If You are Going to Jump at the Finish Line, Be Sure You Stick the Landing – A 2018 Dopey Run TR

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by ZellyB, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    ALOHA, LOVELY POLY AND A COLD AND RAINY MORNING AT EPCOT
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    We'd gotten a text while at AK that our room at the Poly was ready. It was room 1802 which was in Rarotonga. We again got pretty lucky with catching a bus back to the Poly with a short wait when we left Animal Kingdom. A short time later, we arrived and asked the person at the valet desk how to get to Rarotonga. She pulled out a resort map and sent us off in the proper direction. Unfortunately, the Poly at night when you have no good idea of where you are going was a bit more difficult to navigate than we expected. HA! But, we did eventually stumble upon the entrance and found our room. We'd only had one request and that was for a king bed and it was granted!

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    We found the room to be quite spacious and we liked the little Polynesian touches. I'd say the room was getting a bit worn and in need of a refresh perhaps, but it was clean and well-maintained and we really enjoyed it.


    I forgot to take a picture of our view, which was a standard view, but it was quite nice. It looked out the back of the longhouse onto one of the walking paths with plenty of palm trees in view.

    We did head out to check out the Great Ceremonial House and get some cream for our morning coffee and managed to miss the entrance to GCH and proceeded to get ourselves hopeless lost on the grounds. What losers we are! But, it did give us a chance to look at the pool and beach area. :D Eventually we found our way to discover that the side entrance to the GCH was literally across a path from the exit to our Longhouse. How we missed that I don't know! Anyway, we explored a bit and got ourselves some cream and bought some Entenmans powdered sugar donuts (I call those crack donuts, BTW, because I can't stop once I start eating them!) and we headed back to unpack and settle in for the night. We had a big day ahead at Epcot, the Expo and DHS!!

    The bed was quite comfortable and I set a wake-up call for 6:00 AM to give us plenty of time to get ready. I was pretty excited to use the wake-up service and get a call from Mickey. Well, the phone rang (LOUDLY) right on time and soon Mickey was YELLING at me that he'd, See me REAL SOON! I told Chris, "Why is Mickey yelling at me???" But, it certainly served to wake me up!!

    Unfortunately, the weather had not improved for us overnight (we knew it wouldn't, but a girl can hope for some Disney weather magic can't she?). So, it was cold and raining. :sad: Still, we were not deterred, so we layered up in sweatshirts and stocking caps and put our rain ponchos in our backpack and off we went. We headed for the monorail and went through a very short line for bag check and metal detectors and headed to the TTC. An easy switch to the Epcot line and we were arriving about 20 minutes before park open. Luckily the rain had stopped, so we went through bag check again (the guy directing us was saying, "Because you loved it once, you get to do it twice" :) and then got lined up for park opening. Our plan was to hit Test Track in standby, but as expected, TT was closed due to rain, so we headed for Soarin' instead!

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    The rain and cold had kept the rope drop crowd down, so we basically were able to walk right on. I love this ride so much and even though we were on the outer edges of the ride and got the distortion, it's still one of my favorites. Next up was Living with the Land which was still sporting some Christmas decor.

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    We headed next for Nemo and Friends for a quick ride there as well.


    We were getting hungry for lunch, so headed back to try out mobile ordering at Sunshine Seasons. It was a zoo in there and can I just say, mobile ordering is da bomb! So easy and we could just walk up and get our food and go sit down. Sweet!

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    We had a FP+ for Frozen Ever After and this was going to be our first time riding it. I was thankful for that FP because by this point the park was pretty crowded and the line for the ride was pretty long. We really enjoyed the ride. Very cute and well done. Look how excited we look?? HAHAHA


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    Once finished there we decided it was time to head out and over to the Expo, but it was also POURING at that moment. So, we hung out in a store for a short time before braving the walk back to the monorail. Luckily the rain started to let up and we did have ponchos so we only got a little wet. Back to the Poly and a quick stop in the room before heading out to find an expo bus. It took us a bit to figure out where to pick it up, but we did manage to get one eventually and headed for the Expo. I figured it would be a short and easy trip with maybe a bit of shopping before heading to DHS and our dinner reservations. BOY, was I wrong about that one!!

