Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Recurring Dream

The Year of a Millions Dreams at Disney World became a recurring dream for hubby and I today. Last month we won Dream Fastpasses at Disney Hollywood Studio in the One Man's Dream exhibit, and in June on a solo visit I won a Dream Fastpass at Soarin'. Today we went over to Animal Kingdom, planning to do a safari and grab a few Single Rider runs on Expedition Everest. If the crowds were thin enough, we figured we'd do Dinosaur too. Then lunch at Yak and Yeti and we'd be out by a little after noon. Little did we know that we were about to have a recurring dream.

We arrived shortly after rope drop (I like to let the crowd disperse a bit) and headed to the safari ride to get a Fastpass. Then we figured we'd kill time on Primeval Whirl, since it rarely has a line in the morning, till it was time for another Fastpass. We'd get one for Dinosaur, then trek over to Everest. After some roller coastering, we'd do the safari with our first FP, have lunch, do Dinosaur with the second one, and then bail.

Primeval Whirl is the world's wickedest wild mouse coaster/tilt-a-whirl combination. Just as we'd suspected, there was no wait. I approached it somewhat apprehensively, since massive spinning sometimes gives me a whanging headache. I didn't have any after effects last time I rode it, so I was hoping that my resistance was building.

Each ride is different, depending on the weight distribution in the car. On our ride, the spinning was so mild that I agreed to do it again. The next time around, it was the Spinning Ride From Hell! Somehow we were perfectly space so that it whipped wildly in a circular frenzy. Even when it finally stopped, my head still felt like it was spinning. Fortunately it wore off quickly, with no headache after effects. That ride looks deceptively simple, but it has a wicked bite.

Since it was time to get another Fastpass, we started on our way to Dinosaur. As we passed Triceratops Whirl (basically the Dumbo ride with dinosaurs instead of elephants), hubby noticed there was literally no wait. We'd never ridden it before, so he suggested, "Let's do it" and I figured "What the heck?" That turned out to be a very good move!

We had our ride, then continued on our way. We noticed that Dinosaur actually had a very short standby line, so we decided to just ride it then and there. We joined the line, and as we threaded our way to the pre-show room, my keen eyes spotted a member of the Dream Team standing near the door. He was wearing a white vest over his blue shirt, which means one very important thing: Prize mode! I nudged hubby, but with his pessimistic nature he figured that the pre-show group before us were probably the lucky ones.

The Dream Team member smiled as we all filed into the room. Amazingly, I was the only person who realized what was up. Even with constant commercials and banners throughout the park, all of our fellow guests appeared totally oblivious that luck was upon them. As the room darkened for the video, I noticed two Dream Team Cast Members slip over to the exit doors so they could hand out whatever prize we were winning as people walked out to the ride.

When the video ended and the lights came on, two people nearly bowled the poor Dream Team over in a frenzy to rush to the loading area! Obviously they had no clue and didn't mind tackling anyone who got between them and the ride. The Cast Members managed to contain them and asked, "Does everyone here know what the Year of a Million Dreams is?" Mostly they were met with blank stares, but I applauded and a few people joined in, figuring it must be something good. Then they announced that we had all won Dream Fastpasses. I applauded again, but I could tell that most of my fellow guests were still in a state of confusion. Oh well, hubby and I sure knew what was happening! Our spontaneous decision to ride Triceratops Whirl had put us in the right place at just the right time.

We took our Fastpasses and high-fived the Dream Team as we headed out to the ride. Our quick morning trip to Animal Kingdom had suddenly changed course. Now we would get an extra ride on Everest, Dinosaur, and the safari, and we'd even do a repeat on Primeval Whirl since we could do it with no wait.

We had quite a busy day, with an overall total of two rides on Dinosaur, two on the safari, three on Primeval Whirl, one on Triceratops Spin, and four on Expedition Everest, as well as a leisurely lunch at Yak and Yeti. All that in a little over five hours, as we'd arrived at a little after 9 and were out of the park by 2:30. Best of all, I saw the cheetahs both times on the safari ride...they are my favorite animals, but they're elusive little cusses.

As we headed out to the car, we stopped at the coffee stand just outside the park for iced lattes. That's a tradition for me, and the icy cold beverages tasted so refreshing in the oppressive Florida sun. They were a perfect capper to a busy day.

Ironically, although I usually ride Dinosaur when I visit Animal Kingdom, I have a bit of a vendetta against that ride. It uses the same ride vehicles as the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, but that's where the similarities end. Dinosaur is a pale imitation of the awesome ride that is Indy. Thus I always remind myself that Florida got stuck with the red-haired stepchild version whenever I ride it.

Now that it was the scene of a lucky lightning strike, I suspect I'll be a little more kindly disposed towards it. No, it's not Indy, but whenever I'm in the preshow I'll have the happy memory of seeing the white-vested Dream Team and getting that Dream Fastpass placed in my grubby little hand.

1 comment:

MikeC said...

Every blog entry like this one just makes me more and more determined to get myself out of New England and down to Celebration before the start of the school year. :)