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Ceci n'est pas une Trip Report

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3 hours ago, Seals said:

So are you going to drive 19+ hours straight through to go home? That's crazy. 

I'm not as crazy as my husband, so I didn't make it home in 19 hours. I'll leave you in suspense until the end!

Glad to hear that the technical issues with my pictures have been solved, so we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

One thing I forgot to mention that happened on Friday (my previous post). When I went through bag check I had a backpack with my computer and accessories in it. The security guy found a roll of electrical tape I had and he confiscated it. What the Fort? Did he think I was going to rewire the dolls in Small World? I checked the list of prohibited items and it made no mention of any kind of tape. It wasn't a huge deal - it's not like electrical tape is expensive, and I had more in the car anyway - but it seemed so arbitrary and ridiculous. I stopped by City Hall that day to leave them some feedback but that's as far as it went and I never heard anything back about why my little roll of electrical tape was so threatening.

Bonus thing happened while at City Hall... I saw a TCD Twin!

What's the strangest thing you've had confiscated by security?

Moving on!

It's Saturday, the spouse is gone, and I'm obligation-free! I didn't quite make it to MK for rope drop, but pretty close. I didn't have a day of E ticket attractions in mind, but I had a rough list of things I wanted to check out and do. I grabbed a park map and a times guide to see what else might make the list.

Have you ever seen someone grease the tracks on Main Street? Well now you have!


I knew the train wasn't running due to Tron construction but the park map suggested heading up to the train for a photo op. I was near the train station so thought "why not?". There were 3 cast members up there and we had a nice long chat about trains, and trivia, and how much the new welcome show stinks compared to the old one at the train station. Ironically enough I never did take a picture of the train, but I made sure to get a picture with them!


I told them that one of my goals for the day was to play some SOTMK, and Tran (seen above) reached into his pocket and gave me these event-only cards. Score!


He also let me know about the special things going on for the Mickey & Minnie event that started the day before. So my next stop was the Town Square to sign the little guest book, get my invitation, and some stickers.


One of the great things about a solo trip is being able to make spur of the moment decisions without having to consult with anybody else. So when I happened to be in the right place at the right time for this...


I hopped on for a one way ride to Cinderella castle!



After that I doubled back to Main Street a bit. One of the CMs at the train station asked me if I knew where the Chinese restaurant was on Main Street. I had to admit to her that I didn't know, so I went on a mission to find out. Before I post the picture... do YOU know where the Chinese restaurant is on Main Street?

This little investigation put me in the right place for a song and dance, so I stopped and watched that.


I don't remember when I did it, but at some point I went to the Fire Hall and got them to start up my SOTMK. Here was my starting point.


One of the things I liked about playing was that I ended up in places I'd never been before. Like this fireplace in Tortuga Tavern.


See all those cards on top of the mantle?


People seem to have left their duplicate cards there. I took the opportunity to leave a couple of my own dupes.

Also got to use a bathroom I'd never used before! LOL


And I'd never seen this sign inside Tortuga Tavern before either. So many new things in such a short amount of time!


I noticed some new (to me) guest relations stations scattered around the park with these monitors showing wait times.


I wonder if people actually use them?

As I walked past the Tiki Room I saw a bird of a different type. Can you see it?


I tried to zoom in but my phone did a pretty lousy job of taking a clear picture at that distance. Anyway, hawks are cool so I was happy.


Did somebody say cake and ice cream at 10 am for breakfast? Oh wait, yes, that was me.


One of the other things on my list for today was to see Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire. I got there early enough for a front row seat.


After that I headed to it's a small world - and not just because I like going on iasw. But also because my sister recently got me a small world shirt, which I was sure to wear that day. I asked someone to take my picture for me and she was kind enough to oblige even though I think it kept her family waiting for a minute.


I took my obligatory "beginning of the ride photo so you have a time stamp for when you get stuck". You get stuck once for half an hour years ago, and a tradition is born!


In the gift shop I saw this neat LP. (I did not buy it.)


After small world, look what I stumbled on!


