Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Maz Endless Summer Vacation Part 1(WGTWDW Podcast #35)

Here is some more commentary and pics from Show # 35.  You can listen here or read.  Thanks again for stopping by.  Feel free to leave comments or questions

Show # 35
I want to start off by saying that we are really thankful we've been so lucky to travel as much this summer as we've done.  We've had slim years and it's great to take advantage of this time now.  Quinn will be starting college in a couple of years, so we decided to take advantage of the summer time to travel.
The Mazzilli Endless Summer officially started the weekend after the 4th of July.  Lesley's company has a great company picnic at Hershey Park that weekend.  We've been doing this for at least 10 years.  We go with friends from college and make it a reunion weekend also.  This year was the extra bonus for the Girls, One Direction was playing at Hershey stadium and they all had tickets.
We drove out on Friday and went to Hershey park that night.  That's our ride night.  We've conceded long ago that the rides on Saturday are not worth the lines about 1/2 hour after the park opens.  We usually pick two of the rides we could not get on the night before.  For me it's Fahrenheit and StormRunner. We spend most of Saturday at the water park part of Hershey.  A nice feature of the lunch is that you can go at 12:00 thru 6:00 as many times as you want.  Great deal!

  We had a great couple days at the parks.  The Girls all saw 1D and said the concert was great.  The guys stayed at the park and then did the required tour through the chocolate factory before heading back to the hotel and then to home on Sunday.  The plan is to get packed and then back on the road to Florida on Monday morning.  We re-packed the van and got everything ready and set out the next morning at 4:00 am.  One of the rules about driving down without my wife Lesley is that I cannot drive straight through.  We need to stop, which we did in Brunswick Ga.  The next morning we slept all the way to 7am to make up for the day before and got back on the road.

The plan for today was to stop in St. Augustine at the Disney Character outlet and then on to DTD.  We would then get in the room until 4:00pm.  The Outlet store was good but we made no big purchases this year.  We did get a new Antenna Topper,  Luigi's Tires. The key-chain remote for the car was not working so no beeps to guide us back to the car in the parking lots.   The antenna topper was key a couple times in finding the van. We always try to stop here or at the outlet store neat WDW each trip.  We usually find a really great deal.  They usually have the previous holidays stuff along with any movies that might have been big maybe a year earlier.

 We got back on the road and our next stop was Downtown Disney.  We did the regular walk-around the Marketplace and then took a walk to the West Side, something we have not done in a long time. It is so sad to walk through Pleasure Island and think of what it was at one time.  I tried to explain to the kids how it was and how fun it was to celebrate New Years Eve every night.  We walked all the way down to the new bowling alley, Splittsville.  the place is incredible.  We had plans to meet the BOGP guys later that week. 
On the walk back to the Marketplace we stopped at the D Street store.  This is a great place with a lot of cool things to buy.  On top of that were the really cool decorations in there.  I am convinced they inherited a lot of stuff from the since closed Adventurers Club (AC).  And speaking of the AC we passed it twice and even though they've done their best to hide it, it is still there and very much missed.  Before leaving DTD we stopped at Earl of Sandwich.  This is still the best/cheapest sandwich on property, but alas, the restaurant has lost a little of it's sparkle.  On the ride up from Palm Beach towards the end of our trip, we saw that they have Earls on the Fla Turnpike.

Our next stop was to check-in to our hotel.  We stayed at the Ramada Gateway and got such a great deal.  We got a tower room with 2 queen beds, a kitchen area with fridge, microwave and sink separate from the bathroom.   The tower rooms are about 5 years old and look great still.  We were on the second floor.  These were inside hallway hotel rooms while the other half of the hotel was the outside two floor motel type rooms.  I've stayed in both types.  I only recommend the tower rooms.  We paid $63 total a night.  We had a really great stay.  Parked right outside from the elevators, very close each night. Hotel had two pools, a Barbecue themed restaurant and a Ice Cream Counter outside the pool table and Ping Pong covered courtyard.
They had a lot of Disney decorations around property.  This place is 5 minutes, from the parking lot at DHS, no exaggeration. It is the first set of buildings you hit after getting off of World Drive going west.  Plenty of fast-food places and other types of stores.  CVS has everything and the fast-food is a change from the park food.  I think we did KFC for one dinner. 
                                          Hope and I went to DHS that night.  With Quinn coming back to the parks after the cruise and Palm Beach, he would be outside his 14 day ticket window if he went with us that night.  So Hope got her time with Dad. 
Our main goal was the American Idol Finale show.  That's where all of the days winners compete for an over-all winner.  We were lucky to catch a great one.  There were 5 people in the show, but we decided it was between two, and they were sisters.  How about that.  After a great show that was a lot more of a party than the day time shows, it came down to the two sisters.  The younger one won.  I really hope she takes advantage of that super audition pass that gets her to the front of the line the next time American Idol the TV show comes around.  Getting to DHS late we kind of just bummed around.  Fastpass for Tower and we went to the last show of Indiana Jones for the day.  One of our new finds was the addition of the Walter crate and mirror to the pre-show of Muppets.  Very cool seeing stuff like that.  Now get rid of that 3D guy and put Walter on the stage.
We also spent some time in the Animation Courtyard.  Inside the area where you can line up for autographs there are a lot of computer station that let you play with color, audio and other aspects of animation.  Hope and I spent some time on the console that once you answer some questions, determines what Disney character you are most like.  For Hope it was Ariel.  We looked back in pictures and I was Tarzan. We spent some more time walking around and shopping, but that was it for the night.  The next morning we got up early and headed out to DHS again to get on the big rides we missed the night before...and we had Quinn with us.  Quick note on Tickets.  I had an AP card with RFID and the kids had paper tickets we had gotten from Undercover Tourist which were the old type.  We needed to go to two different lines to get in the park.  We took care of this at





