View Full Version : Simba's Pride, Day 6 (MK and Keys to the Kingdom)

Simba 1
10-08-2001, 07:33 PM
Day 6 – Contemporary, MK and Keys to the Kingdom Tour (9/29/01)
(Warning - long with spoilers from the tour)

Mickey woke us up early this morning. We had reservations for the first Keys to the Kingdom tour that morning and had to be at guest relations by 8:15am. It was Saturday and an early entry day. We ate pop tarts (yum!) in the Food and Fun Center next to the check in and walked over to MK. The park was pretty empty this early and I took some (hopefully) good pictures of Main Street, the Castle, and the Partners statue. At guest relations we placed our lunch order for Columbia Harbour House, which was included in the tour. We talked about our upcoming cruise with Bob from Guest Relations, when this other couple said they were also going on the Wonder the following day. Their names were Karla and Bill, and we found we had so much in common with them! It turned out we would become better friends on the ship. It’s a small world…. The tour started out on Main Street discussing just what the keys are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. The theme of the tour was to discuss these keys throughout the MK. I’ll try to write a few highlights without spoiling the tour for anyone. We learned about the names on the Main Street windows, they were all people who were significant in Disney’s life. Strangely enough, his wife Lillian does not have a window. That may be coming soon though. Walt’s window is the only one the faces the Castle, at the end of Main Street. The new Emporium section opened the day before, so now that gift shop is really huge. Next we walked to Tomorrowland and noticed how the music and scenery transitioned the show. The music of Main Street fades as Tomorrowland picks up. I’d never really noticed that before. Have you ever noticed the globe in front of Alien Encounter? I must have walked by it a hundred times before and never saw it. It weighs two tons and is lifted up slightly by water pressure so that guests can rotate it by hand. If the globe were taken away, the water would shoot up higher than the castle! It depicts Walk Disney World. Unfortunately the water was turned off today. Most of what we discussed in Tomorrow Land was a little redundant for most Disneyphiles – how Walt introduced Carousel of Progress at the Worlds fair and his plans for Epcot, which can been seen on the WED way (I mean Transit Authority). I was looking forward to seeing Timekeeper one last time, but it has been shut down permanently because it has scenes of the New York skyline. Even before that it was slated to close due to low guest count. She said that Disney tracks guest count on the rides, and base their decisions on those counts. Timekeeper only averaged 60 guests per show, when it could accommodate 300. She also said the audio animatronics broke down frequently and thus it was not cost justifiable. From Tomorrowland we walked to Fantasyland. Did you know Cinderella has a horse on the Carousel? It has a gold bow on his tail. Another interesting point was about Dumbo. I know a lot of folks are dissatisfied with the hub and spoke rides. Well, we talked a lot about efficiency during the tour. Dumbo is a very inefficient ride, but it is very popular. The answer to this was to build a second Dumbo in MK – a la Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. I never thought about it that way. We went into Liberty Square next and talked a lot about the architecture and attractions. Did you know there are no bathrooms in Liberty Square? Back in those days there would have only been out houses (and you can take authenticity too far!). We talked about Haunted Mansion and then rode it. I thought this was great! Did you know the ghosts in the dinner scene are actually animatronics? The animatronics are out of sight and they have some sort of sheet and light thing that shines into the dinning room to make them appear like ghosts. Look at the couples dancing next time. The ladies are leading the men. Why? The ghosts are mirror images of the animatronics and the imagineers didn’t realize this until it was too late! The grandma by the fireplace is an exact replica of the grandma in Carousel of Progress and they have been interchanged on occasion. You know the ghost in the wedding dress? The story is that she was locked in the attic on her wedding day and died. So when people enter the attic, she throws them out the window! That’s why your doom buggy turns backwards and tilts back so much into the graveyard. It’s to simulate falling out the window! OK, last one on HM. Here’s a great hidden Mickey. In the graveyard, look at the opera singer. There is a guy to her right with his hand in the air. You have to sit on the right side of the doombuggy and as your buggy turns left, stick you head out the right and look backwards. He’s holding up a Mickey head (kind of morbid if you think about it). It was really cool though. At this point we had lunch upstairs at the Harbor House. The food was very good. Our names were on the table with little place cards (since we pre-ordered). And to our surprise, the place cards had beautiful pins attached to them. They are gold keys with the Mickey head at the top of the key and they say “Keys to the Kingdom”. After lunch we went backstage to the production center to see the SpectroMagic and Share a Dream floats. This was really neat. It was only around noon, and technicians were already testing out the snow globe floats. We watched an entire sound and visual check (smoke from dry ice, the carousel circling, etc). The globes are only kept 2 degrees cooler than the outside air. Anymore of a temperature difference and they fog up! The characters also get dressed in the globes. The princess gowns, the Beast costume, and Mickey suit were all lying in the globes. The doors to get in are very small. So I guess you better not sweat ‘cause you’re wearing them again tomorrow! We did some other things in Adventureland and Frontierland and then headed downstairs into the Utilidoors. We saw costuming and what the dress codes (hair, jewelry, etc) are. We also saw the wig room, stairs to various lands and central vacuum system. She told us about the emergency response system. The first level is just to evacuate the park via normal exit routes. The next higher level is to evacuate via closest exit, which would include backstage areas. The third level is to take shelter immediately, which means to bring guests into the utilidoors! They’ve never had to employ anything but the first level, which they did on Sept 11th. It was funny because chip and dale walked by without their heads on while we were standing there talking. It was a little surreal, even for an adult like me! We spent a lot more time in the utilidoors on the Backstage Magic tour, but this was still very good. We ended in Frontierland and said our goodbyes. Let me tell you that MK was packed!!! It was a total reversal from the rest of the week. But we figured the weather was nice and it was Saturday. The park was supposed to close at 8pm, but it was extended to 10pm. So we decided to walk around a bit more and them walk back the Contemporary for a while. I LOVE being able to walk back to the resort! We rested up a few hours and then decided to head up to the California Grille to see if they had availability for dinner. As luck would have it, they had a table. We enjoyed an incredible dinner, our best yet on the trip. We were hungry so we did the appetizer, wine, dinner, and dessert thing. What a feast! And the view is magnificent. We spent over two hours enjoying dinner before walking back to MK around 8:30. The first Spectromagic had just ended (they were showing it again at 10). We waited on Main Street for the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks, which were awesome as usual. Then I saw Spectromagic for the first time. I love it! I caught both on video and have already watched it several times since coming home. I just love the MK; there is something so magical about it. Tomorrow we were heading out on our cruise but I was still so sad to be leaving the parks. Ken made it all better by suggesting we spent tomorrow morning at MK before leaving. I adore that guy! After shopping a while we leisurely walked back to the Contemporary hand and hand, knowing more adventure lay ahead.