Seems it's still a thing. Here's what to look for in the times guide.



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As you might have been able to guess from the photos, it was a really nice day. Making it that much nicer was the knowledge that the weather at home was pretty bad. -14°C is 7°F.


Meanwhile, this is what I was enjoying. 23°C is 73°F.


Not to mention these pansies smelled lovely.


People Mover time!


From up there you could see the construction work for Tron.


Since I'd spotted the return of the cream cheese pretzel, and it just so happens to be underneath the People Mover I would have been a fool to pass it up, so I didn't!


I did, however, tell them to keep their curly Mickey straw. I knew I wouldn't use it again, and the straw is too thin to be of much use with a frozen Coke.

After stuffing my face I went and did Mickey's PhilharMagic and saw perhaps my favorite "I'm Celebrating" button. She seems like my kind of person.


My digital crumb trail tells me I did Carousel of Progress after this (no picture) and then did some Pirates Adventure - enough to get myself the free FastPass.


If you haven't done it before and find yourself with the available time, I would recommend it. I like it much better than SOTMK (which clearly I'd abandoned by this point).

Used the FP not long after. That drop sure caught me by surprise!


I used a FP for MILF after this and then started to think about food. Ended up at Pecos Bill's and did a mobile order for their "southwest salad with pork carnitas".


This was surprisingly good and made me feel like I was eating vegetables instead of just fries and other tasty carbs. Though you can see I still added a nice big glop of sour cream.

It was about 6:30 by this point and I was old and tired so called it a wrap and headed back to the condo.

Tomorrow is rope dropping Epcot.

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I’m enjoying your trip report. Love the tea pictures, we go almost every trip and just managed to get a reservation for our trip next month. 

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11 hours ago, ImDownWithDisney said:

Dang good TR. You're husband is a trooper for driving 20 hrs straight. I love to drive, but 10 to 12 is enough for me.

I have done the 20 hr's strait  many  times but last trip I couldn't do it so I guess my age is catching up to me.

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12 hours ago, LONE-STAR said:

And you carry it in this...  




$147,500* MSRP



AMG G 63 SUV Exterior Image

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10 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Wow!  You have a knack for finding TCD twins. 

You should have said hello. She has lots of pixie dust. 


Maybe she can through some at  my daughter on our next trip.

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20 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Wow!  You have a knack for finding TCD twins. 

You should have said hello. She has lots of pixie dust. 


She wasn't on the job at the time and was just chatting with a friend. I didn't want to interrupt or intrude. It was enough pixie dust for me just to spot her.

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Before I move onto Sunday, just a few reflections on SOTMK. I'm probably not their target demographic, but I wasn't really sure what the point of it all was. It didn't seem to matter what card I held up, the story moved along just the same. And there were times where it really struggled to read my card at all no matter how I held it. In the afternoon when I was playing in Fantasyland, there were only two functional portals that it kept bouncing me back and forth between. This also meant that all the other Fantasytland players were at these same two portals as well, which made for a bit of a backup. That's about the time I called it quits. In contrast, I think the Pirate's Adventure is more fun (the effects are cool!) and there's a POTC FastPass payoff.

Anyway, it's Sunday morning now and time for rope drop at Epcot. I hit the parking lot at about 8:30 for the 9:00 opening. The weather wasn't great - cold and windy with gray skies.


Since I had no ambitious plans for today either, I waited off to one side while the crowd gathered. At rope drop they hustled to their Test Track/Soarin/FEA... and I moseyed to the evil siren, which didn't even have the doors unlocked when I got there.


Did you see what's behind me? If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes! Some of those overcast skies moved along and the sun came out.


Now that's more like it!

You'll be shocked to hear the standby time for Journey Into Imagination at rope drop is not very long...


In fact, it's so short because all the smart people are elsewhere. Which just means I get the whole ride to myself.


Reminded me a bit of my famous 7DMT photo as seen here. But it's not quite the same bragging rights.

Upon exiting the ride I saw that the IT Department was there doing some maintenance. Maybe upgrading them from Windows 3.1?