    Next up: The Expo Madness and an evening at DHS.


     
  2. FredtheDuck

    FredtheDuck DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, too! And adding Tiffins to my list of places to try next time we go down there. Yum!

    Haven't seen RoL yet, but I've seen WoC at DCA a couple of times and absolutely love it.
     
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  4. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    I agree so much about AK. I mean, yes, MK has all the nostalgia feels and I do adore it, but there's just something about AK that has won my heart. I was really happy that they invested in the park with Pandora (even though I know many were critical of that choice), and the night time show. It's made my favorite park even better!

    Thanks for joining in! That was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean even though we've done cruises before. The ship was incredible and we were definitely happy that we got some time in the sun and warmth.
     
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  5. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Mickey yelling at you is better than most other people yelling at you ;)

    Soaring and Living with the Land are two of my favorites. I definitely think the cold kept crowds down at times.

    Lol love your Frozen photo!
     
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  6. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    YAY! Glad you are here. I think you'd love Tiffins. Chris and I planned on seeing WoC on 3 different nights when we were at DLR for the Tink races and we never managed it. :(

    I agree that I'll take a Mickey yell any day over someone else.

    Pretty obvious we had no idea where the camera was on the Frozen ride. ;)
     
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  7. run.minnie.miles

    run.minnie.miles DIS Veteran

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    I have to say, it's crazy to see you (& everyone else) so bundled up in Florida!

    So are you a Poly convert??

    I also love Soarin'... it has to be one of my favorites too!

    Excited to read about your expo experience :)
     
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  8. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    We really did enjoy Poly, but not sure I'm a convert. I think we liked Beach Club better. The monorail wasn't as advantageous as I thought it would be to be honest. BUT, we also were not there under the best weather circumstances, so if it were warm and we had more time and opportunity to enjoy the resort (hang out on the beach or in the pool and eat more Dole Whips), then I might have a different opinion of it.
     
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  9. run.minnie.miles

    run.minnie.miles DIS Veteran

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    The monorail/deluxe debate is something I always have!! We spend such a small amount of time in the room, I always end up staying at a moderate despite the advantages of the monorail. Tough choices!!
    (Side note, I've never stayed at a value but the room referbs are making a big difference!)
     
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  10. SarahDisney

    SarahDisney So ... Yeah

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    Crack donuts! I love it ... (my brother calls powdered sugar crack ... for obvious reasons)

    Sounds like a nice morning at Epcot ... looks like you hit most of the highlights. You guys look super unimpressed in your Frozen Ever After picture.

    Looking forward to reading about your experience at the expo!
     
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  11. TeeterTots

    TeeterTots DIS Veteran

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    King bed, score!!! So nice! Looks like a successful morning at Epcot! Loooove mobile order....especially with little ones!
     
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  12. FredtheDuck

    FredtheDuck DIS Veteran

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    I feel like the monorail was a big advantage for us, but we were toting a 1.5 year old and a full-size stroller, so that's for sure situation-specific. We stayed at the Contemporary and spent a lot of our time at MK, so it was also nice to be able to walk back and forth (especially for nap times). When we make our next trip, we'll have an umbrella stroller and a more mobile kid, so I'm more likely to want to save the money on the room and stay moderate instead.
     
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  13. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney DIS Veteran

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    We did pretty much the exact same thing for Tuesday! Arrived, Animal Kingdom, and Rivers of Light! I wish we did Tiffins- my sister isn't that adventurous but your meal looks awesome. Where was the dining package seating? On the right side of the theater?

