Walt Disney World

"Spring Fling"

Orlando, Florida

April, 2004

Saturday 24 April 2004

Day 5

It’s Meet Day at MGM Studios!

This was Meet Day, and I was very excited!  From Common Ground, my Disney stomping grounds on the net, I was to meet phamton (Bev) and Pat (Mr. Bev), and kylara (Kathie) at Disney’s MGM Studios.  How great to meet people I’ve only ever known as screen names – and they’re Disneyholics, like me!


I heard some different music at the Pop Century bus stop this morning –


“d’ya, d’ya, d’ya, d’ya wanna dance?”


“Hold me, love me, hold me, love me…”


I arrived and had breakfast at the ABC Commissary.  Partaking outside, I was regaled from the hidden speakers in the bushes with theme songs from ABC television series – stuff like NYPD Blue, The Brady Bunch, Love Boat, Wide World of Sports, “…Maverick is a legend of the west…”, Mission Impossible, Addams Family, Newlywed Game, Three’s Company, Happy Days…it went on and on.

Doin’ MGM

Another first on this trip – I actually went to see Muppetvision 3D for the very first time.  It was really cute and funny, but I wondered why there is no merchandise for Waldo?  One would think…


I sprinted over and got a Fast Pass for the Rockin’ Rollercoaster, and then started cruising the shops of MGM.  I just love the Villains shop, although I never buy anything in there.  While I was scoping out pins under the Big Ass Hat, a fanfare began in the plaza, and a plethora of characters emerged for autograph signing and photo ops, to much cheering from the Guests.


I sat under a tree to watch the Green Army Men from Toy Story do their shtick, laughing along with the rest of the crowd.  On a bench nearby was a family of four, parents and twin girls of about age 4, in twin strollers.  It was probably only about 10:30 am but already they looked weary, and one twin was having a colossal meltdown.  She got out of her stroller and actually turned it over, spilling the contents everywhere, screaming.  The “good” twin sat like a good girl and started to cry.  I think she was frightened.  The “bad” twin was inconsolable…until the good twin finally got out of the stroller, and put her arms around her sister.  The kid immediately shut up, and it was quite bizarre – the parents were so obviously on the outside, looking it at Twin World.  It was an amazing scene, to say the least.

Touring and Lunch with the Hamiltons

The Fast Pass matured, and wouldn’t you know, while I’m inside in the queue for Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Bev rang my cell phone.  She told me to meet her at the upside down car that is suspended from the archway entrance, and I recognized her right away from her pictures from various other meets.  The Hamiltons and I had a fine time chatting away.  We were chatting so much, we entered the Haunted Mansion set when we actually had intended to do One Man’s Dream.  We corrected that after we’d gotten out of Haunted Mansion, and then it was off to Mama Melrose for lunch.  Bev gave me a pin from Plunderfest I, and I was very touched – it now lives on my pin lanyard.  While we three were lunching, kylara called to say that she had been delayed and would not make it to MGM after all, but would meet me at the Wilderness Lodge just prior to 7:00 PM so we could dine at Artiste Pointe.


Bev and Pat had some terrific tales of their previous life in the world of gymnastics coaching in Texas.  The stories they told – oy!  It was a great lunch, just chattering and chattering away.

Hiking from MGM to Epcot

I walked Bev and Pat out to the trams and left them there with hugs, then proceeded to do another first – hoofin’ it on the path from MGM to the Boardwalk.  I had wanted to do this during my last trip, but the day we went to MGM, it poured and poured.  This is a great walk – sunny most of the way, with a bit of shade thrown in here and there, along the same canal/lake system via which one can get between MGM and the Boardwalk by boat.  I didn’t have my camera queued up and ready to go, else I would not have just narrowly missed the turtles sunbathing on the rocks along the shore before they slipped into the water – I think the wake from a passing speedboat scared them a bit, and off they went.  I prowled paths along the way that led into and out of the Boardwalk property, including one that led to the pool with the big clown face slide that Nieceling had enjoyed so much when I stayed there in the fall.  Waaaaaah, I wish I wasn’t on a savings plan – I truly fell in love with the Boardwalk, and wish I could stay there all the time.

Heaven Scent

I stopped briefly at the Screen Door sundries shop for a new bottle of water and some Advil – I’d sprung a headache, somehow – before walking into Epcot via the International Gateway.  Just past the turnstiles, I started to get an ever more powerful whiff of that delicious, sweet smelling shrub that was also growing back in my quiet spot at the Pop Century.  And then I saw it as I passed the gateway gift shop – low and shrubby and filled with white blooms that sent startling fragrance wafting in the gentle wind.  I stopped a CM and asked her what it was.  She said it was jasmine.


When I grow up, I’m going to have me a house where jasmine grows in the yard and smells beautiful in the spring!


After lingering a bit to enjoy the jasmine, I speed-walked to the monorail, took it to the TTC, and caught the bus to the Wilderness Lodge.

Touring the Wilderness Lodge

This was my first visit to the WL, and I’d gotten there early because I’d read so many good things about it, and I was sure that I’d want to snap away.  I was not disappointed.  I love the use of pine needles for mulch in the flower beds – very practical, since there are so many pines growing on the property.  I found a topiary of Mickey welcoming folks to the Disney Vacation Club section of the resort.  I found a herd of bunnies near some huge hedges over by the quiet pool – the kidlets around there were enthralled, there were just so many of them!  Made my way down to the big pool, where the river runs from inside the hotel lobby, out to the back porch, tumbles down some rocks, cascades down to a water fall, flows through the pool (I think) and out the other end, past a geyser, into the wetlands and then into the “sea” (Bay Lake).  There's a little beach down there, a dock for recreational boats, and a dock with boats that can take you to MK and to the nearby Contemporary Resort.  Had I realized there was a boat from MK, I probably would have done that instead of the bus from the TTC – the weather was gorgeous.  I snapped a lot of pics, and later when reviewing them, I laughed – it does indeed seem a replica of a hotel in the Great Northwest, except the Spanish moss hanging from the pines kinda gives it away that you are really in Florida!


I think I’d like to get a room close to the rushing water, and leave the balcony door open at night so it can lull me to sleep.  Now THIS is a peaceful retreat of a resort!


As I waited for kylara in the lobby, I am sorry to report that had she arrived just a tad sooner, she would not have missed a breastfeeding incident – smack in the middle of the lobby!

Dining with kylara

Artiste Pointe smelled like heaven as we entered, and I was suddenly very hungry.  We were seated at a window.  On recommendation of our waitress, I had the salmon, served on a huge board, and Kathie had the pork chops.  We chattered away and then after dinner we strolled the grounds at a leisurely pace.  When it was time to go, she offered to drive me back to the Pop.  There was a lot of weird traffic, which Kathie explained was due to Grad Night.  Once back at the resort, we both remarked on the terrible parking situation at the Pop – really poor planning on Disney’s part, there just is NOT enough parking at this resort.  We said goodnight, I did the Fug Pilgrimage for some hot chocolate, read for a while, and turned in.

What a great day!

This was probably my favorite day of this trip.  I got to meet some Pirates of the Common Ground, live and in person.  I had a great, long, exploratory hike from MGM all the way through Epcot.  And I got to see another Disney Deluxe Resort and eat at a fabulous restaurant.  Woo hoo!  What’s better than this?


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