From there I went and did Living with the Land. I never tire of this ride. On exiting that ride I noticed that the check-in desk for the Behind the Seeds tour had moved since the last time I was there. It used to be that you checked in over by Soarin. Now it has its own desk by the exit of Living with the Land. This way makes more sense to me. I wonder what increase in participation they've seen since this change.


I think I had a Nemo FastPass so went and did that. But first I had to take this obligatory photo. I forget exactly when the tradition started but I think I have this same photo taken on every trip in the last 10-15 years.


Of course I browsed the exit gift shop. I told my family I was going to buy this shirt for whomever is the first to lose their marbles.


I think the gift shop staff are a little confused about how shopping works. These are all necklaces... not that you can tell. Wonder why they were all closed?


One gift shop begat another, and I headed over to Mouse Gears to pick up my Festival of the Arts AP magnet. Despite having been an AP holder a few times before, this was my first ever magnet. I never manage to get the one that's supposed to come in the mail. I assume it's because I'm a pesky foreigner.

There was a bit of a lineup at Mouse Gear for the magnet but it wasn't too bad.


And here's the magnet that now lives on my fridge.


By this time the World Showcase was about to open so I headed that way.

I still think I don't quite have the hang of these photo spots.


There were chalk artists doing their thing. I can barely draw a stick figure, so I am envious of people with artistic talent.


Next up was the paint by numbers.


I got a little tub of 4.


Here are the squares I painted. This is exactly the kind of art I can handle. 1. Stay within the lines. 2. Paint exactly where told. No creativity required!


Then they give you a little post card of what the canvas should look like when it's done.


One of the things I wanted to do this day was the Kidcot stations. On my way to start that in Canada, I spotted these by the DVC booth.


You can see that people have worn a spot in the centre of each animal since the sign says, "touch the heart of each animal". But what they really mean is touch the heart of each of these animals:


Sure enough when you touch those hearts they make the noise of the corresponding animal.

Off to Canada for my first Kidcot station.


I'm ready for some fun!


Since I'd never done these before I don't know what they used to be like, but I knew they'd changed recently. Now they give you a little Ziploc bag that looks a bit like a suitcase with handles, and a card and a sticker.


I stayed and colored my card a bit.


I was starting to get peckish, and fortunately I knew I was in the right place to get what I wanted to peck on.


I grabbed the mushroom risotto. I've had this in previous years so knew it was a tasty bit of business, despite the cost per bite being relatively high.


One of the things I really like at the Festival of Arts are these little cut outs.


The only down side is that if there's no PhotoPass photographer, as there wasn't in this case, and if you're there alone... you're at the mercy of strangers to take your picture. The person who took the photo above, didn't realize I also wanted my picture taken in the second half.


No big deal. I could have waited and asked someone else, but I just moved along.

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Very nice update. I used to play SOTMK many years ago all the time. It was lots of fun, but it most definitely has waned quite a bit. Also, the fact that you have to play in between every day of picking up cards, makes it a bit of a downer.

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Next up was the England Kidcot station. The officially signed spot was unmanned, but I eventually found the right place.


Outside, Mary Poppins was doing a meet and greet. But they'd already closed the line by the time I spotted her. So now these random kids get to be in my trip report instead.


At the very back of England I saw this awning with covered up FastPass readers. I wondered what it was for.


My sister googled it and said it's for a now gone Winnie the Pooh/Tigger meet and greet.

I continued on my way, across the English Channel and to France.


This Beauty and the Beast art was nice. I'm not observant enough to remember whether it was always there, or if it was new for the Festival of Arts.


Then onto Morocco. Apparently this is my name in Arabic, but it could just as easily say "silly tourist" and I wouldn't know.


I love the gift shop in Japan and couldn't resist browsing in there for a while. This keychain made me laugh.

I got my card in Japan to add to the Ziploc bag collection.


The table included this Stitch artwork. See the sign? "Feed me a sticker back!" I must have been particularly dense that day because I had no idea what that meant and had to ask. What do you think it means?


Picture Spot!


