September 8, 2008


I am off the train and heading towards the parking lot where I usually meet Bob from Sunray.Instead I meet Sam, a former CM himself.Bob got hung up at the airport, so he had Sam meet me.I was on my way to Pop Century.We talk about the changes he has seen since working for the mouse.


We pass under the Disneyworld sign and he makes a comment that I am now pixie dusted. I chuckle to myself, never really go in for that stuff.The sign I am waiting for is the one on the road to Pop Century, Ďare we there yet?í J


The CM at the Pop driveway by the building motions him a little further from the main door the he originally liked.No big deal though.There was no traffic on the way.I get out my info document, the one I just printed out on Friday, and I wait less then 3 minutes before itís my next.


All my previous times, I requested the ground floor, but when I rebooked on Friday, I forgot to mention my room requests.But I wind up in the 70ís by the Big Wheel on the third floor and my room is ready.I did ask if they have something available on the first, I was told no.I also sign the paperwork to make my room card, a charge card too.Since tips are no longer included on the dinning plans, it is my plan to use my room key as a charge card and charge the tips back to my room.


Reading other peopleís trip reports, every so often, someone gets all mad and upset at the simplest issues, they waste valuable time away from the parks.For me, all my time on site, especially missing one day already, is golden time. I know I will miss going on things, I donít know yet, but I know I donít have the time to make a argument, so I take the map they gave me, and head towards my room.


I go to the elevator behind the big wheel, and take it to the third floor.The wait for the elevator is maybe Ĺ minute or less, so itís not that bad.I follow the signs for my room and place my card in the slot and the light goes green.I go in, place my valuables in the safe, pack up my backpack I use for the theme park, and get ready to go, but go where?


This should have been my second day here, with a 1 pm ADR for Merakash at Epcot, but its 11:55, so there is plenty of time, but do I still want to go there?My first day lunch meal should have been Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom.I thought about what I rather do, try something new that I may not like? Or something that I know I will like.I decide on Flame Tree.Maybe I should have cancelled my ADR, but I didnít bother.So I head toward the Animal Kingdom bus stop.


I am learning my way around Animal Kingdom as I find Flame Tree BBQ very easily.I remember back in 2005, I got very lost trying to leave, but not anymore.


Like I stated in my pre trip report, Flame Tree BBQ is a quick (counter) meal.Using a table service credit for a counter service meal should get me a certificate good for either 2 snacks, redeemable at the same time, or an open mesh bag.With free dinning in effect and adrís hard to come by, Disney instituted this temporary policy so guests donít feel bad about using a more expensive table service credit for a cheaper counter meal.I explain to the CM cashier what I was doing and what I should be getting, but she said no.I tried to explain to her again, that all deluxe meals are table service, and this is a counter service meal.She called over her supervisor.I explained to him, and he said the same, I was not entitled.While not holding up the line, I went to get my food, but I also requested to speak to a manager.The supervisor got the manager.I explained to the manager what was going on, he simply told the cashier to give me my certificate.


The food is the same as last year, ribs, beans, corn muffin, and chocolate cake and a large soda.I start in search of an empty table and sit down, and for the first time since waking up yesterday, I feel relaxed.While eating, I notice the table in front of me that the people just get up and left, leaving all their garbage on the table.Itís a shame, as I see other people looking for a table, and constantly skip this one.When finished eating, I take my garbage and dispose of it.And my table is quickly taken.I head back to the Pop to shave and shower.I usually do this first thing when I get into my room, but I was too hungry, so I leave Animal Kingdom.What is a pleasant re-occurrence practically through out my whole trip, either the bus is already there, or a very short wait.


Once back at Pop Century, I stop by the gift shop to redeem my certificate for the open mesh bag.Is it worth two credits?I donít know, but itís ok.I also get my refillable mug.Since I am on the deluxe plan, I hand them my KTTW card (Key to the world card, which is my room key, ticket for theme parks, dinning plan, and room charge card) and they deduct one refillable mug from my plan.Its 2:15 and back in the room, trying to refresh myself.


Its 3 pm, and I am heading to Epcot bus stop.I usually donít do Spaceship Earth first, since it is the first attraction you go past when entering the park, but its 3:30 and there is no line, so I do this first.This is the first time I am riding this since the recent rehab.On the decent back down, the ride stops for a couple of minutes, with me almost lying on my back.Not a very comfortable position, but it doesnít last long.


Next up is Mission Space, the less intense ride of course.Its 4:10.I work my way north to Test Track. Then Mexico Boat ride. Then Norway Maelstrom.All the rides have no or less then a minute wait.At Norway, I use a snack credit to have a Kringa Sweet roll and eat it while watching the train display near Germany. Its 5:10 pm.My ADR for Cape May Cafť is for 6:10, so I head to Yacht/ Beach Club as I am not sure how long it will take me to get there.There isnít that much else I can do anyway and still get to Cape May for my adr on time.I know others probably show up late, but I like to get there early.I usually get seated early too.


I get to Cape May early, a little too early, so I go into the shop and browse some at the hotel.I sit down for a bit, till I finally decide to check in.Once I checked in, it was less then 5 minutes before they brought me to my table.I sat for maybe an hour making several trips to the buffet and I was done eating by 7.I explained to the server this is the first time I am using my KTTW card to pay my tip.This is how it works, they hand me a bill, a normal bill which also included a suggested tip.I then hand them my KTTW card, circle the amount of the tip, and he goes back to ring this up. I sign two bills, one for the dinning plan meal and another for the tip to be charged back to the room.This is what I had.I started with a Caesar salad and cold shrimp.Then onto some hot dishes such as corn on the cob, sliced beef, mashed potatoes, chicken, and ribs. For dessert, I had one of everything. J The desserts are real small here.


When I re-enter Epcot, I decide to walk through west side of Future World (Soarin side) and see what wait times are like for Soarin.While walking I think about my meal at Cape May.It is better known for its clam bake atmosphere, but I decided to do this for the ribs.I decide that the ribs arenít as good as Flame Tree, and I doubt I will come back, unless I need a place to eat.This is not a must eat for me.


When I walked by the entrance to The Land, they had the large board telling you how long waits were.  It said Journey was closed which surprised me, as I had no idea it would be closed during my trip.  Soarin was only 10 minute wait, but I am exhausted and decide to head back to my room.


I always schedule my first day be a minor park, not Epcot or MK, When the storm delayed my travel by a day, My second day was Epcot, which now become my first day.  So it had a domino effect on the rest of my trip.  And I just didn't have the energy to stay there the first day the whole day.  One of the good things about going every year for the past several years, missing Illuminations isn't as bad as if you haven't seen it for years.


I also think about how I will do Toy Story Midway Mania. This is the newest attraction at Disneyís Hollywood Studios.Reading other peopleís trip reports, waits of over an hour during the day is normal and fast passes are usually gone by late morning.My strategy is going to be the same as it is for Soarin, get there early, get a fastpass, and ride it twice.  My original strategy was to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning, then the studios in the afternoon.Since I lost a day, I lost one morning at Epcot. So my only morning at Epcot has to be reserved for getting on Soarin. So now I am thinking to go to the studios one morning instead of the Magic Kingdom.


Its 10 Pm and I am back in my room for the night.


End of day 1