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Rob's June trip report

#1 User is offline   rob_wilson 

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:18 PM

I'm still catching up on things from being out of town and then starting my new job. However, I wanted to at least let everyone know that I made it back safely and am still around.

We drove down this trip and stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We arrived early on Friday, June 2nd, so we headed over to Disney-MGM Studios knowing that our room wouldn't be ready for awhile. We attended one of the Star Wars themed WWTAM-PI! shows, did some shopping at the event shop (where we said hello to DisneyPrincess), and had lunch. Afterwards we decided to see if we could get a room. We had a slight situation arise upon check-in. Apparently Visa knows how cheap I am normally and didn't think I would possibly stay at AKL. In other words, they declined my charges for the room thinking it was fraud. After about 30 minutes of hassle, they finally honored the charge and we were allowed to go to our room.

We didn't do too much the rest of the day because we were all tired from the day plus drive. We rested up to get an early start over to Disney-MGM Studios on Saturday morning. The plan was to attend the first two WWTBAM shows, both Star Wars themed, in the hopes that our son would make the Hot Seat. After that we grabbed a bite of lunch and then attended most of the regular shows. Three friends of ours, two of which have appeared on television versions of WWTBAM, met up with us that morning. Both of the two friends who had been on WWTBAM made it into the Hot Seat. They proceeded to miss at 16K and 32K (I think that's right). None of my crew made it. We had dinner that night at Hollywood & Vine.

The next morning we returned to Disney-MGM Studios. I went into the first show not knowing how to play things. The first of the two Star Wars shows each day were a bit different this year. In that show only, Warwick Davis joined the Hot Seat contestant(s) and offered his help. I figured that I knew enough about Star Wars, that with his help I should have a good shot at making it to 32K at least. That would allow me to win the usual prizes plus the Hasbro Star Wars action pack of 4 figures posed for battle (for 1,000 points) and the Darth Tater Mr. Potato-Head (for 32,000 points). However, I knew that I would have a better chance of winning the cruise if I played on a regular stack by myself. I still hadn't decided what to do when the show started, so I decided to see what fate would deal me. The fastest finger question asked us to arrange four letters in order to form the first name of the Star Wars music composer Mr. Williams. I confidently punched in J-O-H-N in fairly good speed. Apparently good enough, as my seat number was in the number one position when they showed the leaderboard.

I made my way down to the stage and shook hands with host Annie and Warwick Davis, taking my seat next to him. I cruised through the first 5 questions without needing any assistance from either him or the lifelines. At that point, Annie asked what I did back in Indiana. I told her that I was currently between jobs as I had been let go from one company after nearly 18 years of work due to down-sizing and that I was slated to start a new job as soon as I returned from Florida. The audience sympathized with my having lost a job and cheered at the news that I recovered from it quickly. Not realizing it though, I had also offered Mr. Davis the perfect straight line. He proceeded to tell how horrible down-sizing is and that he had suffered from it all his life. For those of you who may not know who he is, he played several Star Wars characters including Wicket the Ewok and Yoda. He also played the evil Leprechaun in the movie series of the same name and the lead character in the movie Willow back in the '80s. He has also worked in the Harry Potter movies and Ray, but I digress.

Anyway, the next set of 5 questions cost me two of my lifelines and also some dependence on Mr. Davis, especially when they asked which of four Star Wars characters he had not portrayed. At 64,000 points, they asked which of four men had provided the original voice of the Emperor in the first trilogy prior to George Lucas going back and redoing them to synch them up with the newer trilogy. Mr. Davis narrowed it down to two for me based on his knowledge, and I then called a stranger. The stranger had no clue, so I chose one of the two and unfortunately chose wrong. Still, it was great playing the game again and also fun to be joined by a celebrity.

The rest of the week we spent at EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Disney-MGM Studios. We didn't go to Animal Kingdom itself this time, although the AKL filled in nicely for it. Late in the week my daughter made it into the Hot Seat. Ironically it was one year to the day since she won the cruise. Sadly, you aren't eligible to win the cruise until one year and a day elapse, so we tried to dissuade her from going to the stage. She insisted though, so she and I trudged down. We were doing great until she hit the 16K question which asked which of four toy's names meant Play Well in the native language where the toy originated. The choices were Yo-Yo, Hacky Sack, Atari, and Lego. I was thinking it was either Yo-Yo or Lego and she tought it was Atari. She asked the audience and approximately half of them had chosen Atari. I asked her what she wanted to do and she said walk away. I told her that before she even considers walking away she should use her other lifelines. Well, she either misunderstood me or panicked because instead she said C. Atari final answer. The correct answer was Lego.

Neither my wife or son ever did make it into the Hot Seat this trip. However, I had to turn down the Hot Seat three times on the same day that I played. On each of the three occasions, my son had been in the third spot, so when I declined he got bumped went to second. Sadly, none of the new first place contestants also declined, so he was just a consistent runner-up.

Oh, in addition to seeing DisneyPrincess, we also saw OldImagineer and Pixie Dust. And I was unable to get a definite answer as to the future of the WWTBAM-PI! attraction. However, it does sound like its days are numbered. I'm thinking about making some quick weekend trips down there over the next few months just to see if I can hit the million one more time for posterity. In the meantime, I'll just participate in this contest:

to live vicariously through the people who are still down there playing.


#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:23 PM

It's sad to think the days of playing Millionaire all day and meeting up with members of this site are a thing of the past now when it come to Millionaire :thumleft:

#3 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:45 AM

Great report! Sorry to here your fave's future is looking bleak. How did you like AKL? We haven't been there since 2001 but loved it then!

Hope the new job is going well!! :thumleft:

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