Monday, August 11, 2014

TRIP REPORT: DAY 7 A TALKING TO THE ANIMALS



May 28, 2014

Growing up I loved the Doctor Dolittle books.   He had so many wonderful adventures and they were so unlike the Dr. Dolittle movies of today.  If you have never read the actual books I suggest you do.  Even better read them with or to your children. 
Because of my love for animals I believe the Animal Kingdom is my favorite park.  I love the atmosphere, the animals, the scenery and the food.  
I do believe the Jammin' Jungle Parade is actually my favorite too.  So when Naomi warned us the calendar showed this parade going dark on May 30  I made a point to go to the Animal Kingdom before that happened.  I definitely didn’t want to miss the unique floats and those marvelous stilt walkers. It is my hope that after the Avatar expansion is complete they will bring this parade back. 

So we headed for the AK once we got moving around for the day
I cannot begin to tell you how many photos we have taken over the years at the AK, but to say hundreds would be conservative.  However, this day we didn’t carry any cameras with us.   

In fact other than our cell phones up to this point we hadn’t been carrying the cameras.  We wanted to enjoy the parks unencumbered, the photo shoots would be later.  I had big plans for photos later on.
Check in through the security lanes went quickly and soon we were headed directly for Flame Tree BBQ.  This eating spot is a tradition for us.  Generally I can hold my own eating their ribs and chicken platter, with the guys finishing up what little I don’t eat.  But this trip I did good to nibble on a little of each.  Nor did the guys have the appetite to eat all that I had leftover.
Because the bag on the back of the ECV is insulated and I had a cold pack in there I scooted up the hill from the dock area where we’d been eating and asked if they had something I could wrap leftovers in at the outside pickup window.  
The woman apparently gets this request a lot because she gave me several sheets of aluminum foil to wrap the meats in.  
On subsequent days we carried Ziploc bags in the tote bag for just such a use.
Once we had satisfied our hunger and packed up the leftovers we headed out to our first Fastpass+ of the day, Kilamanjaro Safari.  
Because we hadn’t brought our cameras we all three pulled out our cell phones so we did get numerous photos of this interesting ride.  
Apparently we had chosen the right time of day to ride through the savannah, or perhaps it was the cooler weather due to the scattered rain showers we’d been having on and off every day, whatever the cause we were able to see a lot of animals.  
Some, like the giraffes, came very close to our tram so taking photos just seemed to be a must for us.

As we rode along we giggled when we heard one parent say “look at the baby”.  This is an inside joke with our family.  
One trip to the AK, when dh and I had the “honor” of being seated behind a set of grandparents who were so anxious that their grandbaby see everything the grandmother kept saying over and over “Look at the baby!” We thought nothing of it at the time.
However, when dh was editing the video at home he had to keep backing up and replaying to get the edit just right.  So for what seemed like an eternity all ds and I heard was “Look at the baaaaaaby, look at the baaaaaaby” .  We now think of it every time we ride this ride, and especially when we hear someone say those four little words.    It takes very little to entertain us.
From the safari we went wandering around to just enjoy the scenery and the animals until our next Fastpass+ We used our cell phones for a few photos, but nothing major.
Finally it became parade time and I made an inquiry about a handicapped viewing area.  We were quickly pointed in the right direction and once again I was lucky enough to be placed right at the rope so I could easily see without having to leave my ECV.  The guys stood behind me so shorter people could be at the rope.
There were many people who would “join” the handicapped viewing area that were not disabled in any visual way.  Each time a group of them would join the roped off area the cast members would politely ask them if they had the GAC or if they had a Fast Pass for the viewing.  
When the people would reply no, or fail to show the required id they were politely warned that if others with disabilities came to the viewing area they would be asked to give up their space for that person and their family.
Most were quite compliant with this, but one man got hostile when they were asked to vacate the area saying that he was there first and he wasn’t going to leave just because someone was in a wheel chair.  
His wife stopped his tirade with an embarrassed look on her face and by taking their children and leaving quietly, saying below her breath that they had been warned.  He stomped off after them, but you could tell he was not amused.
The parade started shortly after that and it was wonderful. I adore stilt walkers, there is something almost magical about them and those at WDW really enhance that feeling.
Speaking of stilt walkers, either Di Vine is no longer there or we simply missed her. 