As I continued on to America, I spotted a RMOG, to steal TCD's term. I pretended to take a picture of the American Adventure building and then cropped it out to just get this guy.


Excellent environment friendly way to keep and reuse plastic cutlery! I tip my Tilley hat to this guy.

At the America Kidcot station I was quite amused to get my card from a woman whose nametag said she was from New Zealand. When I pointed it out she didn't find it anywhere as amusing as I did.


I stopped for a bio break. Is this bathroom new? Has it always been this big? Everything is big in America, even the bathrooms!


I had a nice chat with the woman working the Italy Kidcot station. I was in Venice for a day last year on our way to Croatia.


More cut outs! I don't remember them having instructions/reference images at the back. Is that new this year?


Not a great Mona Lisa. I wish they'd do these one at a time if you're alone, rather than leaving the other one empty.


And a Scream to go with it.


Onto Germany.


I saw these ears at an outdoor kiosk, though they're sold all over. I was surprised to see they had flags for many different countries, but none for Canada.


Found another Picture Spot in China.


And picked up my Kidcot card.


In Norway I stopped and stuck my head in the newly renovated Kringla Bakeri. I hadn't been in since it reopened.


And of course got my Kidcot card.


This remains my favorite cut out photo op. Last year I asked a stranger to take my photo but this year there was a PhotoPass photographer.


In Mexico I got my last Kidcot card.


When you claim your last card you can tell the CM that it's your last and you've now collected them all, and they give you this card.


There was something new in the Mexico pavilion since the last time I was there. There was this kiosk where you could build your own character from Coco.


After you'd customized your character it said you could make it move and it would save different versions of the character. But I couldn't figure out how to make it move, so I just ended up with 3 identical images. Guess I needed a kid to explain it to me. You can see below the screen that there's a MagicBand reader which is how it adds them to your PhotoPass.

Looks a bit like me, eh?


You probably didn't notice in my last selfie above, but my hat changed from my blue baseball cap to my fuzzy skull toque. It was really windy that day and made it feel a lot colder than it was. I was peckish again and knew what I wanted - a croissant donut! They used to have these at the Refreshment Port but I knew they'd been moved to Taste Track, so that's where I went. I waited a truly disturbing amount of time for this croissant donut because Taste Track is also where they were selling the paint brush churros, and an AP cookie, neither of which I got. There was a rumor that the AP cookie was free, but whoever started that must have gotten the cookie confused with the magnet.


I watched some acrobats. Much like how I envy people with artistic talent, I grunt while bending down to tie up my shoes, so I envy people with this kind of strength and flexibility.


Not long after the acrobats finished, the living statues came out.




Those of you who have seen "Hot Fuzz" will know exactly what I think of every time I see these.

I must have popped back into Mouse Gears again because I took a picture of this hat. If only!


PhotoPass picture. I think this is slightly out of sequence but whatever.


Then it was time for Spaceship Earth. Something strange happened to my head.


I checked in on the construction by Ellen's Energy Adventure.


I tried to get into one of the animation drawing classes. But I was too late and the class was already full and I didn't want to wait for the next one.


The times guide said there were vikings about to show up in Norway so I headed over there. I don't know where they started from but I only caught them as they were making a bee line for somewhere else.


Since I was so close, it seemed like a good opportunity to pick up some school bread for later.


This trip was the first time I'd seen plenty of these... strollers? wagons?


Frankly I'm a little surprised Disney allows them. Though I just checked and they don't exceed the maximum size of 36" x 52". Anyway, I'm mostly just jealous because at the end of the day when I'm tired I say to my husband, "will you push me in my stroller?" knowing full well that I don't have a stroller to be pushed in. But I keep telling him I think I could fit into one of those and *then* he could push me in my stroller. But I've never tested the theory.

By this point I was cold and tired and a little cranky. I texted my sister to say I figured I had two options at this point. 1. Stay and eat mass quantities, or 2. bail back to the condo where it was warm and not windy.

You only live once, right?

Mass quantities it is!


They seated me quite promptly, and this time I got a front row seat. The last time I ate here I was on the higher level, further away from the "windows".


