Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Disney 2008: Chapter 4 - Star Tours and Snacks

Our morning went more or less the same as Thursday, except that we had to wake him up. I know, I know! At least he did spring right up out of bed this time (not like Thursday after nap), so that was good. I told you, we really should have planned this better! And it didn't help that we had changed what little plan we had after we arrived in Orlando. We really wanted to take Luke to the Car Stunt Show at MGM, excuse me, Disney-Hollywood Studios (rolls eyes; that is going to be SOOO hard to break!), but the times just were not convenient. So instead of spending the afternoon there with not much to do, we decided to hit it first thing, ride what we absolutely had to ride with not much of a line, hit our three favorite shops, then hit the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day. The auto stunt show can wait another year, especially when we already had one new thing for Luke to do this year: Star Tours! But in order for the plan to work with our lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom, we had to be there *before* the official opening. Mom and I were on the right side of the crowd, ready to walk quickly (*not* run) to the Rockin' Roller Coaster as soon as the rope dropped, while DH and Luke waited on the other side to walk quickly to Star Tours. As I looked back, I got this shot. I would have killed for a stronger zoom! It was just so sweet. (I cropped the heck out of this picture; not sure the cropped version is large enough to print clearly.)

So, after Nana and I hit RRC, we headed back to Star Tours via the Villain Store, just to see if it was worth coming back to spend time in. Better than last year, when they had *nothing* but Jack Skellington and Jack Sparrow, but still nothing worth buying (except one shirt that did not come in my size), so we kept moving. By the time we got to Star Tours, the boys had already ridden twice! No motion sickness for Luke, apparently (thank goodness! something he doesn't get from me). I went through the queue with them for their third and final ride so I could take some pictures (Luke was in such a hurry that almost none of them turned out), then I bailed out right before entering the ride vehicle and waited in the shop. Got a couple of shirts for Luke, and I desperately wanted the Jedi Mickey big-fig, but it wasn't for sale (and we probably couldn't afford it anyway). And after years of complaining, they finally redesigned their Jedi Training Academy badges. Why is this significant? Because the previous version did not include the name Luke! How does a Star Wars something *not* have that name as an option?!! But this one did, and he does now recognize his name, so he was very excited. Woo-hoo! Mom took him outside to have a snack while DH and I paid. Didn't do too much damage, over all. Also got a speeder shot, thanks to Mom. This may be our annual shot to compare from year to year to see how much he has grown and changed.

We hit the Indiana Jones store on the way out, but there wasn't really anything new, then headed on over to the Magic Kingdom for lunch at Tony's. That seemed to take an unusually long time due to the rain. Yes, more rain! We arrived just in time for our lunch reservation, enjoyed our food, but Luke was seriously crashing afterwards, so we headed on back to the hotel without doing a single ride. Again, could have planned better, but also we thought he would be good until 1 PM or so. Lesson learned: lunch reservations only if you intend to be in that park for the morning. That is a rule we generally follow, but this experience just reinforced it. Back to the hotel for a nap, which went better since we put Luke down in the bedroom and DH and I unfolded the sleeper sofa in the other room (we had a 1BR suite). Not bad for nap, but not comfortable enough to sleep on all night while the child hogged the room with the king bed (like last year!).

Up from nap a little early, around 2:30. Got him a snack and some juice, I changed shorts (had been wearing very light khaki ones, which do not play well with rain), and we headed back out. I had also made an executive decision about dinner. Vacation is the time to do something fun, things you don't normally do. For Leap Day at Luke's school, they had popcorn. Ever since, he has been asking for some. We didn't have any at home (because I kept forgetting to buy some!), so as soon as he saw the popcorn carts, he started asking for it. So, for dinner, I decided we would all just eat from the snack carts! Well, mostly. And that's not as bad as it sounds. Mom and I had been oogling the caramel corn at Sleepy Hollow, and I was dying to have a roasted turkey leg. I had my first and only one at RenFaire a few years ago, and it was so yummy! DH didn't want to play along, so he got a burger and fries from Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Cafe (conveniently right across from the turkey leg cart in Frontierland), which is somewhere that no one in our party had ever eaten. Hey, a Disney first for all of us! We gathered up our snacky foods, plopped down in the back dining room that had only one other family, and had an absolute ball. Luke ate the entire small popcorn (3-4 cups, probably) all by himself. I think he passed out a few kernels to each of us (he's so sweet), but that was it. And did I take a single picture of Luke and his special popcorn dinner? NO! Sheesh. In my defense, my hands were nasty from man-handling the turkey leg that Mom and I split, but it was finger lickin' goo-oo-oo-ood.

