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Patrokls' first ever SWW

#1 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:54 PM

Day 1 Fri May 19: I arrived about 30 minutes early and enjoyed the opening show with the Stormtroopers. I found it interetsting that they had the biometrics readers turned off to get the crowd in faster. I followed the cast member directions and got in the fastpass line for Peter Mayhew's autograph. After I got my fastpass I went to grab the merchadise I wanted. I waited in the most amazing line ever. It never moved yet I ended up in a different place than where I began. So I missed my fastpass time and pretty much everything else that morning. After this I was in a pretty foul mood so I went to the one place that could fix that: Muppet Vision 3D. Feeling better I hit Star Tours and was thankful that I didn't have to put up with a merchadise line in the sun leading into that tiny store. I guess what made the merchandise situation worse for me is that everything I bought was still available at 5:30 when I decided to go back for a Darth Goofy plush. Oh well live and learn. I finished off the day doing the non Star Wars stuff in the park followed by dinner at the 50's Prime Time Cafe with my family and finally Fantasmic. Overall, an agravating day but i still had fun.

Day 2 Sat 20: Having missed my autograph the day before I made that my only priority today. So I spent my extra magic hour waiting in line for a fastpass. I had my IPod so the wait wasn't to bad. My return time was at 10:25a so I got my autograph from Peter Mayhew and then went to find a spot on the wall to wait for the parade. After the parade I left for the day to do some park hopping.

Day 3 Sat 21: Well my planned one day at the Studios for SWW has now become three. The Jedi Mickey Big Fig I bought on Friday never made it to my resort so I went to go find it. After getting that situation settled I decided to watch WWTBAMPI with Warwick Davis. Both players only made it to the 64,000 point question. The host was pretty good and Warwick Davis was very funny.

Despite the problems I encountered I would certainly go back if the opportunity arose.
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#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 07:47 PM

patrokls said:

I found it interetsting that they had the biometrics readers turned off to get the crowd in faster.
Really? Did everyone who went found that they turned off the biometric readers?
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#3 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:38 AM

Also, when I went to Animal Kingdom Wed morning they had the sensitivity turned down as well. It seemed like putting your fingers in the slot was just for show. Epcot and Magic Kingdom were normal unless you went late in the day. They seemed to have them turned off or turned down then.
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#4 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:21 PM

So were the biometric readers off completely? or just set for low sensitivity?
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#5 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 03:37 PM

At MGM they must have been off because I put my ticket in and it spit it right out the other side. The cast members were telling us we did not need to stick our fingers in.
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Posted 25 May 2006 - 05:10 PM

Great report! Glad to hear you had a good time despite the problems :thumright:
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#7 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:28 PM

patrokls said:

At MGM they must have been off because I put my ticket in and it spit it right out the other side. The cast members were telling us we did not need to stick our fingers in.
That's quite interesting as Len Testa had theorized they reduced the sensitivity to help with crowds but not sure if I (or he) have heard of it being totally off.
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#8 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:42 PM

Here is a more in depth version of my first day from a trip report I put up on the Disboards (If anyone cares).

5-19: Star Wars Weekend Baby

Time to get my geek on. I’m a Star Wars geek first and a Disney geek second, with all other manner of geekdom following, besides circus geekdom. I have yet to bite the head off of a chicken. Although I have eaten McNuggets so maybe I have.

Ok, I visited MGMStudios.org I chatted with some people who have gone to SWW in the past. I had a plan. Wasn’t it Eisenhower who said something about all the plans going out the window when the bullets start flying? Luckily there were no actual bullets just metaphors.

