Wet ‘N’ Not-So-Wild

Today was a much more laid back day with only a visit to Typhoon Lagoon on the menu.  The kids love swimming, but they aren’t super-excited about water slides and frankly, I’m not either.  But here we were since it was a good way to break up the trip.  We spent most of the time in Typhoon Lagoon itself, a wave pool that shoots out a mammoth six-foot wave every couple of minutes.  We stayed wayyyyyyy back where the wave was strong enough to knock you down if you weren’t prepared and that was close enough for everyone.  There were also two smaller water slides for kids only and they probably went on that 100 times.

The highlight for the family was the big four-person raft ride where we could all go down together.  That was fun and it soaked you pretty good so we did that one a few times.  If you want to know what to never, ever, ever go on, it’s called Humunga Kowabunga.  It’s a five-story, 40 mph speed slide from hell that will destroy your back, as it did mine.  The first second-and-a-half was fun, then instant regret, then the pain sets in.  Overall, this was a fun place to go though.

Complaint time!  Yay!  Leave it to me to find something to complain about during every day of a vacation (gotta have blog material), but this is something minor.  A couple of days ago we decided to cancel a dinner reservation we had.  You remember the story… I called them up, they couldn’t figure it out, but eventually we canceled it probably a half-hour before we were supposed to be there.  Everything was peachy.  Today we decided to change our plans so we canceled our dinner reservation again, this time with a few hours to spare.  Here’s how it went down:

Automated CSR: “What would you like to do?”
Me: “Cancel reservation.”
ACSR: “Ok.  Please enter your confirmation number.”
Me: “123456789.”
ACSR: “Ok, I found your reservation.  Would you like to cancel?”
Me: “Yes.”
ACSR: “Ok.  I’m going to need to connect you to someone else.”  <UGH.>
Real-life CSR: “How can I help you.”
Me: “I want to cancel a reservation.”
RCSR: “Ok, what is the confirmation number?”


Me: <sigh> “123456789”
RCSR: “Ok, there will be a $10-per-person fee for canceling.”
Me, irritated voice: “Huh?  Why?”
RCSR: “Because you have to cancel before 24 hours of your reservation.”
Me: “I canceled yesterday minutes before our reservation and didn’t get charged.  I thought that was only for no-shows.”
RCSR : <awkward silence> “Um, this is our policy.”

STOP.  So what’s the point of me being considerate and canceling with you if you are going to charge me anyway?  There must be some additional fine print I did not see.

RCSR: “Would you like to choose another day?  There is no charge for a re-schedule.”

STOP.  Muhahahahahahahaha…. <sinister laugh and shifty eyes>

Me, nice voice: “Why yes, that would be fantastic!  Thanks so much!  Anytime tomorrow after 6pm would be great.” <It was currently 4pm.  I wanted to give myself a buffer.>
RCSR: “How is tomorrow at 8pm?”
Me: “Oh, that is perfect!! Thanks!!”

Blah blah blah, click.

Me, immediately after hanging up: <boop boop beep boop>
Automated CSR: “What would you like to do?”
Me: “Cancel reservation.”

The small victories are often the most satisfying.

Tomorrow, Magic Kingdom Part 2!

Like Hollywood, But In Florida, Which Is Like As Far As Possible From Where Hollywood Actually Is

Hollywood Studios, which was known as MGM Studios “back in the day” during our previous visit almost 20 years ago, was on the docket today and I think the kids enjoyed it.  There are obviously more shows than rides here, much to Luke’s dismay, but I still think they both had a good time.  The big event today was The Hollywood Tower Hotel, home of the Tower of Terror.

We remember this ride when we were on it last time around, so it was one that we could really hype up with the kids.  Plus, I loooooove The Twilight Zone so yeah, we sold this one big time.  You first go into a library of sorts where they breakdown the story of the hotel to you and here, Luke asked if they were going to drop us.  No…not yet, bud.

When we entered the elevator I think both Claire and Luke got a little apprehensive.  Luke was clutching me as we moved into the drop zone and everything went dark.  I asked Luke “Are you ready?” and shortly after that we plummeted amidst glorious screaming.  They both loved it.  The pre-show and everything beforehand wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be for them, so that helped.  They wanted to go on it again, but we didn’t have the time.  But now I want to watch all of The Twilight Zone episodes again.

We also did the Lights, Motors, Action stunt show, which was pretty entertaining.  Stunt drivers zip around this movie set in these little, heavily-modified Opel cars and do some impressive driving tricks with the red car being the good guy and the other cars trying to catch him. (Here is a behind-the-scenes video of the event.)  Claire kept asking what the good guy was doing and why the other guys were chasing him while Luke wanted to know if they were “actual bad guys” or not.  When one of the stunt men caught on fire, Luke suggested he “Stop, Drop and Roll”, then asked if he was being taken to the hospital.  Adorable.  This was a fun one.  Lots of burning rubber and fire, so it’s an automatic win in my book.

