Sept 7, 2012





Goodbye and thank you!


We got up around 7.30, got ready, had breakfast and were out the door shortly before 9am. Today we wanted to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We parked the car, walked to the tram and waited for a long time for it to get moving. Had we just walked we would have long been in the park. Finally it moved and all the masses moved towards back check, then towards the gates and finally it seemed everyone seemed to go towards Toy Story Mania. The good thing was there were not a lot of people apart from the last tram load.

Tom got into the surprisingly short line to pick up a Fastpass and then we got in line. There had only been a ten minute wait posted outside, so we were pretty excited. And once inside we got even more excited, as we could actually walk up to the gate where you pick up your 3D glasses. In less than ten minutes we were seated and playing the games. Once we got off we  had a look at the posted wait time and it was still ten minutes, so we got in line again. It was just like the first time around and this time we were even faster, as they were looking for a party of two while we were on the steps down to the ride and we passed a lot of people.

Two rides done in no time! Again, after the ride we checked the wait time and this time it said 20 minutes, but we tried anyway. This time the wait was a little longer, really around the 20 minute mark, but nowhere near what we had already experienced here. We still had time until our Fastpass was to kick in, so we just wandered around for a bit and then got in the Fastpass line. And after less than ten minutes we were on the ride again, having a lot of fun. Once the ride was over we headed over to Tower of Terror, which had an advertised 13 minute wait, and we knew we were in for a very short wait indeed. There was actually literally no one in line and they had to wait for quite a bit until they closed the library doors for the pre-show.

Pre-show done we walked into the boiler room to find both lines open and three elevators running. We chose the line that went straight on and were promptly put on a spot and after a few minutes they went through the spiel, we were seated and off we went. Once we got off we looked around the shop, before we walked back to the entrance of the ride, we looked and could not believe it, NO one in line again. We repeated the drill 4 more times, with no more wait than 5 minutes. After 5 rides you could clearly notice that the crowds were getting thicker and we decided that that had been it and we were looking for some lunch. Good food is hard to come by at DHS, but there was something we wanted to try, and they offered it at the ABC Commissary.

So we headed over there, got in line and ordered, then picked up our order, stocked up on condiments and went to find a table. Well, it was actually easy to find a table, but we were looking for a more quiet table. Table found and photos taken we started on trying our food. We had gotten Diet Cokes, the Seafood Platter, which had battered shrimp and fish, served with fries and the 1/3 lb Angus Cheeseburger and Fried Shrimp, served with fries as well. We shared both and they were both really good. We were definitely surprised. It was a welcome break for us and we sat there for a while, enjoying our drinks and cooling down and talking about how great our day had been so far. We had two more things we wanted to get done at  the Studios and once we felt fit again we headed outside, made a pit stop at the Villains sweet shop to pick up a Carrot Cake Cookie and then we headed to Guest Services. Like every summer we had booked a stay at Old Key West with the UK Disney Travel Company, which offered a nice 40% discount AND Free Dining for our stay. The only “downside” is that you need to buy a ticket with it. And the real downside is that the ticket expires. So every year we have to sweet talk a cast member to renew our Annual Passes more than two months in advance. So with that in mind we headed to Guest Services and explained our situation to the cast member. She was really nice, but firmly told us that Annual Passes can only renewed 4 weeks in advance.

And then she assured us that we would be able to use our ticket to buy a new Annual Pass, as unused tickets don’t expire. Okay, we were sure these tickets did expire. So she went to the back room to have it checked and came back stating that we were indeed right. She had another idea for us. She would exchange the ticket for a voucher, which we would then be able to use to renew. Now there’s the next catch. We would not be back in time to renew. And off she went to the back room again. It took quite some time and she returned and said she had learned that there indeed were some possibilities to overrule the system. Yeah, that is what we had been talking about. So she set out to do it for us when we reminded her that we wanted to renew our regular Annual Pass to a DVC Annual Pass. And off she went to the back room.