 This was disappointing to us because we love watching this piece of moving foliage.  The stilt walker that does that job is so smooth and fluid in her movements.
SilverDollar City had a pair of “D’vines” at their Worldfest event two years ago when we were there.  While they were fun to watch they were not as well camouflaged as the one at WDW, so some of the magic was lost.
After the parade I had read on the Disney Information Station email I received while at the parks that Tamu Tamu now had Dole Whips.  I love Dole Whips, but the guys really aren’t that crazy about them.  So I left them sitting in the shade enjoying Mickey bars while I scooted up the hill to Tamu Tamu.  
The counter was a little high for me to retrieve my purchased Dole Whip, but the cast member leaned way out to make certain I had a good hold on it before she released it.  At the napkin cart another cast member came from behind that cart to give me my utensils and napkins.  Like I said in my ECV report, the cast members at WDW go out of their way to help you.
Oh a word to the wise.  At Tamu Tamu it is not called a Dole Whip, and at that point it was not on the main menu.  It was just a small sign near the register that said they were now serving soft serve pineapple ice cream.  But a Dole Whip by any other name is still delicious.
By the time I got back to the men it was almost time for our next Fastpass+.  Ds had one for Expedition Everest and we had one for  Finding Nemo stage show.  So we split up at that point.  That was the last we saw of ds in the park that day.  
 
I rode Expedition Everest  ride my one time (actually twice) the first year it was open and have no plans of riding it ever again.  I don’t like going backwards in any way, not even in a car, so to ride that ride is not a good thing for me.  However, ds loves it and rode it once with his Fastpass+ and once as a single rider that day.  
I love the Nemo show.  You forget all about the puppeteers as you are watching the show.  
We also enjoyed a learning experience we had while there at that theater.  Because of the ECV we were placed at the top of the theater, which was just fine with us.  This not only put us center top with a good view of the stage, but it gave us a good view of the audience as well.
While we were waiting for the play to start a cast member seated a woman two rows in front of us that had indicated she was hearing impaired.  We were mesmerized watching them set up closed caption for her.  
The device was really pretty simple.  It was a polished smoked glass on a flexible stand that was placed on the floor in front of her and then adjusted to her comfort for reading.  
Once the play started a digital projector on the wall behind us scrolled the words of the script printed backwards.  The smoked glass caught this reflection and she was able to easily read along.  It was quite ingenious  a device.  So simple, yet worked so well.
After seeing this one unit being set up we spotted similar devices in several other shows throughout the remainder of our trip.  

After returning home I did a little research on this device and learned they call it a Reflective Captioning Device and they also have hand held devices as well as other aids for the hearing impaired.

From Nemo dh and I went to watch “It’s Tough to be a Bug”.  We were placed on the front row of the theater and I choose to sit on the bench while the wheel chair charged a bit nearby.  
The show had apparently had recently had some refurbishing, because we had read that Hopper and other parts had failed to work when other guests were there, but everything worked perfectly for our viewing.  
As we departed dh asked me if the bugs had “bumped me bum” referring to another previous trip memory where a little girl with a very distinct British accent had told her mother as departing the show that the bugs had “bumped me bum”.  She said it so amazed and with such innocence it is something that has always stuck with us.  
It was nearing park closing time at this point and I was running really low on “fuel” so dh and I decided to head back to camp for the evening.
While riding the direct bus to the Outpost we discussed dinner options.  We still hadn’t purchased propane and while we had a microwave as well as electric cookware with us neither of us felt like cooking.  Hey, we were on vacation right? 
So we decided that dh would take get off the bus with the ECV at our loop 1600, take  it back to cam and plug it in.  Then meet me at Crockett’s Tavern at the settlement. 
I’d ride the bus on down to the settlement where I would meet Sean who called us during our bus ride to see what our dinner plans.  He was already at the campsite.
Dh asked Sean to go ahead to the settlement drop off point to meet me because I had been having some breathing issues that day.  Which Sean did. 
We went directly to Crockett’s Tavern and set down at the bar to order a pepperoni pizza.  Just as the pizza was set in front of us Gary joined us at the bar.
It was a typical theme park pizza, not truly bad or good. 
After dinner we went back to the camper for a supposed early bedtime, albeit after 10 pm at that time.
Jan who was enjoying herself despite her “inconveniences” in OK