I got there early. I saw the keen opening show with the Stormtroopers. I charged through the turnstiles knocking down small children and hapless grannies. I made it to the line to get a fastpass so that I could get Peter Mayhew’s (Chewbacca) autograph. I got the fastpass. It was for 10:50a or something close to that. It was now 9:30a. I had plenty of time to get my merchandise. But, there was the line. It was a line of semi-epic proportions, a line that defied the laws of nature, a line that no amount of hyperbole could do justice to. This line, this amazing line. The line that for 3 hours did not move; yet somehow I ended up in a different place than where I began. It started out ok. The line was indoors, air conditioned, and seemed to be moving along ok. I figured no problem get in, get out, go see Chewie. Then the line just stalled. My fastpass time was quickly approaching, what to do? Well it was about this time that I decided I would be doing SWW for two days instead of one. While waiting in line they had a loop of Star Wars music playing. With the vast amounts of music from the films you think the loop could have been longer than 30 minutes. They also had an X-Wing that you could get your picture taken in front of. The picture only cost $35, but it came in a nice frame, I think, I’m not a sucker I didn’t fall for this. By now I’ve just about had enough of this line, but I had invested too much time in this line and I’m going to buy something gosh darn it (this is a family site after all). I’m sure there have been longer lines in the history of mankind, but this is new to me. Things got better when I remembered I had my Ipod in my camera bag. I’m a pretty introverted person and I’m not the type to chat up people in line. Finally, the end is in sight I get my collectibles and decide to have them sent back to my resort. Remember this, it comes up later.
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Its 12:30pm. I’ve missed the Star Wars parade and the special Star Wars edition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Play It” with special guest Warwick Davis. I have had neither food nor drink since 7:00am. My parents come to the rescue with a bottle of water. Yet, I’m still ticked. I’ve missed just about everything I had planned to do. There is only one thing in the park that can pull me out of this funk: MuppetVision 3D. I love me some Muppets, and these are the real Muppets from when Jim Henson was still alive. I have fond memories of the Muppets. Every Saturday evening my dad would make homemade pizza and the family would sit down and watch the Muppet Show together. They don’t make TV like that anymore.

Feeling refreshed from the Muppets I head over to Star Tours. Even during SWW this attraction has no line. After I exit the ride I see that I am lucky that I did not have to wait in line last year for merchandise. Tatooine Traders is a tiny little store with a line that must have been hanging out into the wonderful Florida sun.

I see the regular non-Star Wars version of WWTBAMPI. I don’t make it to the “hotseat” I can’t spell GOLD when under pressure. I see One Man’s Dream. It’s nice but we had a better display come to the Henry Ford Museum last year (Behind the Magic: 50 Years of Disneyland. I think it’s in Oakland now. If you have the opportunity go see it).

Once again I try to check into the Hollywood Tower Hotel. You’d think a fancy, dusty hotel like this could get some regular elevators. That service one doesn’t look too safe and always ends up in the 5th dimension and then a gift shop. Rock n Roller Coaster. I wish Disney had gone with their original plan of getting the Rolling Stones for this ride. They were too expensive.

Now for the funny part. I decide to go back to Wicket’s Warehouse (the store with the limited edition merch. known as Soundstage 1 the rest of the year) to see if they had anymore Darth Goofy plush. They did. They also had all of the stuff I waited three hours in line to get. Ha. Funny stuff. I did read, when I got home, that the LE pins sold out later that evening, so that’s something anyway.

Dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Café. I had the roast beef and a blue drink with an ice cube that may cause seizures. My brother got in trouble. He was wasting perfectly good chicken bones. He could have made stock with them.

We go get a seat for Fantasmic. The young man (a plumber in training apparently (there was more crack there than on the Liberty Bell)) seated in front of us was, trying to get the wave started. He eventually succeeded. I didn’t give in to the mob mentality. Fantasmic is fun, but I wouldn’t see it more than once a trip. It’s not quite worth the hour you have to wait in order to get a good seat.

Another long day. Bed time.
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#9 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:50 PM

Ahhh, the line story played itself out for several dedicated fans. Be glad you weren't next to my wife... or your introverted ways would have been threatened. There would be NO ESCAPE..... a woman from Brazil.... TRIED.