    Crack donuts :rotfl2:

    Geez guys, don't look so thrilled to ride FEA for the first time! :rotfl:

    Anxious to hear another point of view on the expo!
     
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  14. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    We think that in following years we may go back to Shades of Green. It's a nice resort and sooooo much more affordable. Now that they've extended 60 day FP+ to them, we will likely stay there again along with a rental car.

    I cannot tell you how much I love crack donuts. I don't buy them at home at all due to my lack of willpower with them, so it was a treat for vacation. :)

    We actually got off better than many at the expo I think.

    We did get a lot done at Epcot. The rain helped keep crowds away for a time.

    I can totally see the advantage with a stroller!
     
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  15. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Loved FoP, Disney has really pushed the envelope with all the technology they pulled together for it. We made sure to rewatch Avatar before our vacation so we'd be fully up to speed. However, I still can't imagine spending 3-4 hours waiting for any ride. I mean, waiting in line for as long as it takes to run a marathon? Ouch
     
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  16. Sailormoon2

    Sailormoon2 DIS Veteran

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    OMG! I totally felt like the wake-up call volume was way too loud as well!!
    We also tried mobile ordering at SS and at Harambe in AK-both worked out very well, and certainly moved us more quickly through the crowds.
    Your faces on Frozen are hilarious in that they are so bland. LOL! Are you sure you liked the ride?
     
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  17. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    I think our seating was on the left side of the theater as I recall. I thought the viewing was really good, although I did end up sitting right near a pole, but it didn't obstruct our view at all.

    As amazing as that ride was, there is no possible way I would wait 4 hours for it. But, maybe there are people who just don't know when they might have a chance to come back, so they just decided to do it. I really can't imagine.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the wake up calls were loud. But, it did succeed in waking me up!

    We really did like the ride, I swear!! Next time I'll have to figure out where the picture happens so I can smile big. :D
     
  18. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    EXPO *$#*#$!$ AND DHS

    Expo bus selfie!
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    We were happy to be seated on a nice, warm bus for the ride to the expo. I think it was around 1 PM by this time and I had us a dinner reservation around 5 PM at DHS, so we knew we needed to be efficient. In prior years, bib pickup and the walk to get our shirts and to the official merchandise had generally been pretty quick and easy, but I'd seen some posts by fellow Dissers warning us that it might not be so easy this time. Ummm, yeah.

    They had moved the bus drop-off location this year to be much closer to the entrance, so I was pleasantly surprised by that, and the rain had moved on and while it was still cold, at least we weren't dealing with soggy rain and we were even seeing some blue sky. Hello, WWOS!

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    But, as we got closer, it became apparent that things were just crazy packed and the signage about where to go for bib pickup was less than helpful. After wandering around for a few minutes, we did see a huge mass of people who had formed a sort of unofficial snaking line to get into the building where we knew bib pickup was occurring, but there were multiple other lines and bib pickup spots scattered about, so we were concerned about getting into a wrong line. We couldn't find a Disney person to ask and finally saw a guy carrying a Dopey bib, so we asked him if that was our line and he told us, yes. :sad2: We wandered over and finally found the end of the line and jumped in. Everyone around us was complaining about what a disorganized mess it was. And the line was ridiculously long!

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    This was when we were about halfway through the line. Since this was our first year doing Dopey, I thought maybe this was just normal for the first day, but a woman behind us who had run Dopey before assured us this was NOT normal. Still, the line moved reasonably well and we had pre-printed and signed our waivers, so in about 20 minutes or so we were in the building and headed to the bib pickup. There was nobody in line at our designated spot, so we got our bibs and had our challenge photo taken very quickly. The line for our shirts was similarly short. I do actually like most of the shirts pretty well. Although the 5K shirt is cotton and unisex and thus is HUGE on me, but whatever. The full is probably my favorite.



