When we arrived there, we headed through the turnstiles and waited for the rope drop.
At the rope drop, two families were pulled out of the crowd to throw pixie dust at the moment the ropes came down.
We headed immediately to Space Mountain. I have to say that this was probably the bumpiest ride I've ever been on (and I think it was bumpier than previous times I've been on it). Next, we rode "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin". I got a score of 16,500 and Paul got 4,000 points. I hope to improve on my score as the week progresses. We then hopped into the Pooh ride and Peter Pan's Flight (you wouldn't believe how busy this one gets).
By this point the ropes had dropped for those who don't stay on property. I knew that most people would be heading to the two mountains (Space and Splash) and found that we could walk RIGHT IN to both the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Of the classic rides, these are definitely the two on the top on my list. They are stellar shows with great effects and so many things to look at I ALWAYS find something new to see in both (no matter HOW many times I re-do them). I also took in the Swiss Family Robinson tree and got off in time to get my picture with Chip and Dale as the Rescue Rangers (I'll post them when I get home...Paul's laptop is minus the floppy drive at the moment)!
By this time, we were ready to use our fast passes for the Stitch encounter. I've been on the original attraction here (Alien Encounter) and I was skeptical as to whether this would be still a fun attraction. I'd have to say that in the long run, though they softened it (no more char-grilled Skippy (though Skippy is still a portion of this ride), no more Tim Curry (I think the new dialogue for the robot is now voiced by Wayne Knight, but I'm not positive), and the scary portions of the actual attraction are now replaced with FUNNY stuff (I don't want to give away what's new, only what's no longer there from the old)). I will say that you won't believe how realistic the Stitch animatronic IS.
From there, we took in Mickey's Philharmagic. While I enjoyed it, I would have enjoyed it more if it included more CLASSIC characters. Except for the fab five (and we only HEAR Minnie and Goofy, we don't see them (and Pluto isn't in it at all)), and a brief scene with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, all the scenes depicted are from the post-Little Mermaid movies (the big four: Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and, of course, Lion King, 'cause we CAN'T have a park without Lion King SOMEWHERE can we?). What about the Disney Princesses? Okay, if we are only visiting the characters who sing, how about Peg from Lady and the Tramp (or the Siamese Cats for that matter)?
By this point, we were both getting hungry, so we stopped into the Columbia Harbour House at Liberty Square. Paul had the combination chicken strips/fish strips with french fries basket and I had the half sandwich/cup of soup deal (Starboard Deck Sandwich - ham with tomatoes, broccoli slaw and muenster cheese + vegetarian chili was the combination I chose...both very hearty. Great chili.).
When we got back to Adventureland, I found a family eating some ice-cream and asked them if it was a "Dole Whip" (which I'd heard about on rec.arts.disney.parks) and asked where they got it. They pointed out the stand and boy, it's a great snack. Soft serve ice cream (custard) made with pineapple juice flavored vanilla ice cream. It really hit the spot and cooled off the rest of the spices in my mouth that the chili ignited.
We then hopped onto the Jungle Cruise, which, though it's getting a little creaky (and redundant with the REAL animals in that OTHER Disney park), is still fun.
We then made our way to Frontierland, where I was going to ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (until I changed my mind when I saw how huge the bird population has gotten over there) and we hopped onto the Railroad instead to take us to Main Street (probably one of the best short cuts on the property). On the railroad, we could see some of the damage that the many hurricanes had done to the park (trees all knocked over whereever you looked).
At Main St, we confirmed our entry time for the Very Merry X-Mas Party on Sunday and bought ourselves some fudge at the Confectionary. It was buy four pieces, get two free, so I picked out (since we saw a box with the traditional flavors that we'll get closer to the trip home): candy cane, lemon meringue, chocolate mint, cookie dough, butterfinger, and gingerbread flavor(s).
We then hopped onto the monorail (and saw more downed trees enroute to Epcot). At Epcot, I quickly hopped back onto Mission:Space (truly one of the greats...but don't ignore the health and motion sickness warnings, 'cause they are not kidding. This one is intense.). We then stopped into Innoventions (and I'll be back in there later this week), and went into our favorite changing exhibits there: the House of Innoventions. That's where we first saw a TiVo demonstrated and there's always something neat there. The best part is they give you a printed sheet with web addresses for more information on all the products you see there (according to the host, Dave, they change/update the exhibit about every six months so there is always something new and interesting there).
One of the highlights of the exhibit this time is a product that is not yet on the market but will be shortly: a mirror that will be able to read your weight, blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs and display them on the screen (mirror) and will also be able to say them (the speaking part is currently what's holding up the product).
We are now back in the hotel room and Paul is napping (I just took a bath). We will shortly be heading over to MGM Studios and watching Fantasmic (after I might try to sneak in a shot at the Rock N Roller Coaster if the line isn't too bad). Of course, I've gotta get a candied apple to eat at the show. From there, we'll be getting transportation down to Downtown Disney, where we can do a little shopping/sightseeing and head into Pleasure Island (we're talking about trying the Earl of Sandwich shop for dinner...). At Pleasure Island is my FAVORITE spot in the whole of Disney World: the Adventurer's Club. I just hope that some of my favorite cast members will be there in the parts that I know them as (oh, hell, I'll just have to make some new friends if their not, so there's really not a problem either way).
Anyway, hope everything is good with you all and I'll post more either tonight or tomorrow afternoon!