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

TRIP REPORT DAY 6: HOLLYWOOD!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Admit it when you saw the word Hollywood your mind burst into the old song from the black and white movies (and from the Great MovieRide) and now you have the chorus singing “Hollywood” in your mind.

What’s not to love about Disney’s Hollywood Studios? This park has it all, thrill rides, kiddy areas, lots of variety in food sources, shows, street performers and a wonderful night time show that includes all the best of fireworks, lasers, and showmanship.

That was our destination for this day six of our trip.  But first there were some minor camp chores to take care of.

Beds to make, sewer to dump (yech!  So glad that is dh’s job) and a campsite to enjoy a bit. I'll write more about this in another post.   Oh yeah and one other very important thing for our family.  Potato Heads to set up.  Another TRADITION! (Okay, so now I’ve segued to “Fiddler on the Roof” what can I say I love musicals!) 
This tradition started years and years ago when we discovered the Potato Heads to purchase at “Once Upon a Toy” at Downtown Disney.  Never checked them out?  Oh that can be an adventure in itself.  
When we purchased our first one it was a set price for all you can stuff in the box and still close the box.  I think it is the same way now.  We worked HARD at it and with some tips from a helpful cast member we came home with a LOT of Potato Head parts and one body.
The next trip we did even better and got Mr. Potato Head a mate.  
Here are a few helpful hints on getting the most for your money on this deal:
Start by filling the Potato Head body as tightly as you can, fill every nook and cranny with everything that will fit.  We tend to put in one or two larger pieces and then work things like eyes, ears, earrings etc in around the larger pieces until Mr. /Mrs. Potato Head is one overstuffed potato. 
 Then put the feet on the body and put on flat parts like eyes and lips, but nothing that will stick out very far.  
Fill in the gap below the Potato Head body and the bottom of the box that is caused by the feet with small flat things.  
Run larger pieces in the corners of the box and then once again use the smaller pieces to fill in all the small spaces left.  
After our initial purchase of Mr. Potato Head my son’s friend started adding to my son’s enormous toy collection with specialty Star Wars Potato Head figures.  After a while ds sold off most of his toy collection, but he hung on to the Star Wars characters.
Since we would be visiting Star Wars weekend later on in the trip he gave those Potato Heads to me for the camper as well.
Every trip we take somewhere the Potato Heads are dressed according to what our main theme of the location we are at.  Ie: Bluegrass festival will find the guitars, bolo hats and such brought out.
Since this trip would include the Star Wars weekend they got done up like “aliens”.

What can I say we are a little weird at our house.  
Once all the daily “chores” were done , the sunblocker applied and sunhats gathered  we were off to the Studios.  
This time I putt putted my little ECV down to the bus stop to wait for “Outpost Yellow” and when the bus arrived I had dh load the chair while I boarded with ds.
You have probably noticed by now I keep mentioning bus names.  This is how transportation is handled internally at the Ft. Wilderness Campground.  

 Each area is assigned a color, site 1616 is in the yellow group,  and it depends if you are going toward the marina and the settlement trading post (Settlement Yellow in our case) or to the outpost to grab a main transport bus (Outpost Yellow).  It’s a very simple procedure and quite frankly it’s easier than the flags they use to have on the buses eons ago.
At the outpost we boarded a bus that took us directly to Disney Hollywood Studios. 

