Quantcast Flower & Garden Solo Shot -- Around the Dapper F&G World in 6 Days
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    York, PA
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    Default Flower & Garden Solo Shot -- Around the Dapper F&G World in 6 Days

    OK, this is my second try at writing up a trip report for this go 'round.
    (First one got dumped when the power went out before I did my final spell check and grammar check! LOL)

    WARNING: I tend to write novels when a synopsis would do....

    Day 1: Thursday, April 26, 2018 -- Flight, Arrival, EPCOT and DHS

    Cast of Characters: Me, myself and I -- 56 year old kid!!

    Who the heck thought scheduling a 6:15AM flight was a good idea??? I guess that was me. To make it to the airport on time, I had my alarm set for 2:00AM. Surprisingly, or not, when it went off, I was up and running! I think I got the morning routine done in record time, poured my 34oz. mug of coffee, packed the last few items, loaded my bag and backpack in the car and was ready to head for the airport by 3:00AM. At that tiime of the morning there was very little traffic and I was able to get to Long Term Parking at BWI (Baltimore-Washington International, or Thurgood Marshall Airport) right around 4:00AM. A bit bleary eyed, I get through security (WOW! I was on the TSA Pre-check list again!!!) in record time and settled in with another coffee and a lite bite of breakfast at the gate area by 4:30AM.

    Flight boarded and left on time and arrived at MCO (Orlando International or McCoy Airfield) about 10 minutes early. This is something that I am accustomed to with Southwest. I don't know if they purposely give a flight time that they know they will beat or what, but rarely does a flight take the listed time. 10 minutes after touching down, I am off to the DME station for my bus to Pop. A tap of the MagicBand later and I am in the bus queue, and almost immediately loaded onto a waiting bus. Dang! The timing so far has been great!!!!

    Of course, this early in the morning my room is not yet ready, so upon arrival at Pop, I check my backpack with Bassage Assistance and head for the park buses. EPCOT is my first stop. This is getting to be a traditional running joke between my sister and I and a few other people that know me. I blame INTERCOT for this one!! LOL Have to get a drink and get a selfie at INTERCOT Gary's Column to start the trip or it just doesn't feel right anymore. Had very little wait for the EPCOT bus and was in the park by 10:30AM. A little early for an adult beverage, so I stop for a coupe 'free' shots at Club Cool, then head over to get my Passholder Flower & Garden Minnie magnet. Short line and when I get there, they checked my ID, tapped my MagicBand (Figment Flower & Garden Passholder MB2 BTW!) and handed me a Minnie magnet. I see they have a drawer open and there was a small stack of the earlier Mickey F&G magnets, so I ask if I could possiby get one of those as well. The CM does not hesitate in the slightest and hands me a Mickey and another Minnie, even though the first Minnie is visible in my hand. A little bit of early Disney magic!

    After this, it was time for a stroll aroung Future World to see the topiaries and get some photos. I had pleanty of time until my afternoon FP+ options kick in over at DHS, so 'stopping to smell the roses' seems like a good thing. Got a couple good pics from a PhotoPass photographer at the Figment topiary before heading into World Showcase. I tend to go counter clockwise around WS, so towards Canada I go...The wood-carved bears are excellent and the Canada gardens are really popping this year. I won't go into great detail of all the different topiaries around FW and WS as that would take a novel in itself, but I was suitably impressed at what was there. On to the UK pavilion where I find that the kiosk that I normally get my Magner's Pear Cider was closed (at this hour anyway) so, I get a Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider from the kiosk next to it and get my selfie with "the Post" and send it to my sister. Alice was out for pics, so I get on the Wonderland train and get a couple PhotoPass shots with her. Wonderful young lady, cracking jokes and just having a jolly olde time. Right afterward, I see that Mary Poppins is scheduled on High Street (Do you know, I never knew what that back area, where the bandstand is, was called? Silly me!!) This was 'practically perfect' except that she does not have a PhotoPass photographer with her. What's the deal with that? Anyway, her 'handler' was taking pics with your personal phone/camera, so I have a few shots with Mary now as well.

    Instead of heading from the UK over to DHS, I continued around WS just for the fun of it. I still have a couple hours before my first FP+. More topiary shots, a 'smoke break' (Yes, I'm one of those "bad guys" that haven't given it up yet!) and back around to the Promenade. As I'm going by Norway I see that there is no outside line for Frozen Ever After. Hmmm, what's going on here? Stand-by was listed as 25 minutes, so I queued up. Things moved pretty well, but there were a couple announcements about delays on the ride. I figured they were for people needing assistance boarding and getting off the ride. Pretty typical, right? Got to the merge point with the FP+ line in about 30 minutes...still not bad. Get to within about 20 people to load and BOOM! ride goes down...HARD! After about 10 minutes, I see people coming out of the "Emergency Exits" so I know it is not coming back up soon, so I get out of the queue and see that it is time to head over to DHS. Disappointed, but I had not expected to ride FEA stand-by anyway.

