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Mom and Nate See the World

All it takes is faith and trust......and a little bit of Pixie Dust.....



December 3, 2000

Although every day at the World is special, this one had something extra going for it.  We would meet my cousin Sarah this afternoon at Downtown Disney.  She recently moved to Florida after living in Colorado Springs for a few years, and I hadn't seen her in quite some time.  It also marked the first time she and I had done something without it being a family event.  I was really looking forward to it.  I scheduled our morning at MGM as we had never seen the Hunchback of Notre Dame show.  Nate was upset as we hadn't made it to EPCOT for Test Track, but after some coaxing, and finally an ultimatum, (either go with me or we go no where) he saw things my way.  We loaded up the Blazer and drove over.

A tram was waiting, and we hopped aboard.  As soon as we sat down, the tram was taken over by a troop of Green Army Men with a sergeant in a van barking orders to them.  It was hysterical.  These things have never happened to me exiting a Disney bus.   We had a Priority Seating at Hollywood and Vine for breakfast, and had to hurry to make it on time.  We did and in fact were early, so we wandered a bit and waited for our name to be called.  It was and we were given a table fairly close to the buffet.  

Breakfast was pretty good, but the service was really bad.  I'm a coffee-holic and was only given one cup of coffee, with no offer of a refill, ever.  Most tables had the thermal carafes on them, but that was never offered either.  We were there over an hour and never once did a character visit our table.  They were all around us, but not one stopped.  I think they were following the lead of our 'server'.  I know this is a self serve buffet, but we've enjoyed these several times before and never had these problems.  I actually had to track another server down to pay my bill or we'd probably still be sitting there.   I was starting to wonder if it was because I appeared to be a single mom with only one child and therefore a very small tipper. (WRONG!!)  I'm not terribly critical of servers usually, as I've tried it and it's tough at times.  But I do have my 'minimum requirements' in regard to this, and they are really simple even in the busiest of times. (I think) Be courteous and polite, offer at least once to refil beverages (if they are free refills) or ask if there is anything we need, and don't make me wait forever to hand over my money to you.  I understand that sometimes things happen and it takes a bit longer to take orders, or serve meals, but this was getting ridiculous.

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We hopped on the tram at MGM

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and a troop of Green Army Men took over the train

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The sergeant barked out orders to the men

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Dinosaur Gertie sits in the lake.

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Across from her is the USS Down the Hatch

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We had breakfast at Hollywood and Vine

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As high as it's rated, we weren't impressed

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Theming by the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

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Nate loves the Star Tours area.

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Is this what my job will become in the future?

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On the way to the Hunchback show

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we stumbled on another demonstration done

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by the Green Army Men from Toy Story

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Then it was on to the show.

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I videotaped again

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While Nate took these stills

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After a little editing

After breakfast I drove the chariot in the direction of Star Tours.  This one's also a favorite of Nate's and he's convinced each time that he's had an active part in the downfall of 'Darce Baydor'  This ride was a walk-on so we went twice.  On our second tour of duty, there was a little girl about Nate's age with her daddy.  She was a bit apprehensive so Nate took it upon himself to try to put her at ease and insisted on sitting next to her on the ride itself.   It was too cute.

When we had done our part for the rebellion, we stopped to pick up yet another 'Nuke Skywalker' toy in Tatooine Traders and had it shipped back to our room.  Then we were off to try to see the Hunchback show before we had to leave to meet Sarah.  It was a good thing we left plenty of time, as on our way we again encountered the Green Army Men.  This time they were in the middle of New York Street demonstrating different classic Green Army Man maneuvers for the crowd.  Several people were called in as new recruits.  It was a great show, and we had a lot of fun.  Walking away, my cel phone rang and I was required to be the authoritative 'Mom' to number one son at home.  One of the Green Army Men spotted me chewing him out.  He grabbed the phone and mimed reprimanding my son, handed the phone back to me, saluted and was on his way.  It was very hard to be serious after that.

Hunchback was definitely worth the effort.  The pre-show was Matt the Juggler.  I had heard he was good, and when he was done, I was wishing we could see more.  He's so funny.   Then came THE show.  As usual with the shows at the World, when it was over I just said 'Wow!'  I video taped while Nate took stills.  This worked pretty well for Lion King, so we tried it again.  He had a tougher time tho, as the people in front of us changed seats and his view wasn't as good as when we sat down. 

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we have some great shots

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The show was fun

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and very well done

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we saved a bit of confetti

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The Muppet fountain

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Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

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Off to Downtown  Disney and lunch

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We met my cousin Sarah at Planet Hollywood

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The Adventurers' Club at Pleasure Island

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A daytime view of Pleasure Island from the West End

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We decided to let Nate play a bit

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he had a blast at Lego Land on the slide

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Downtown Disney's Rainforest Cafe'

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Fulton's Crab House Restaurant

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A view from behind Pleasure Island of the West Side

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It was getting chilly, and if we left then we had time to stop to get warmer clothes.  So after dropping in couple of shops, we jumped in the Blazer, and hurried back to change.  Driving around was now a piece of cake.  Renting a vehicle is definitely going to be a consideration in the future.  I love the transportation system, but it was handy to  toss Nate's chariot in the back and come and go as we pleased.  Either way will be Oki dokie from now on.