Because we had made no Fastpass+ for the day, and didn’t really want them, we decided to just “go with the flow” and see how it went.  On our way to a late lunch we swung by StarTours.  The sign said it was a 25 minute wait so we joined the queue.  The wait turned out to be about 10 minutes. 
In this line ECV’s queue with everyone else and they are split off at the last minute for boarding purposes.  Because I could easily transfer this wasn’t a problem for us at all.  

 It did,  however,  put me in the “Rebel Spy” seat.  Which was fun in itself and gave my family a good chuckle when I pulled my floppy straw hat down over my face pretending to be a sneaky spy that showed up on the monitor.
The “ride” was just as I had remembered it, well maybe it shook me up more than I remember, but then I am older and rounder than I was last trip.
By this time hunger was setting in so we made our way to the area that looks like a big open air market where there is a variety of small food stands and a variety of foods. 
We ended up eating food from Rosie’s All American CafĂ©.  Dh of course had the Angus Cheeseburger, while I opted for the kiddy meal of chicken nuggets with apple juice, apple sauce and carrots.  
The nuggets hit the spot and I was very happy to say they were great, as far as processed chicken nuggets go.  They had a panko bread crumb coating on them.  
After we returned home dh was doing the weekly grocery shopping and noticed Tyson now had a panko bread crumb coated nugget, so he picked up a bag, remembering how much I liked the ones with that coating at the parks.  If they weren’t the same nuggets they were real close to the ones I ate while at WDW.  
Every trip I ride Tower of Terror with ds, this time was no exception.  Dh does not care for the ride so we left the ECV with him and went in the stand-by line for TOT.
The sign said it would be a 35 minute wait, but we entered our seats in less than 20 minutes. 
Okay, WHY do I ride this ride?  It scares the bejeebis out of me every time.  WHY?
It dropped us so many times ds and I both lost count.  It was like “let’s hear the fat lady scream!” time for the computer.  Cheez! 
Needless to say my very next stop was the little girl’s room to recover my dignity!
I will normally ride every ride ONCE just to say I did, when a new ride is added, there are a few exceptions and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster is one of them.  I have no plans on ever riding that thing!  Call me a wus all you want, it’s just a little too daring for me. So while ds joined the single passenger line to ride it I joined Gary in some window shopping. 
We were looking for the perfect thank you gift for our critter sitter’s three small children.  The most challenging turned out to be Elsa from Frozen.  We made the mistake of not picking up an Elsa doll when we first saw it and by the time we were ready to buy they were out of EVERYTHING Elsa.  More on this later.  Let’s just say if you are at a park looking for a character from a recent Disney movie, buy the item the minute you see it!
We’d planned on watching the Beauty and the Beast show, but it wasn’t scheduled to start for 30 minutes and Sean would be back to join us before then, so window shopping and a street show it was,during the 20 minutes it took ds to ride RNRC.  He caught up with us at the villains candy shop. 
We were all amazed I didn’t find something in there I couldn’t live without.  After all it’s candy, it’s the great Disney villains, and it was easy to navigate in the ECV. But I didn’t find a single item I truly wanted.  Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe it’s because of the five years on the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover plan I’ve became less of an impulse buyer.
As we left there we caught the street show that was a competition of joke telling by the Disney street performers.  Some of the jokes were pretty good.  It was nice to sit in the shade and enjoy their performance. 
We went toward the Indiana Jones show, but decided we really weren’t in the mood for that same old story that day.  I’ll be frank, with my family this is one show they could replace with a Cars land or something.  It’s just not that interesting to us any more.  When the kids were young it was fun, but now…
After a bit we realized we were getting hungry so we decided to try our traditional favorite full service meal for this park and headed for the Sci-Fi Diner.  While there were people with Advanced DiningReservations aka: ADR standing around outside waiting for their turn in the diner we were given a seat within 10 minutes because we were a smaller party. 
Because of the ECV we were seated at the “picnic tables” at the back.  Luckily it was right next to an electrical outlet so I sat in a chair at the table to eat while my scooter refueled. 
I was pleased to see they had a Salmon BLT Salad sandwich on the menu because I love Salmon and who doesn’t love BLT.  I was less than thrilled with the sandwich though.  It did not have the tomato spread on it that the menu said it would have, instead it have a single slice of mushy tomato, there was in fact little to no dressing or anything on the OVERCOOKED salmon sandwich.  Dry, dry, dry.
By this time I was beginning to think it was really me that was the problem on the various meal dryness so I had ds take a bite of the salmon.  He said one word “over cooked.” 
We are foodies and we love good food, these meals did not fill the bill. 
It was so dry I ended up taking the salmon off the sandwich and trying it with ketchup on it to manage to even eat any of it. I gave up less than half way through the sandwich and picked at the sides that came with it. 
Dh had, you guessed it, the Picnic Burger, he said it was over cooked too.  Ds had the chicken pasta and yep, over done.  So none of us were pleased with our meal.
When it came time to pay I mentioned we had an annual Pass, for those of you who were planning on using your AP at Sci-Fi Diner, forget about it.  They no longer take it!
Based on the changes to their menu, which were numerous from our last trip to WDW, the quality of our meal and the lack of an AP discount this will probably be our last trip to dine at Sci-Fi.  I’m sad to say that because we love watching the old B grade sci-fi movies while we eat and eating in the drive-in cars has always been fun, but there are too many other places to eat at the parks where we would be happier. 
After such a disappointing meal we wandered around a bit until we found an ice cream cart and had Mickey Ears ice cream to console ourselves with the loss of a favorite eating spot.  
By now all the street shows had wound down for the day and it was heading toward Fantasmic time.  Since we didn’t have a Fastpass+ for this we decided to head over there a little early in hopes of getting in.
No problem, we were placed dead center of the stage in the handicapped area with me in the ECV and the guys sitting on seats nearby. 

