, she was scared because it was dark. This was our first dark ride this year and since she had done fine on it last year I didnt' think we'd have any issues. Now it wasn't really dark - just movie theater dark if you know what I mean. I held her close and tried to tell her it was fine, we are going to see Nemo, etc. and just when she was starting to relax and point to the fish and say - "Look there's Nemo - there's Dory" and get all excited, the big shark came out with teeth barred and roaring and it totally *freaked* her out. She was inconsolable for the rest of the ride and needless to say there was no convincing her to ride "Scary Nemo" again. Of course that didn't stop her putting her head in this fake fish outside Crush to have her picture taken, but I digress.

During our stay we developed a routine of going to a park at rope drop and staying until shortly after lunch, then resting at the hotel before going out again around dinner time. We did this on our last trip too and I highly recommend this stratagy. It gave us built-in pool time and a break from the parks at the hottest and busiest part of the day. It was also intended to give Katie a nap, but that never really happened.

For dinner that night we went to Hoop Dee Doo. Not as much fun as the first time we saw it last year cause the show is pretty much exactly the same. We still had a good time, but we'll probably skip it the next time we go. Funny thing - we ended up in the exact same seats we had last time in the balcony toward the back on the left-hand side. We were happy there and just like the last time it was good fun and good food. This is a pic from my seat of the stage and the floor below.

This was a very long day - and there is still more to come - Alex and I went to Extra Magic Hours. I'll have to continue tomorrow though - cause this is all the time I have to write for tonight.


Kari said...

SOunds like you are having fun in Disney. I nominated you for an award. Check out my blog when you get back. :) Have fun!

Melissa C. said...

Sounds great so far, only one minor Katie incident! Hooray!!