That was how the great purchase of 2006 occurred. After hours in the line... she called me on the cell and asked me what we wanted. I told her, she'd been in the line for hours, I wasn't going to tell her no on anything..... and so I'm still paying for that "Lack of Faith" in my wifes shopping powers! :old2:
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#10 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:47 PM

patrokls said:

Ok, I visited MGMStudios.org I chatted with some people who have gone to SWW in the past. I had a plan. Wasn’t it Eisenhower who said something about all the plans going out the window when the bullets start flying? Luckily there were no actual bullets just metaphors.
:lol: We need to state that next year before chats. Great report :thumleft: very thorough and its always good to put the pics in.
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#11 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 09:04 PM

Here's day 2 of SWW
5-20: Casa Bonita

Since I had missed most of the Star Wars activities the day before, I postponed my plans to get to Epcot early today, and headed back to MGM. Today was morning EMH. So I got there early and hopped in line for my autograph fastpass. Woooo! I got to spend my EMH hour in a line. Luckily, Disney was sort of stacking the line (they’d stop the line at a certain place and then move the whole thing forward as more people got into the line) so it made us feel like we were moving. If you want a surreal experience listen to a podcast someone(Meandering Mouse) made of the Epcot opening ceremonies while experiencing the MGM opening. Got the fastpass. Ate breakfast. Nutrigrain bars: food for the commando tourist. Watched some weird people over on the stage by Star Tours. Saw MuppetVision again. Met Chewie and got his autograph. Found a spot to watch the parade. When did the Empire loosen its restrictions? No offense but there were some slightly portly Biker Scouts there, and one really short Snowtrooper.

Jedi Mickey in his boss ride
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On to Epcot. I wanted to see 2 things I had missed on my previous day at the park. Living with the Land and The American Adventure. Living with the Land should be boring, but its not. Weird that. Checking the handy-dandy times guide I see the next showing of The American Adventure is at 2:30p its 2:10p now. This is gonna take some wogging. It’s not quite a walk it’s not quite a jog, but you look silly either way. I make it in plenty of time to see the Voices of Liberty too. Bonus. I’m generally a pretty cynical person but AA always brings a little tear to my eye. It was now that I hit upon the idea of the Casa Bonita tour of World Showcase. You South Park fans may get the reference, but otherwise I basically took the handy-dandy times guide and tried to cram in as much live entertainment as possible.

First up a Kaki Gori and some Japanese drumming. China. A Chinese lady, in the lobby of the Chinese movie, of which the name escapes me at the moment, playing some stringed instrument was next. It sounded like the music in the local Chinese restaurant so I was happy.
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I stop by Norway to hear the folk musicians and maybe ride Maelstrom again. 20 Minutes!? Maelstrom may be a fastpass, but I’m not going to wait 20 minutes to ride it. Those trolls will just have to throw someone else around. Those obnoxious little acrobats were up next. I could do that, but I don’t want to. Plus, I’m about as limber as log (it rolls down stairs). During the performance they ask that those in the courtyard please sit on the ground so that everyone can see. The ground that’s been sitting in the Florida sun for hours. The ground was fricking hot. So I was crouching on the balls of my feet hoping the soles of my shoes weren’t melting to the ground. Alrighty, one thing left: the mighty Mariachi band of Mehico. Alas, it was not to be. They were on at 5:00p and I had to leave at that time so I could make it over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko.

I was dressed in only slightly “business casual” attire, but they let me in anyway. I did freshen up in the restroom. A little urinal cake underarm action and I was washbasin fresh. Dinner was OK. I think the appetizers were better than the filet. The wine was good though. Although, the only thing I know about wine is to look pretentious while drinking it. Sniff, swirl, sip, repeat.

After dinner it was time for the Magic Kingdom and some “Wishes” Ok here’s my cute kid story for the trip. Its Disney your tripping over kids all day one of them is going to do something cute. It was actually on the bus to the Magic Kingdom. Little Erik sat next to me on the bus. I know his name because his mouse ears had his name embroidered on them. Either that or he messed up Erik and took his ears. He dropped his little plush yeti so I picked it up and gave it back to him. He then proceeded to try and give it back to me. I had to explain to him that it was his toy. I also got to tell him that the monorail was not another bus. It was cuter in person. The family was all wearing the same outfit. I then explained to his parents how EMH evenings worked at Animal Kingdom. They asked. It’s hard to know when to stop explaining these things. There is a fine line between knowledgeable and Disney Nut Know-It-All.