It doesn't take long for the barking dog in that scene to become annoying...

Salad! I was a little surprised there were olives in the salad. I assume most people pick them out.


This slightly sweet butter was gooood.


Can't go wrong with a giant plate of carbs.


My server asked me if I wanted a plate or if I'd eat straight out of the skillet. Why make another dish to clean? I ate it straight out of the dish they brought it in.


This has changed a little bit since I was last here. That's a chunk of pot roast at the bottom. Last time I got a sausage of some kind.

I finished way more than I should have, but stashed some leftovers in... wait for it... a Kidcot Ziploc bag! After I made the ADR and before I showed up for it, I swung by Canada and got a spare.


Here was dessert. By the time they brought it I was already plenty full, so I'm a little embarrassed to report that I ate way more of this dessert than I really should have.


A short comment on the Garden Grill dinner. This is a character meal and you sure pay a premium for it. The food is good, and it's easy to get an ADR, but I'm not really into characters, and it was quite a sticker shock when I looked at my Visa bill for this meal.

Got one more PhotoPass picture and then headed out.


I ended the day with real excitement... A load of laundry and a cup of tea.


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What a fun trip -- wandering and doing whatever you want. This is my goal for my next trip. Did you get any weird looks for doing Kidcot as a non-traditional kid?  And you deserve a RWOG award for the Kidcot leftovers bag!

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Moving along. Now it's Monday. Bonus day since it's MLK Jr Day!

It was a chilly morning! 4°C is 39°F.


Here's my parking reminder for rope drop at Animal Kingdom.


The beauty of a solo trip is that you get to do whatever you want... which meant not going with the masses over to Pandora. I had a few things in mind for my AK day, but FoP wasn't one of them. I've never ridden it and probably never will. Chicken exit 4 Life! 😂

I hadn't made any fastpasses in advance, so my first stop was Kilimanjaro Safari.



From there I headed to the new Up! bird show. This is what replaced Flights of Wonder.


What a disappointment. The old bird show was way better. This is nothing I need to go back to and see again.

I'd skipped breakfast so was peckish by this point. Based on a tip from someone's boyfriend Josh, I headed over to Satu'li Canteen.


He wrote, "My favorite of the Kids’ Picks, and a guilty pleasure for both myself and Erin, is the $7.29 “‘Teylu’ All-Beef Hot Dog wrapped in Parker House Dough served with Vegetable Chips and Grapes and small Dasani Bottled Water or Lowfat Milk.” Again, you can double up on the chips either when you order at the register or, more conveniently, via mobile order, and switch out the drink for a refillable fountain beverage. This is a delicious, relatively light theme park meal – the dough is soft and fluffy and the hot dog is plump and carries a nice spicy flavor. Even as somebody that eats at Victoria & Albert’s at least once a month, it’s really good."

I think mine might have been leftover from the day before, as it didn't seem particularly fresh. My bad for going early in the day. But it was still good, and I do like a weenie wrap.

I'm sure this violates some kind of beverage policy, but before I left I used my soft drink cup to grab a bit of hot chocolate. It was still chilly outside. (12°C = 54°F)


Being at Satu'li Canteen conveniently put me in Pandora for the next thing I wanted to cross off my list - the Swotu Wayä Na'vi Drum Ceremony. On a previous solo trip it wasn't running, and on group trips I didn't bother trying to convince anyone to catch it.


It was... interesting. I think it's more for kids.

When that wrapped up, I hot footed it down the western path over to Festival of the Lion King. In the morning I'd made a same-day FP that said to arrive between 11:30 - 11:45. I arrived at about 11:50 as the CM was covering the tapstiles and he told me that I was late, but that he'd let me in anyway. It was relatively easy to find a seat for 1, and I snagged a spot right at the end of a row close to the exit.

I know the show doesn't change, but it's still fun and I go most times I'm at the park.


It felt like time for dessert, so I headed over to Tamu Tamu Refreshments, where I'd heard I could get a proper piece of malva cake.


