Monday, December 10, 2007

MouseFest 2007 (Day 05): All Good Things....

[Ed Note:  I must preface this day's post with an apologize to my readers for the lack of photos.  I was upset with the fact that my trip was coming to an end which resulted in the fact that I often forgot that I had my camera with me.]

This had to be the hardest of mornings to wake up.  That was because today was the last day to bask in the glory of Walt Disney World. 

It had been pre-decided the night before that we were going to get together and do some shopping today.  But, before we could meet up with Tim, Will and Jackyln we needed to finish packing and get checked out of the Dolphin.

BeverlyFest Part Deux We woke up bright and early (approximately 7:45AM) and started getting ready to get out of the hotel.  My jobs that I had started on the computer the night before had finished and I quickly packed up the computer.  We had to pack such that we still could take stuff we needed with us while we wandered the parks.  We were not getting picked up to go to the airport until 3:30PM.

We always pack and empty duffle bag in our checked luggage so that we have extra storage for the trip back.  As usual, this bag didn't go to waste.  My wife has a masters degree in spatial manipulation and manages to free up tons of space in our bags for the things we purchased and the things we'll be purchasing on the last day.

After getting everything crammed into our two checked bags and our 4 carry-ons we made one last pass of the room to make sure we didn't leave anything behind and then made our way to the lobby.

We quickly found out that in addition to not being able to use your room key to charge back to your room, you cannot check your bags into your flight at the Swan and Dolphin.

So, we had to leave all our bags with the Bell Captain while we went out and played for the day.Tim Devine at BeverlyFest Part Deux

After dropping our bags off, I gave Tim a call to determine ETA and to find out if we were going to get any breakfast on the way to our first shopping destination. 

It was determined that food would be later in the day, so my wife hit the eatery in the lobby again for cinnamon bun and a cup of ice for her Dr. Pepper.

We didn't have to wait long before the gang was there to pick us up and we were off to leave more of our hard earned money in the care of the Mouse.

While shopping we got a call from my father-in-law who was passing on information he got from my wife's aunt.  She works for Continental Airlines in Houston and all flights going to Oklahoma City were canceled due to the bad ice storm hitting the state.  We already knew about the ice storm because my brother's wife called me the morning before to warn us.

At this point, we started making calls to prepare for the possibility that we might get stuck in Houston for a few days.  My employer offered to put us up in their place (the company I work for is in Houston).  My wife tried to get ahold of her sister that lives in Houston to try and arrange a meet-up.

We didn't let the threat of a terrible trip home to ruin our remaining hours at Walt Disney World.

We couldn't spend too much time shopping because Tim was expected to be in EPCOT's Club Cool by 2PM for BeverlyFest Part Deux.

Space Ship EarthBefore heading to EPCOT we decided we needed to refuel and Tim was insistent we give Trails End a go at Fort Wilderness.

Wow!  Tim had talked about this restaurant the entire time we were at MouseFest, but knowing that my wife and I are food snobs, didn't think we'd like it.  Boy was he wrong.  I still cannot get the taste of the macaroni & cheese out of my mind.  I have always been a person who only like the kind that is made with fake powdered cheese, but Trails End is now my new favorite.  It was a buffet but came in much cheaper than most Disney buffets.

This meal came close to the O'hana experience.  Tim was just cracking us up all through the meal.  We will definitely be going back again.  The sad thing is that it's not the easiest restaurant to get to.  Either you catch a boat from the Magic Kingdom or you have to take a bus to Wilderness Lodge and then another bus to Fort Wilderness.Grumpwurst Flexing His Biceps

Well, after we thoroughly stuffed ourselves on the comfort food that they provide at Trails End, we started heading toward EPCOT to meet Nathan Rose and Jackie O for BeverlyFest.  It turns out that we were supposed to be there at 1:30PM instead of 2PM as Tim thought.  We would've made it on time if Tim hadn't gotten himself stuck on Monorail Brown.  Apparently, he couldn't figure out how to get off.  It was like the ending of the Jetson's where George is yelling, "Jane, get me off this crazy thing".

We pretty much had to kick Will and Tim out of the moving vehicle at the front of EPCOT so they could run to Club Cool.  We stayed behind with Jackyln to find a place to park the car.  We actually found a spot much faster than we thought we would.