We went back to the hotel for a recharge, well, the adults recharged while the kids ignored our instructions and decided to play, and then got cranky when it was time to leave.  We went back, had dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre then went to see the Fantasmic light and hydrotechnic/pyrotechnice show at the park’s closing.  We got there around 75 minutes early because this is a crowded event, and ehhhhhh…..I’m going to say it wasn’t worth it.  There was a heavy focus on the Disney villains which was difficult to see projected into a misty water display, so all you really got out of it was villainous screaming and laughing for literally half the show until Mickey saved the day in like two seconds.  Kind of anti-climactic and spooky for Claire.  Sorry if I ruined it for you, but I might have just saved you 90 minutes and a sore rear end from sitting on the bleachers.

Tomorrow, water park!

Guten Tag!

Today was Epcot day.  The original plan was that we were going to take it easy here because there aren’t as many must-see attractions, but instead we walked all over the place way more than we anticipated, and now our feet hurt.  Well, for the adults anyway since all the kids did was sit in the strollers and be chauffeured around all day.

We did Test Track first thing in the morning back-to-back.  Luke and I were together first, then Claire and I were together the second time.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this ride and Mommy’s team got the highest design score both times!  Luke and I built the ultimate muscle car the first time while the girls went the monster truck route, then Claire and I went super efficient with a very small car, while Mommy and Luke went with the gigantic mega truck.  Very fun.  Soarin’ was a fun one too, where you fly high over different terrain and landmarks in the San Francisco area in this simulation ride.  The kids seemed to get a kick out of that one.

And now I will complain, because it’s what I do.  The app is not only a terrible map, but is also a complete waste of digital space.  I could probably list more things the app doesn’t do that is supposed to do than it actually does.  This screen is a prime example of what you will see in the app.  Oh, and when I actually called that number to cancel that reservation, they couldn’t find our reservation by searching for either of our names, our address, telephone number or email address.  So helpful.

Auf Wiedersehen!  Hollywood Studios tomorrow!


Friggin’ Magical

Day 1 of the Magic Kingdom is in the books.  Being here on a Sunday while school was still in session…is still crowded.  I’m going to say that tomorrow will be better since it will be a weekday, but I doubt there will be a huge difference.

Since I like to complain about things I have no control over, I’m going to throw one out there.  It is something I have blogged about before, but it is extremely relevant.  SIGNS.

WHERE ARE THE SIGNS?  Is it so hard to put up a sign with an arrow that says “Tomorrowland”?  Really?  Instead, let’s just have three paths that go three similar directions and maybe you’ll pick the right one by looking at the map.  Oh, and here in 2015 you can download the app and use the interactive map on your phone that shows your current location and where you want to go.  This is awesome and here is what it looks like.

Ummmm, could you maybe label something other than the regions in the Magic Kingdom?  It’s not easy to stare at your phone weaving through hoards of people to find your destination.  It would be great to look at your phone, look up and see a SIGN to confirm that you are going the right way, then alternate between the two and arrive safely.  It’s not rocket science.  But enough complaining.

The kids had a blast.  One of the rides we went on was Buzz Lightyear themed and you had to shoot your laser at Zurg logos to earn points.  This was pretty fun.  I’m not trying to gloat but…

Me 97,800
Luke 7,300
Mommy 3,600
Claire 1,500

It takes a while to get used to your laser and to see where you are actually shooting.  We ended up doing it again.

Me 225,600
Mommy 5,000
Claire 1,500
Luke 500

Here is a photo of my intense concentration.  You don’t get to this level by winging it.

Epcot tomorrow!


My feet hurt.  And we didn’t even really do anything yet.

The travel to Orlando was fairly painless.  The kids thought we were in Disney when we pulled into the shuttle parking lot at the airport, even though they knew we were flying since that’s pretty much all we’ve talked about for the past couple of months.

Both of them loved the plane ride, but the descent was more challenging than I hoped it would be.  My ears don’t handle the descent well at all, I can’t pop them on my own and the usual yawning trick wasn’t working either.  That was pretty painful.  Both Claire and Luke had a rough time too, but Claire had the worst of it and she couldn’t pop her ears very well either.  We managed to get through it and my ears will be back to normal….probably just before we fly home.  Hooray.

Today all we did was Downtown Disney – which wasn’t “real Disney” according to the kids – even though they have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.  We didn’t get through all of it, but we might head back there during our off day.  The kids were dead tired on the half day we had here, so tomorrow at the Magic Kingdom should be interesting.

Is it nap time?