Nate was an angel about all the waiting and running around to meet other people, so I was constantly on the look-out for ways to keep him laughing.  I found one by accident while hurrying back to the truck.   I simply told him we didn't have time to dilly dally, we had to get going.  He doubled over laughing.  I have no idea what was so funny, but the rest of the day I would ask if he was a dilly or a dally as we had to get going to be somewhere.  He would tell me which he was and we would both laugh.  Each time we left the room he'd ask if we had time to Dilly Dally.  Weird joke, but it worked to keep us moving.

I hadn't told him where we were meeting Sarah, but I knew he wanted to see inside the big blue circle.  He had seen it on our 'Familymoon' and was upset that we didn't go look.  He was thrilled to get his chance this trip.  He had met Sarah before, but didn't remember her too well as he was pretty little, but they hit it off right away.  I had an angel for a child while we ate our lunch and talked.  She filled me in on her life lately.  Told me all about her new fiancÚ and he sounds wonderful.  It was great to spend that time with her.  She had some time before she had to head back home for work, so we walked around Downtown Disney.  She pushed the chariot and that was just fine with Nate.  I kept asking if she wanted off the hook, but no dice.  Navigating a stroller on Disney property is a trick in itself, and I was impressed that she stuck with it.  Soon it was time for her to go, and we said our good-byes.  Although we about froze, it was a great afternoon.  I hope we get to spend some time like that again.

  Nate and I made a couple of shop stops, then realized that it was time to head for Wilderness Lodge.  We had a Priority Seating for Whispering Canyon with plans to meet club members who were dining at Artist Point afterward for a real-life fireside chat.  I had told Brer, who was hosting it, that we might be there, but in deference to Nate, we would eat at Whispering Canyon.  I wasn't sure he'd survive the quieter, more adult atmosphere at Artist Point. 

Dinner was great! We shared Apple Rosemary Chicken, and had more than enough.  Nate loved the rowdy atmosphere, and it was nice to try some of the regular menu.  We had Thanksgiving dinner here a year ago, and loved it, but the regular fun didn't happen then, so this was a great time for him.  Every time someone hollered "HOOOOWWWWDEEEEEEE!"   he'd holler right back.  We laughed and laughed.  He wanted me to participate in the Mama Pony Ride, but I wouldn't leave him alone, so we just watched and giggled.

After dinner we wandered in the lobby, snapping pictures, tossing coins in the hot-spring, and watching for other club members.   I don't know if I had the night wrong, or if I just missed them, but we never did find anyone.  So because Nate was getting impatient even after we played with the Lincoln Logs some more, I decided it was time to give in and take the boy to EPCOT.  Off we went again.

There wasn't much time, but enough to honor his request, so we hurried to the pavilion, entered thru the gift shop at the exit and went to introduce ourselves to the person manning the info desk in the showroom.  I showed my work ID and we were immediately given passes to bypass the line and go in thru the exit.  KEWL! I had gone on the ride thru the GM VIP Lounge before, but it's only open during normal business hours.  It was nice to know I could still use the perk after hours.  This made Nate's night.  Test Track is his absolute favorite ride. 

After our spin, I decided it was time to see how bad Journey Into Your Imagination ride really is.  In my opinion, no one is exaggerating even a little when they say it's awful.   Nate even hated it.  I don't have to do it again ever.  Unless they change it for the better anyway.  I did want to try to get something to remember Figment by tho and had a few minutes to peruse the gift shop on the way out.

EPCOT's day was nearly over.  We decided to hop on Spaceship Earth before we left as there was no line, and as we hopped in our buggy, the ride stopped.  hmmm.  It took only a couple of minutes to get us going, and we enjoyed this one as always.  I know it's the same every time, and it's not a thrill ride, but I find something I missed every time.  The animatronics blow me away, and the sky view as you descend back to the bottom reminds me just how small a part I play in this universe.  I label this a Must See every trip.  We wandered around Global Neighborhood  a bit, but everything was occupied, so we gave up, made our way to the exit and called it a night.

Once back at the room we relaxed in front of the TV and called to talk to the guys at home.  I jumped online and visited the clubhouse and the only ones in the Jacuzzi were the folks in Deb's room.  We compared notes of the day, and because my Nyquil was taking effect, I bid them good-night and hit the hay.  Tomorrow was our last full day here, and the last on our Hopper passes.   We were going to EPCOT, and I wanted to make the most of it.

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Nate posing on the Lethal Weapon motorcycle

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Next stop Wilderness Lodge

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I love the warm cushy feeling of  this resort

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Nate hopped up on a rock to pose for me

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The beginning of the swimming pool.

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A view of the lobby from the hot spring

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Dinner was at Whispering Canyon

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The Mama Stampede Horse race.

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Nate played Lincoln Logs in the lobby

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Another shot from the hot spring of the lobby area

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More of the topiaries I love

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A promised ride on Test Track at EPCOT

As a GM employee, we get to bypass the lines, even after the VIP lounge closes. It's a great perk!

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Test Track is Nate's favorite ride

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Christmas lights at EPCOT

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