 By the time the show got started I was thankful for two things.  My Brita water bottle, because I was very thirsty and the beach towel I had been sitting on all day.  It magically morphed from being a seat liner to being a blanket as the temperature dropped with the approaching nightfall.
The show was wonderful, did I expect anything less?  NOPE!  But still it was great to have such perfect seats where we could see all the action as the show went on.  The weather, albeit cool, was perfect.
While we waited for the crowd to clear we discussed Extra Magic hours at another park again, and once again decided we were tired (I actually think that because of my health both men claimed to be tired more than they were to give me a pleasant way to say “Let’s go back to the camper.” ) so camper bound we were. 
Once again we boarded the direct bus, and once again we had little to no wait in boarding.  This was the pattern for our whole trip.  Our timing seemed to be just perfect both going into and out of the parks nearly every trip.  Either that or they are running far more buses than they use to!
Back at the camper it was milk and cookies and a check of email to see if the critter sitter had seen any of the six cats yet.  Up to that point she had only seen Gypsy who was very loving and demanding of her time.  Nope, but we were certain all were safe, just not use to someone other than us in their domain.


The next day she verified this because she went on a massive cat hunt and found all but Sir Oliver Inkwell, who is extremely shy and with his dark color is very hard to see even when he knows you.  Basically two glowing yellow eyes only. So the fact that Gypsy was frantic about her “kitten” (we adopted him as a playmate for her when she was a year old) being missing made us certain Ollie was safe, just hiding. While he has grown into a large cat (as witnessed by the photo below, no it is not an optical illusion he is that much bigger than Gypsy) he is also terrified of strangers.

I know it seems like we don’t do much in each of the parks, but we’ve been there so often and have annual passes, not to mention 11-12 days in the park this trip there was no need to rush or stand in long lines.  We had plenty of time and definitely have plans to go back at least twice between June 2014 and May 2015.  So the more leisurely pace worked very well for us.
Jan who really enjoys the slower pace in OK

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TRIP REPORT: DAY 5 TRADITION!



Monday May 26, 2014
After all the events of the trip, staying late at the Magic Kingdom and finally having air conditioning in the 90 degree heat to sleep under we slept late , until nearly 10:00 am.
I know to some of you that is horribly late when you at are at the parks, but for us it’s really pretty normal.  We have annual passes, we have no small children and we had made our Fastpass+ for later in the afternoon because we knew we would not hit the park early. 