We made our way to Club Cool to catch up with Tim and Will.  When we got there, the event apparently had just ended. 

I tried to ask Will a question and all I got was a really dirty look.  Unbeknownst to me Will got sucked into the BeverlyFest competition and my highly tuned observational skills didn't pick up on the fact that he was leaning against the trash can desperately trying to hold in all the food we just gorged ourselves on at Trails End.

After enough time had passed to allow the waves of nausea to subside we made our way to see if Space Ship Test Track from VIP Lounge Earth was open. 

Sure enough it was and we entered the queue.  We had a few people from Tim's forum with us and we were waiting for Nathan to catch up to us. 

For those still keeping count, this is trip #4 for yours truly and my wife on Space Ship Earth.  There isn't much to say about this attraction that I haven't already said in previous posts.

After getting off the ride, Will thought we couldn't pass up an opportunity for Tim to take a picture of me next to the "Body Builder" sign in the post-show area.  The sign is actually related to a game they have there on anatomy, but since I'm training for a body building competition, they thought it would be a great gag.

A few pictures were taken and laughs were had.  I'm sure other guests just thought I was nuts.

After we got done taking the pictures, we decided it was time to hit up the Test Track VIP Lounge.  One of us had a one-time use pass to the lounge and we decided to use it before my wife and I had to leave.

View out of VIP Lounge of EPCOT I don't know what I was expecting, but the lounge wasn't anything  spectacular.  I work with a lot of corporations and the lounge wasn't much different than what I see every day at work.

The only thing that is different is that the you get a view into the Test Track attraction and you get a view that overlooks EPCOT.

Other than that, it wasn't much different than most office settings that I wander into every day.

I took some pictures and Tim decided to take a picture of two of me hamming it up.View of Space Ship Earth from VIP Lounge

It was at this point, that the wife and I decided that we had run out of time and needed to start heading back to the Dolphin.  I shook hands and my wife passed out her hugs (she's a hugger).  It was at this point that I think it hit us all that the party was coming to an end. 

We left the VIP Lounge and made our way back to the Dolphin.  We stopped briefly to try and determine if we have time to got to Japan and get those bamboo mats that my wife has been eying.  But, it was decided that we don't have time to go to Japan and get back to the hotel in time for our 3:30PM pickup.

The walk from EPCOT back to the Dolphin wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I ran to get our bags and we went up front to wait for our vehicle from Quicksilver.

Our ride was right on schedule and we were on our way to the airport.

While we were sitting in the Orlando Airport, we found out from my wife's dad that my wife's aunt had got us a reserved seat on the 2PM flight the next day in case we got stuck in Houston.

Our flight took off on time out of Orlando and we had an uneventful flight to Houston.  When we landed in Grumpwurst Holding the Giant Golf Ball Houston, I asked about our flight to Oklahoma City.  We were told that as of that time, the flight was still on time but it would be sometime around an hour prior before they'd make a decision about canceling.

Well, our flight took off and we were on our way to Oklahoma City.  The flight was pretty much empty and most of the people that were on our flight had been trying for about 2 days to get to Oklahoma.  I wonder where all the people who were supposed to be on my plane had gone.

Apparently, the temperature was around 33 degrees in Oklahoma City which prevented the water on the streets to ice up.  This proved to be fortunate for us and allowed us to get home.

Well, that is it for the 3rd and last trip to Disney for 2007.  I hope you enjoyed my trip reports. 

Technorati Tags: ,


Unknown said...

Last picture of the trip report.

Turn your head and cough.

Couldn't resist.

Ray, the trip reports were awesome, as usual. Meeting you and Nancy was almost as cool as meeting Lou Mongello (for the second time). Next MouseFest, Andy and I owe you guys a nice meal out. Unless Nancy is eating for two by then!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the kind words George.

The trip reports are a lot harder than one would think. It takes a few hours to write and a few hours to edit and a few more hours to find the right pictures to showcase.

But, I do it for all the people who come here and read them and comment about how much they enjoy them.

As long as there are people who enjoy to live vicariously through my trip reports and as long as my wife enjoys using them as scrapbook journaling, they will keep coming.

The only thing keeping me from doing more of them is the money and vacation bank to go more often