That much ice cream on a cold day wasn't exactly my plan, but as you can see I found a spot in the sun to enjoy it.

Next up was It's Tough to be a Bug. My brother in law has a tradition of taking this picture. I may have to get old, but that doesn't mean I have to grow up.


After ITTBAB I realized I hadn't taken a Tree of Life picture yet. You can see it was a nice clear day, even though it was chilly.


A mid-afternoon libation seemed like a good idea, so I headed over to the Nomad Lounge and got a nice little table in the sun.


I was sipping on this:


I got a photopass picture taken. I think he overexposed it a bit... I look even paler than usual!


Next up was one of the other things I wanted to do - try the Play Disney Parks app.

At certain areas of the park it will walk you through some info, ask you to look for specific things, and give you an opportunity to take some photos.




Did you notice how it said it was for 1-5 players? There are some where the minimum number of players is 2, which obviously didn't work for me. And even the ones that were for 1 player, they clearly assumed you had someone else with you who could take your picture. You're supposed to get your picture taken in several places, but there's no option to use the front facing camera. Which means I ended up with silly pictures like these.



Anyway, it killed some time and I got the idea. I hear that they'll be building in a lot of interactivity this way for Galaxy's Edge. But to be honest, my phone battery is already plenty strained between MDE and the camera, and I'm kind of tired of everyone staring at their phones all the time. This includes me. Bah humbug!

Being a car person, I got a chuckle out of this guy's sweater.


I got a few more photopass pictures taken.




That seemed like enough for the day so I headed out.

I liked this car in the parking lot.


Here was my step count for the day. 11.6 km = 7.2 miles.


I headed back to the time share and vegged for the rest of the night.

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It now being Tuesday, I was back to my 9-5 obligation. At lunch I popped over to Disney Springs. I'd heard that at the Joffrey's near Boathouse you could get a Mickey "printed" on top of your drink. Alas, the machine that does this artwork still wasn't working. Fail.

Come 5:00 I hopped in the car and drove to the TTC. Yet another parking reminder.


There were more of the rare/special characters at the flag pole.



It was a beautiful night. And you can never have too many castle pictures.


I let my sister make me some FPs for tonight and first up was one of her least favorite rides! I made it with only 5 minutes to spare.


I think she picked it as my punishment for going to Disney without her.

Haunted Mansion had a lengthy standby time. Since I didn't have an FP, I wasn't riding tonight.


There was a pretty sunset over POTC, and this was one of the FPs my sister made for me, so in I went.


I couldn't get anything other than a blurry picture, but for a while this was a mermaid skeleton and now it's not. Anybody know why they changed it? Not that I had any emotional attachment to the mermaid skeleton, it just seems weird to have removed it.


Anybody know the price for a light up balloon? I'll bet it's steep.


I love riding the People Mover at any time of day. Tonight was no exception.


Used a Buzz FP next.


I will never not suck at this.


I don't have pictures of my usual chicken nuggets at Cosmic Ray's (I should really expand my repertoire), or my senseless ride on Under the Sea. But by the time I escaped from Ariel the fireworks had started. I don't usually see them from this angle.


This was my cue to get out of dodge before the crowds, so I made a beeline for the Main Street bypass exit and rode my last ride of the night. The villains tram.


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Oh gosh...somehow I missed this!  I'm (finally) in!  Thanks for posting this TR!

LOVE all the pics.  You know, we've never once ridden the horse drawn trolley at the MK.  I think we're always in a hurry to get on a ride, but one of these days...we have to do that.  That chalk artist was amazing!!  Love the picture of the castle and the balloon and yes, I'm sure those have to be $20+.  Crazy expensive for something that could pop (or be let go) at any moment.  Cool pic though ^_^


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Enjoying your TR!  Though, it is making me hungry!

I am inspired by your solo visits to the parks.  I suspect this may be in my future now that my kids are older and the hubs isn't into WDW like I am.  He likes it OK, but not enough to stay all day and really dig in.

Curious where you stayed for this visit?  You mention a condo, do you own, or rent?  Looking for new options since cabins have gotten so pricey!



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