As soon as we all three were up and moving we grabbed  a quick snack and broke camp.  We were headed for Ft. Wilderness and wanted to check in as quickly as possible.  We were back there about noon.  Check in went swiftly.  We were assigned to site 1616.  
Dh checked the Sites at Ft. Wilderness Ap on his phone to see if it was agreeable to him.  The photo of the site was good, the back in parking rating was average and it was just far enough from the bus stop the buses wouldn’t be annoying.  We took it.
I love this ap and am so glad someone recommended it to us.  It gives good photos of all the different campsites and the all important ease of parking rating, as well as other info about the sites.  If you are planning on staying at Ft. Wilderness I highly recommend it.  We all have android phones and it works well for us.  I do not know if it will work on Iphones or not.  We got the ap for free from the Playstore. 
The cast member watched dh checking the ap and asked if the site was suitable, she was very aware of the existence of the ap.  We said yes and headed on to our home for the next 10 nights.
Back in and set up went smoothly.  Generally it is just dh and myself and he sets up the outside while I do the inside, then when it’s time to tear down the camp we do the same jobs.  Because it is always that way we both have learned several shortcuts to getting either set up or torn down and this time was no exception.  
In fact dh’s job went faster than usual because he had ds to help him.  So imagine my delight, and frankly relief when I was ready to leave to find that not only had they done the basic camping set-up, but they had also put together the ECV and had it ready to go. 
They had both noticed I was wheezing bad and moved very slowly the night before, so they had made the executive decision that I was taking the chair every day until I was over all my various little problems.  
I went back in the camper and grabbed a beach towel to put over the vinyl seat and a big quilted insulated bag to hang off the head rest.  We added our Brita self filtering water bottles to the bag on the left arm rest and we headed for EPCOT.
Our family tradition is to ride the monorail all the way around  ending up at Epcot for our first day.  Eating at the Electric Umbrella and watching Illuminations on the first day/night of our visit.  
While we had gone to the Magic Kingdom the night before because it was a late night for that park, this was technically our first day at the resort.  So that was the plan.
We went to the marina to board the boat (click the hyperlink to find out how this is done with an ECV)  to the Magic Kingdom, to catch the monorail there to Epcot. 
 