    Our intention had been a quick run through the official merchandise and the other expo vendors just to see if anything jumped out at us, but as we were leaving we were directed down a flight of stairs to get in line for official merchandise and out the door for the other expo vendors. We peeked into the floor area to see how the official area looked and knew right away that wasn't happening.

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    That decision was confirmed when we walked outside and saw the line to get into that area.

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    We had wanted a Dopey ball cap, but after seeing that line, we decided we didn't want it that bad. We could have gone into the other vendor area pretty easily, but by that point we were pretty disgusted by the whole thing and just wanted to leave. So, for us, it wasn't too long of a process, but we also just abandoned doing things we had intended to do. It was a big disappointment to me. We did get a picture by that lovely Dopey medal though on the way out.

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    We had good luck again with a bus just getting ready to leave to head back to Poly and we climbed on board and were back at the hotel quickly. We did a quick drop off at the room and then headed for Hollywood Studios.

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    We were just a touch early for our Brown Derby Fantasmic dining package reservation, but with so little time we decided to go ahead and check in. They were very busy, so we still waited until slightly past our reservation time to be seated.

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    We both decided a cocktail was in order! Mine was called just The Hollywood I think and Chris' was a Purity Collins. Both very tasty.

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    I got the cobb salad for an appetizer. No picture, but delicious. And Chris got the Togarashi-crusted Ahi Tuna. Also yummy. We both ordered the filet of beef and it was tasty as well. And, look, tiny dabs of carrot puree sans coconut. Good but not as good as Tiffins and NOT ENOUGH!!
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    The Fantasmic dinner package also came with a set dessert which was the Grapefruit cake and the banana toffee cake. We weren't crazy about either but, they were okay.
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    Since this was a second park for us for the day, we had no FP, so I thought we would be out of luck, but while we were sitting at dinner, I just kept refreshing on the app and suddenly a FP popped up for Toy Story Midway Mania. SCORE!!! So after dinner, we headed over for a shoot out. I'm glad we got that FP because the line was 2 hours long! EEK!! Love this little ride, and per the usual, Chris won.

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    While we were waiting for TSMM to load, I was playing with the FP search again and suddenly got an option for Tower of Terror for 7:45. Perfect timing for a post-Fantasmic ride. How lucky were we??? After TSMM, it was time to head for Fantasmic. We got seated in the dining package section and they were really good seats. We hadn't seen Fantasmic in about 10 years, so it was fun to watch it again, but it was a bit chilly sitting there again. :)

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    We wanted them to keep those flames going a bit longer!!

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    Once the show was over, it was off to TOWER OF TERROR!!!!

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    I love this ride so much!!! Can you tell from my ride photo this time? ;)

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    We debated about staying for the Star Wars fireworks, but we were so cold and tired we decided it was just best to leave and I'm glad we did. This time our luck on the busses ran out and we wait a good 20 minutes or so before finally getting on one.

    Once back in the room we debated a lot about what to wear for the very chilly wait for the 5k race the next day, but finally got that all situated and laid out.

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    We set multiple alarms (and a Mickey yell wake-up call) for 3:00 am and fell into an exhausted sleep!

    Next up: 5k time and where the heck is that Dis Meet???




     
  19. Capang

    Capang DIS Veteran

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    ToT is the best!
    I’m still floored by all the pics I’ve seen of the expo and the lines. :scared1: Yikes!
     
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  20. TeeterTots

    TeeterTots DIS Veteran

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    Ooh I like the race shirts....I think it's the first time seeing all of them! Whoa, merchandise madness, eh?! I've been meaning to try Brown Derby for some time-I hear the Cobb salad is famous! Love ToT! Cute outfit! Are they InB cable knit leggings? I need them!
     
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  21. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    I don't blame you for getting out of that expo quick. I did like the new bus drop off as well but yeah just a mess.

    Never been to Brown Derby but it looks nice.

    I didn't go on ToT this trip but love your ride photo!

    Looks like a great day! Can't wait to hear about the 5K!
     
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