Guest Services and got them the newer cards.  If your staying on property this can be done at your hotel.  Our main DHS goal of the day was the Extreme stunt show.  We feel that if you have at least one major goal, you don't tend to wander around as much.  The oddest thing of the day was the line we saw early on.  We did the dash to Toy Story Mania fastpass and then had time to ride it.  This was about 8:45.  
 Our next stop would then be Rock n Roller coaster before the crowd gets heavy.  There was a big line down Sunset that split at the two rides.  The park was not officially open and this was the  line waiting for 9:00.  We did a quick 180 and headed to the GMR. We had a nice relaxing day at DHS.  Went on everything we wanted to.  Ate at the ABC Commissary.  A big treat was a preview of, at the time, the new Lone Ranger movie.  It was at the Sounds Dangerous theater and was about 15 minutes of clips from the movie.  It played a big part in me wasting a couple hours to see it on the cruise.  Very fun and we also got a souvenir button/pin.  We stayed until closing and due to not going to Fantasmic, we were able to get on Muppets and Star Tours a couple of times.  Back to the hotel for a swim and late dinner.
The next day was our Magic Kingdom day.  The goal of today was two-fold.  First, we had BOG Rest. dinner ressies.  Second, the kids wanted to try the new pirate game in Adventureland.    We  
 started the day and met a very special person on the way down Main Street.  The M.S. Fire Chief.  Quinn had taken off with our tickets for fastpasses, but Hope took a picture with him.  This was our first time in the MK with the new fantasyland open.  So after we met up with Quinn, we rode Space Mtn. and ran over to Fantasyland.  It was great.  We went right over to the Little Mermaid ride and rode it twice.  The queue activity was awesome in it's simpleness fueled by high tech. 
Every so often in the cave part of the queue, you pass all manners of ways at looking at a small crab on a pile of something specific.  Through a porthole in the wall, through a picture frame, in a big glass jug and more.  The game was simple, the animated crab would come out with an item.  If it matched the items around him I think you did nothing.  If he carries in something that does not belong, you'd wave your hand in front of the water and he'd take it off the screen.  I've got some
 
video I'll post after this.  We again had a great day at the park with a Crowd Calendar number of 9.  We used the fastpasses and and did a lot of non-ride things as we counted down to dinner.  The kids and I did the new Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas.  This game is located in a little shack right past Pirates on the way to Frontierland.  You scan your RFID Band or card and begin the game.  There are five adventures and because the game keeps track of the ones you've done, you don't repeat them.  We were lucky enough to do all 5 maps and had a great time.  Perfect mix of Agent P at Epcot, the Sorcerer's game in MK and Pirates of course.  Good mix.  There were some very surprising effects, get ready to have a good time.rs
We were then ready for dinner and made our way over to the Be Our Guest rest.  We had such a good time here. 

I am looking above and seeing how much I am typing.  Listen to the show and I'll just post some more pictures here to cover the last two days of the Turf part of the trip.




 






 
Epcot and Animal kingdom to follow!
 




 












 






1 comment:

John Decker said...

This is a great article, I have always wanted to go to Disney World for vacation but it is hard taking my whole family there. We usually try different destinations in the U.S. This year we decided to do a Cape Cod Summer Rental because of all the beaches and natural preserves to visit. They also have a lot of historical buildings which my sons got a kick out off. We also like to eat, and this area has some of the best fresh seafood due to its location so close to the Atlantic.

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