I have to admit as a “student driver” of the ECV I was a little nervous driving it on and off the boat, but thanks to an understanding cast member it went very smoothly. 
At the MK ds went through the bagless check-in while dh helped me with my bags on the scooter and the belt bag.  We had to go through the check in to get to the monorails.
Only my fingerprint wouldn’t work with my Magic Band.  Let me say this does not surprise me.  Not because the Magic Bands were still new at this point, but because of it being me.
I apparently have a little more electricity in my body than most folks any electronics I own mess up faster than your average electronics do for other people.  I inherited it from my mother.  She could not wear wrist watches, other than Elgin ones, because her uniqueness would cause the watch to run at varying speeds on varying days.  We never did figure out why she could wear Elgin watches and it wasn’t a problem.  
So when they had to call the cast member over to verify my driver’s license and such we were not upset or bothered at all.  It was just me, being me. I had to be verified every time we entered a gate except twice during the trip.  We did find that since I was standing when my AP was first used it worked faster if I got up out of the ECV and did my finger print.  A hint for those of you that occasionally use an ECV.  Apparently the angle is enough different it can cause problems.  Yet it never did for me when using the Fastpass+ or making purchases. Then my Magic Band worked perfectly every time. 
After getting through the bag check in point we headed for the monorail as we always do.  Only to screech to a halt!  It was closed going to EPCOT.  I don’t know if it was temporary or permanent.  There has probably been posts about it on the mouse for less group and I missed it.  The monorail from MK to EPCOT was closed the entire time we were there.
Not to be deterred from our tradition we took the ferry over to the TTC and rode the monorail from there with me doing all the loading and unloading of the ECV, later in the trip I would have dh do it just to speed things up.
Once we finally disembarked the monorail at EPCOT we meandered around awhile before going to the Electric Umbrella for lunch. 
Because from here on out ds would be paying for all his own meals I may not remember what he had at each meal ( I am cheating and using my receipts to refresh my memory for Gary and myself as to what we ate when). 
Since my numbers for the trip were for just for my husband’s and my expenses I’ll be mainly centering on that. 
Anyway, back to the meal.  Disney meals are huge and despite what my ample girth shows I have a very small appetite most of the time.  Therefore, at WDW, I order kiddy meals whenever I can.  Not only are the proportions more to my liking, they are far less expensive.  Unless you are a huge eater I suggest either splitting meals or getting a child's meal whenever you see one that appeals to you to save a lot of money on your trip.  We have for a long time and we are never hungry at WDW.
In the past dh and I have split many a meal while there, but this trip I wanted to eat more adventurous than cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger and that along with ribs tend to be my dh’s trend.
So while he ordered the Angus bacon cheeseburger I had the kiddy meal burger (no cheese) with grapes and carrots.  Again my meal seemed overly dry to me and I only finished a portion of the burger, but ate my fruits and veggies like a good girl.  
Dh did say he felt his burger was a little over cooked. Sean said he enjoyed his meal, in fact he said that about 99.99% of his meals while there. 
After our late lunch we headed for our first Fast Pass + of the trip Spaceship Earth.  A nice relaxing ride to let our meal settle.  
From there we went over to Nemo (Living Seas), another Fast Pass and another slow relaxing ride.  
I know there are certain times of day you don’t need fast passes for either of these, but they were handy to have for both rides that day, we saved considerable time in line for both of them.  My family still prefers the old system for fast passes, but that is gone the way of the Do-Do bird so no sense in bemoaning that.  
When entering both these rides, and various others during our trip using fast passes very often we found that our Magic bands were not scanned.  On other rides they were very strict about it.  Continuity was not truly set-up yet for the system.  Had we wanted to we could have used the fast passes again later in our time frame and rode more than once with each pass.  As it was it looked like we simply let then lapse if we didn’t go in and cancel them. 
After visiting with the Manatees, my favorites, and enjoying the calm of the displays in the giant aquarium we wandered around various areas for awhile, but really weren’t in the mood to ride anything else at that point.  We were simply enjoying a slow pace soaking in all the atmosphere, street performers and such.

I highly recommend you make time in your busy schedule at the parks to take the time out to watch the various street performers.  It will help slow your pace down and let you "smell the roses".  After all you are on vacation and there is no need to run at full tilt all the time.  Everyone will have a better time if you take the parks slow and easy.
 
Eventually dh and I joined the fast pass line for Illuminations while ds went toward the Mexican pavilion to get us all churros to snack on during the show.  
Sean ended up getting churritos from La Cantina de San Miguel  instead of the traditional churros.  These came with a caramel dipping sauce and were quite good. Basically they were mini churros.  He got back right after dh and I were let into the handicapped viewing area of the Illuminations fast pass area. 
I was tired of sitting at this point and dh was tired of standing so he set next to the railing in the ECV for the show while I stood behind him and ds stood behind me. 
I love Illuminations.  What’s not to love, it has everything, lasers, lights, fireworks, exciting music and our viewing point was perfect.  This is definitely a Fast Pass + we will book again in the future.  Oh and at this one, they definitely scan your wristband to verify your fast pass.
Once again we waited for the crowds to clear and then left the park slowly.  We had originally thought to park hop over to the Extra Magic Hours park of the night, but we were all still a little tired from the travel so we decided instead to go back to the camper slowly. 
We took the bus system directly back to the campground and then the Settlement Yellow bus back to our camper.
Blessed coolness greeted us when we entered the camper.  After our traditional nightly snack of milk and cookies we all stumbled to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
Our first full day had been both relaxing and enjoyable and we were ready for a good night’s rest.
Jan who was so happy to be back after eight long years in FL away from OK