I wade through the parade/fireworks people. You know the ones who brought tents and sleeping bags and have been camped out on Main Street since noon. I make it to Big Thunder in Frontierland. This ride is really different after dark. I find a spot over at Sleepy Hollow to watch Spectromagic (on this magic niiiiight). It‘s a good spot to watch the parade from except some little girl sitting next to me kept hitting me with her multi-colored light sword (not lightsaber). One dirty look in her direction later and she put it away. After the parade I cross the hub and stake out a spot on the Tomorrowland bridge to watch “Wishes!” I wish I may I wish I might get this song out of my head. No a really liked the show. Time to run past all of the people packing their camping gear into their SUVs (Stroller Utility Vehicle) and get the fudge out of there. Only 3 parks today. I’m slipping. Time for bed. Only one day of Disney left.
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#12 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:35 AM

Great report and pics! Thanks for sharing them. :thumleft:
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#13 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:01 PM

Another great (and funny) report. Thanks for posting it. I do agree there are some Storm Troopers that are kind of "suspect" when it comes to how they got in. :thumleft:
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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:19 PM

love the pictures!!! great report!



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#15 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 03:04 PM

Here's the last day of SWW and my last day at WDW

5-21: This is the end, my only friend the end

Check out day. How depressing.
Ok, remember back when I wrote that I had my goodies from Star Wars Weekend shipped back to my resort? Well, they were supposed to arrive Saturday, but I got back to the resort too late. So this morning I head to the store to pick up my stuff. The nice lady behind the counter checks for me and hands me the bag with my pin and poster.
"Um? There should be a big box back there."
"Nope. We’ll call the store at MGM and see what’s up."
(minutes later)
"They’re not open yet."
"I check out today. You know what I’ll head over there and find it myself."

So my one day at MGM for SWW has now officially become a weekend. After explaining my situation to about 3 people I finally get my Jedi Mickey Big Fig. Took it to the car. My parents rented a car. Re-arranged the luggage in the car. People bring too much luggage. Enough underwear and socks for the trip (a must) and then just one shirt and some Febreeze. Oh yeah and pants. People complain if you don’t have pants. Wait comeback I was just kidding. I brought more than one shirt. I don’t know what that smell is. Really.

Back to Magic Kingdom (The Happiest Stroller Parking Lot on Earth) for one of those watchcallems….um…Dole Whip that’s it. Also, had some fun with my Brer friends on Chickapin Hill.

Epcot. Morocco for lunch.
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Norway for schoolbread.
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Mexico for the elusive Mariachi band. Not here today. Curses foiled again.
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Japan for the tin toy exhibit.
(photo not available)
I’m in total toy geek heaven. If you notice any empty cases there, I totally didn’t do it. Spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the countries of World Showcase. It’s like the real thing, but without the wacky colored money with old queens on it.

Some family friends from Florida came to the WDW for the day. They spent the day at MGM with my parents for anyone who cares. They bought us dinner at Raglan Road (small expensive beer, the fish and chips were good though). We returned the favor by staying at their home for 2 nights. They actually asked us to stay with them before we left. They live by the ocean. That’s why there is a rental car.

view from their balcony
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here's the link if anyone wants to read the whole thing:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=...age=1&pp=15
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#16 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:26 PM

Glad you got your merchandise that was "shipped" to you in the end. That's the first I heard of something not getting shipped back to the resort. Did you have your reciepts?
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#17 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:46 PM

Yep I had the receipts and my copy of the shipping forms. I just had a feeling that it might not get there. They seemed a little disorganized by the registers where they had the Big Figs stored.
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#18 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:45 PM

patrokls said:

Yep I had the receipts and my copy of the shipping forms. I just had a feeling that it might not get there. They seemed a little disorganized by the registers where they had the Big Figs stored.


I'll second that. It was somewhat chaotic. That said, all of my items made it back to my resort and I was able to ship my Figg and some other items from there home with no problems.

So a thumbs up to Disney or saving my back on the flight home. :thumleft:
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#19 User is offline   patrokls 

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:58 PM

Yeah I had mine shipped home as well. I trust UPS to get it home in one piece way more than I trust the arilines to do it.
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#20 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 08:44 PM

patrokls said:

Yeah I had mine shipped home as well. I trust UPS to get it home in one piece way more than I trust the arilines to do it.


Boy your not kidding. I like to watch them handle the bags outside of airplanes for entertainment purposes only. Especially when my bags are not involved! :woot:
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