Walt Disney World
I was a lazy lie-a-bed all morning. Cruised online a bit over coffee, went for a walk, came back to shower, and did not head out for Epcot until half past noon!
My mission was to go into the Festival Center and corner a CM about the hidden Mickeys for the festival. Allegedly, there were supposed to be clues given every week of the Festival to help find them. The first CM was new, but she referred me to CM Kathleen, who told me that the weekly clues thing “never happened”. She pointed to a television monitor which was scrolling information about the Festival, and said that it was supposed to be giving out the clues, too, only it never did. As a consolation prize, Kathleen walked me over to a huge mural on the Fountainview side of the Festival Center and pointed out one painted into the mural, in the shape of a balloon. She also said that the five Mickey head topiaries near the sign that told about the clues counted as the first five. Huh! They weren’t very hidden, so I hadn’t counted them. I took a picture of the balloon, thanked Kathleen, and set out to scour every inch of Epcot for more Hidden Mickeys.
First stop was Living Seas, and there was a very entertaining guy there who was building Festival-themed sand sculptures. I was briefly derailed from my mission as I sat to watch him for a while, but then remembered myself and continued on.
While I was roaming around near Imagination, my SIL called to get an update on the laptop drama. I found two more while I was talking with her, but I didn’t think the manhole cover actually counted, since those are fairly rampant all over the World. While we were talking, SIL informed me that Nieceling misses me and asks when I’m coming home. SIL took this opportunity to drive home the point that someday, Auntie Tink *~*~* will buy her own house and move out of Chez Bro. Nieceling didn’t take the news of my eventual permanent departure very well, and there were tears. However, she perked up when told that I was targeting “the place in Florida with all the sea shells” as a possible new hometown.
This was the day that I managed to get the Tinkerbell topiary, Spaceship Earth, and the monorail to align for a picture – twice! Once with the red monorail and once with the yellow one. I started wondering what that would look like at night…hmmm….
I began the country walk in earnest, scouring every corner of every garden and building. I was able to capture quite a few by really paying attention – I think I got 41 out of the 50 advertised. Not too bad! Everywhere I went, I looked first, found what I found, and then asked a nearby CM if they knew of any more. A CM in the Outpost told me that their badges all have hidden Mickeys on them. She showed me where one of the pieces of the sprinkling of pixie dust on her name badge was actually a teeny tiny Mickey head!
I had dinner of chicken strips and salad at American Adventure. I had an amazing time in the “rainforest” section of Mexico, which I’d managed to miss previously – tons and tons of orchids spilling down from the trees! They were so beautiful, pictures don’t do justice, but I took lots anyway.
By this time, I felt as though I’d been on a very long quest, and it was starting to get dark. I bought a mango margarita and once again took up my position on the bench outside of Mouse Gear to wait for the lit up fountain show to begin. Déjà vu all over again, it didn’t happen. I went to the pin station and found a CM over here from Hong Kong for training. She was very nice and super fun to talk to. You could tell she was really having a ball being in Disney World and learning how to be a CM. She told me she’d been on duty since 3:00 PM that day, and there wasn’t a fountain show since she’d arrived. She didn’t know why. Rats!
I went back to the Tinkerbell topiary and started shooting it all lit up, with Spaceship Earth in the background. I was not able to set up the tripod on the stone wall, as I thought I would have been able, because the CMs had already roped off the lake-front area for Illuminations. And, unfortunately, I haven’t figured out yet how to turn off the auto-focus and do it manually, which would have come in handy when the monorail came along. I wasn’t able to get a shot with the monorail in it that wasn’t a mess – I’d get it in focus, and then the monorail would come along and blow it all away. Rats!
I decided to find a trash can for Illuminations and take some experimental shots of the fireworks in “night mode”. Most of them came out dreadful, but there are a few that are almost acceptable. As soon as the Earth started to move across the lake, I packed everything up and headed out of there – just in time, too, because a Port Orleans bus was just getting ready to leave, and I sprinted for it.
When I got back to the hotel, I thought it would be nice if I brought home mostly-clean laundry, so I loaded up the Mickey laundry bag and headed over to the pool where the laundry facilities are. That’s also where the hot tub is, and there were other women there who’d had the same thought – go for a soak between the wash and dry cycles. Had a nice time chatting with them. Back at the room I did the picture backup routine, posted a few of them online, and called it a night.
Back to Spring Break 2005