    After a boat ride around the EPCOT resorts, I arrive at DHS for the afternoon and evening festivities. My FP+ options were for Star Tours, Tower of Terror and Fantasmic! Feeling a bit 'peckish' I head over to Min & Bill's Dockside and get a footlong chili cheese dog and a chocolate Kahlua milkshake. Simple, but filling. Was sent to the left on Star Tours and got 3 of the 'old' scenes. (Are they still doing the scenes from The Last Jedi?) From there, over to Baseline Taphouse for a flight and to pick up a set of the 'trading cards' for one of the guys I work with. Showed the ones from my last trip to him and he went bonkers over them, so I told him I would get a set for him. (No, I didn't drink myself through the whole set!!) At the far end of the 'street' is the construction wall for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge with a mural of the Millenium Falcon. (The smoking area is right there as well -- gotta have one near the bar!!) As I was relaxing there with a smoke, a PhotoPass photographer came down and started taking pics of people in front to the Falcon. Oh heck yeah!! Had to get a few here as well.

    After that, it was time to head over to the other side of the park for ToT. Really would not have needed a FP+, but I already had it, so there you go...On a hot, sunny day, with a few adult beverages in me, the drops on ToT almost made me a bit dizzy. LOL Had a little time to kill before Fantasmic! so I just wandered around for a bit. (A recurring theme on this trip. I think I did more aimless wandering around than attractions.)

    About half an hour before show time, I made it back over to the ampitheater to use my FP+. Good seating just left of center and about half way up the stands. Another good show, with all the effects working correctly and the updated 'couples' floats looking marvelous. I know those floats were updated a couple years ago with LED lightig, but it still amazes me how much of a difference it made. Decided to see if I could make it back to the Chinese Theater area in time for the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular after Fantasmic! and actually got a great place to stand and watch the show. This was the first time I saw this one and wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a good show with projections of characters and scenes of ALL Star Wars movies, laser light accompaniments and some light fireworks. Definitely good for any Star Wars fan to see.

    After this, it was time to head back to the room (and find it!!) and get some rest....Found the room and...my MB doesn't work to open the door!!!!! It is now about 10:30PM...I'm tired, sun weary, and really ready to put my head on a pillow...Walk back to the Check-In desk and get things straightened out, then back, again, to the room to find my MB working again! Yippee!! My bags are there - both my checked luggage and my backpack and I take a quick glance at the updated room...Laminate flooring, one (visible) queen bed, larger TV and dresser, sliding doors on both shower area and sink area, decent sized table which folds away to make a base for a (I believe queen size) Murphy Bed. Not bad at all!

    To bed...gotta get up to meet Katzateer at the bus for MK at 7:00AM!!!!

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18 - PC
    5/15 - POR

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: October 16-24, 2018 Pop Century

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Mid Michigan
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    Wow! That’s a lot into one very, very long day!
    Thanks for taking the time to do such a fantastically written report.

  5. Thanks PopPhan thanked for this post
  6. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Morristown NJ
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    Sounds like a great first day, btw I love aimless wandering at Disney
    - Lynn -
    INTERCOT Staff: Theme Parks, DVC

  7. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    I'm going to read all of these RIGHT NOW!!!
    Be still and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10

    Stops on my quest to visit all 50 states
    AL, AK, AZ, CA, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, ND, NJ, NV, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA and WV.

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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Cumming, GA
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    That was a REALLY long day but I understand, those first Disney Days are always so exciting. Thanks so much for writing such a detailed review-I'm going to browse the rest of the days during my lunch hour, I look forward to reading them!
    Janet, aka JanetMegan

    Scrapbooking-There is a fine line between a mental illness and a hobby.

  10. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Carousel of Progress, FL
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    ...Min & Bill's Dockside and get a footlong chili cheese dog and a chocolate Kahlua milkshake.

    I've GOT to try this! Yummy!

    I didn't know laminate flooring was put in rooms at Pop. That's nice. I always hated walking barefoot on the carpet.
    Always Enjoy the

    "Now approaching, Mickey's Star Traders"

    If You Can Read This...
    ...Thank The Phoenicians!

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    I know I'm reading these out of order but that's okay ----You had a terrific start to your trip even though you had to get up in the middle of the night to catch your flight!!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping

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