10-09-2001, 12:14 AM
What a great report! You are going to have to tell your husband to take you back to WDW so you can write more reports. These are great! http://www.intercot.com/boards/bounce.gif Awesome review of the tour! I want to try it on our next trip. Hope you aren't too depressed with the cold weather we are having here in Rochester! I miss WDW http://www.intercot.com/boards/crying.gif

1983 (Off-site)
1986 (Off-site
1989 (Caribbean Beach)
1997 (Disney Village)
04/01 (Port Orleans French Quarter)
06/01 Disneyland
9/14-9/22 Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Wilderness Lodge!!!
Next Trip...
Sometime before 9/14/02 ;)

10-09-2001, 12:57 AM
That was a fun report to read! However, I personally would never recommend the tour to anybody. On my first day of the job, I went into the tunnel and saw Mickey, um, "getting ready." http://www.intercot.com/boards/embarass.gif Let's just say, I thought I was going to need some therapy! It almost ruined the "magic" for me! But I'm O.K. now!

So, this guy Bob from Guest Relations; did he wear glasses and kinda remind you of John Lithgow from "3rd Rock From the Sun?"

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.---Groucho Marx

And remember............that way you'll never forget!

Former Jungle Cruise Skipper, Spring 2001

10-09-2001, 02:47 AM
Great reports. I'll have to look for that hidden Mickey on the HM.

61-01 Disneyland
84 WDW/offsight
01 CBR and AS sports

10-09-2001, 04:33 AM
Great report on Keys to the Kingdom, I'm definitely going to do that on my next trip now. Hope I don't see a headless chipmunk though, that would freak me too much.

"Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life." - Walt Disney

10-09-2001, 09:31 AM
Great report! I'm a bit apprehensive about doing the Tours. A part of me, doesn't *really* want to know. Thus far, that part is winning out. Your review sounds wonderful though! Hmmmm. http://www.intercot.com/boards/wink.gif


Carol, aka PolyGirl40
INTERCOT (http://www.intercot.com/default.asp) Staff Member

~ "Our Disney memories are part of who we are." ~
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~

Planning a trip to Central Florida? Let Ibex Towncar (http://www.ibextowncar.com/) meet you at the airport!

Click Here (http://www.kingdommagictravel.com/) for a Disney Vacation Quote.

WebDisney (http://www.webdisney.com/): "The Definitive Guide to Disney on the Internet"

Visit the INTERCOT Store (http://www.intercot.com/store/default.asp).

* We Shall Overcome *

10-09-2001, 06:53 PM
Really enjoy reading your trip report. Makes me want to go sooner and then stay longer. Thanks again for sharing it with everyone.


10-11-2001, 10:01 AM
The tour really sounds interesting, especially the "behind the scenes" portion. http://www.intercot.com/boards/sunglasses.gif Thanks for sharing with us! http://www.intercot.com/boards/smile.gif


brer frog
10-27-2001, 10:45 PM
very good report, thanks for the info on kttk

<LI>10/1989 - 5 Years Old - Offsite
<LI>4/1998 - 14 Years Old - Wilderness Camp Ground
<LI>4/2000 - 16 Years Old - Wilderness Camp Ground
<LI>4/2001 - 17 Years Old - Wilderness Camp Ground
<LI>3/2002 - Wilderness Camp Ground (I hope)

last 3 times with boy scouts :)

AIM: frogmn78