A few minutes later she returned again, smiled and got to work. It took her a few minutes to renew both Annual Passes to DVC ones and then she presented us with the bill. It had usually always cost us a little over 400$ to renew our AP, but this time we paid under 100$ which was a HUGE bonus! We thanked her about a 1000 times, then said our goodbyes and felt like skipping out the door.We exited, hopped onto the waiting tram and about three minutes later we went out to the parking lot to our waiting car. It was boiling hot in there, but we turned on the A/C full blast and it worked wonders. We were back at Old Key West in no time, put the Carrot Cake in the fridge and took out some cold beverages. I put a load of laundry in and started packing again while Tom took another relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi. Once the laundry was done and Tom had emerged from the Jacuzzi again, we talked about what to do with the rest of the afternoon. It was beautiful outside and there was no doubt where we wanted to head. I just put the wet laundry in the dryer, then we put on our swimsuits, donned some beach wear and off we went to the quiet pool. There were very few people at the pool and we picked up a towel, put our stuff on a lounger and headed into the water. We stayed inside for quite some time before we walked back to the loungers to sit and relax for a while. And after some time we went to take a dip in the hot tub. It was empty and it felt like the water was really hot, but it was nice sitting in there sitting in front of the hot water spouts.

But it was too hot to sit in there for too long, so once we were halfway done, we got out, showered and headed for the regular pool, which felt like freezing, again. We stayed for a little while longer, then dried off and headed back to our villa. And after we both had had showers, we got dressed to head out one more time and to do Extra Magic Hours for the last time this summer.  But before we went to Epcot we headed somewhere else. Kissimmee and Krispy Kreme were calling us. We picked up two dozen hot doughnuts and a large Diet Coke, found a table and inhaled some of those hot beauties. Once we had sufficiently filled our sweet tooth we headed out the door and back to Old Key West.

We handed the full box of doughnuts to the security guard at the gate, who first could not believe that the doughnuts were for them, then thanked us happily. We dropped our doughnuts off in the room, had a sip of Coke and headed out again and over to Epcot.

We parked the car and soon had walked through the turnstiles. It was already getting dark and the rides in Future world had quite some lines, so we just walked over to World Showcase and did some exploring. Germany had some fun new T-shirts that we looked at and then we hotfooted it over to China for some dinner. The restaurant was pretty empty and we quickly ordered, received our food and sat down. We shared an order of Potstickers and had both ordered the Orange Chicken with Steamed Rice. While we were enjoying our dinner Illuminations started and we could just see a little bit from the restaurant. Once we were done we headed outside and walked towards Mexico, having one eye on the fireworks and one on the walkway.

And while we slowly made our way further around we ran into Mick and Teresa who were watching the fireworks as well. We stopped and watched the fireworks together. What a nice way to celebrate the end of our vacation. Fireworks over we slowly strolled towards Futureworld, to fit in a ride or two. We ended up at Mission Space, where all of us picked up an orange ticket and got in line.

It took a while until we made our way through the line and finally were divided into teams. Needless to say the four of us were one team. Once we were waiting to get into our cockpit we noticed that it took considerably longer than usual. We saw the second run of the preshow and joked that the ride would be closed just before we could go on. Boy, were we right. They did close the ride. They went round and told everyone that they would not be able to restart tonight, but we all got a ticket good the next day.

No use for us as we were to fly home the next day, but Mick and Teresa could use them.

We went to through the shop and had some fun playing with a few things.Queuing up we had spent half of the Extra Magic Hours in a line that lead us nowhere, so we thought what else we could do. Everyone agreed that Spaceship Earth would be a good idea. So we went over to the “giant” golfball and got in line. Since it was fairly short we were able to get onto the ride within a few minutes. All of us had a lot of fun travelling through history and then discovering our future. But once the ride was over we all were tired and decided to head to our resorts. We got back to Old Key West shortly before midnight and I finished packing before we finally grabbed a last beverage out of the fridge and then went to bed.