Luke had been begging to ride the train that runs around the park. I remembered from last year that there really wasn't much to see between the Main Street and Frontierland stops, but that Frontierland to Toontown had a few Native American scenes here and there (and it was a short distance). We loaded up, had all kinds of fun waving to people as we pulled away, and headed for the Barnstormer. (Again, not many pictures. I was terrible this trip!) With the rain and all, there was almost no one in the park, so we literally walked right up to the ride, waiting at most one train before boarding. As last year, Luke was hysterical at the thought of getting off, even if we told him that we would ride again. He just didn't understand why he couldn't stay on (there were people waiting to ride). Seems like we rode 5 times or so. After the last time, Luke was inconsolable when we told him that we were leaving, but perked right up when we said we were headed for Buzz Lightyear. All day long, when we asked if he knew where we were going, he would say "Buzz Lightyear to get Zurg!" Finally, we were going! Again, no pictures, but we rode 5 times or so before leaving.

Seems Friday was the day for fulfilling promises. We had gotten him popcorn, just as we said we would. We had gone back to Buzz Lightyear, as we had promised all day we would. Now it was time for the last "we'll do that tomorrow" promise: a balloon. Now, I have to tell you, the wind was ridiculous Friday night (nothing like it would be Saturday morning, but we'll get to that next time). As we headed for Main Street, I wasn't even sure if the balloon people would be out in such ghastly weather, but sure enough, there they were, albeit hiding in the sheltered spots between some of the buildings (and I don't blame them!). I walked up to the girl on our side, who was not much taller than me and wrangling 50 or so balloons. The wind was blowing so hard that the balloons were not hovering several feet above her head like normal; the ribbons were almost parallel to the ground and the balloons were about eye level for adults. It was wild! We asked if there was any way to get a green one (Luke's choice), and she plucked it right out of the bunch without even blinking. It's not like the ribbons were different colors to show what balloon she was grabbing; they were all white! And she threaded the weights onto it with just one hand. I take it this was not her first time! It was one of the more impressive things I've ever seen at Disney (Tigger signing the mini-Magnadoodle not withstanding).

I was so amazed with her skills, that I took a picture as she did it (above). And she completely froze. I was so afraid I had unintentionally done something wrong by photographing her, though what possible reason there could be for it, I could not even begin to guess. She slowly turned around to look at me over her shoulder and spoke very seriously. "Please tell me that was you taking a picture." Um, yes; is that okay? "Oh yes, it's fine. I was just afraid it was close lightning! I was about to run for cover." I felt so bad for scaring her! It did indeed start raining right about then, so we headed on out. Given that it was our last trip leaving the park, we let Luke choose how we left, and he chose the Monorail. There were lots of other folks waiting, but we only had to watch one train leave before we boarded ourselves. Even Luke's balloon didn't take up too much room. Luke entertained himself by standing on DH's feet. I love this picture so much, I just had to put it in here (sorry).

Note: Remember the blaster keychain I talked about for Pirates? That's it hanging from his beltloop. I also included a photo of Luke holding the balloon just to give you some idea of the scale of it. It's not the best picture, but you can see that it is nearly 2 feet tall. This will be important for the next (final) entry.

Currently feeling: flying high


  1. Glad to hear Luke did so well on the "big" rides. We are thinking of getting Katie to try a few when we go again in August.

  2. Did you see Michael's speeder pic? =)


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