Rob and Debbie visit WDW w/o the kids - April 2004
Posted 13 June 2004 - 12:41 PM
My mother-in-law lives in Pennsylvania, and doesn't get to see them much, so she wanted to come down and spend time with them and suggested we go away for a brief spell. She didn't have to twist our arms too much. :wink:
I'll apologize in advance for the length of this story...
Anyway, we flew down to Orlando late on April 4th (Sunday) and flew home in the afternoon on April 7th (Wednesday).
Debbie and I arrived at our hotel room at Walt Disney World late Sunday
evening (about 10 or 11 pm). The plan was for us to stay at WWTBAM-PI! for as long as necessary on Monday to each get a shot to play the game. We checked in and rested up for the potentially long day of getting into the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire-Play It! Hot Seat the next morning.
In the morning, we made the short drive to MGM Studios and made a beeline for the Fast Pass machines at Play It!. Coincidentally, a friend of ours from Atlanta, Melanie, was visiting with her family. We had made arrangements to meet Melanie her at Play It! that morning. Anyway, we got our Fast Passes for the first show and decided to return a little later to see if we could locate her as she wasn't here yet.
We then walked around a bit before heading back just in time to catch
Melanie at the FP machines. She mentioned that her parents and oldest son were around and would be joining us shortly.
The three of us proceeded into the indoor waiting area and one of the staff handed us all passes to sit in the Fastest Finger row. This was the first time we had sat in the Fastest Finger row at Play It!. Right after that, the rest of Melanie's crew came into the room and we arranged for them to sit directly behind us. We all then were ushered into the studio to be seated for the first show. Debbie was in seat number 5, I was in 4, and Melanie was in 3.
The show began with the usual explanations and introductions. Shortly, the host was introduced and it was none other than Don Lampkin who is my favorite. I've been in the Hot Seat at MGM a total of 4 times before. Once I missed at 32K, once at 64K, and two other times at 500K. Both times that I saw the 500,000 point question, he was the host. He did his opening remarks and then read the Fastest Finger question:
Fastest Finger - Arrange these dogs in order by their average weights,
starting with the lightest:
A. Cocker Spaniel
B. Great Dane
C. Irish Setter
D. Scottish Terrier
I am no dog expert, but I felt fairly confident punching in DACB. Don then read the correct sequence which was indeed DACB and then showed the leaderboard slots 2 through 10. I was none of them. I figured that I was either slower than I had expected to be or faster. Then he showed the winning seat number which was seat number 4! We had taken a quick trip in September where I failed to get into the Hot Seat, so this was the first chance I had had since last June.
For those not familiar with the show, everyone in the audience plays along for the chance to sit in the Hot Seat. Only people that sit in the Hot Seat can win prizes. No cash prizes are awarded, but you can win some decent souvenirs. Each question you answer correctly earns you a pin with the WWTBAM-PI! logo and the point value of the question. If you miss one of the first five questions, you only win a button that says "I was in the Hot Seat". If you choose to leave after correctly answering any of the first 4 questions, you win 1-4 pins, depending on how many questions you correctly answered, and a lanyard on which to hang the pins. If you correctly answer the 5th question, for 1,000 points, you win the lanyard, 5 pins, and a baseball cap.
If you successfully answer the 32,000 point question, you win the lanyard, 10 pins, the baseball cap, and a polo shirt. If you successfully answer all 15 questions, you win all of these prizes plus an additional 5 pins (the million point pin is numbered), a medallion, a million point jacket, and a 3 night Disney Cruise. Missing a question will drop you back in prizes to the last milestone (back to 0, 1,000, or 32,000 depending on where you miss). In other words, it works essentially like the show.
You also get 3 lifelines to use along the way. The 50:50 is identical to the show, removing 2 incorrect answers. The Ask the Audience is also basically the same, except that the audience for the television show is all 18 and up. Since the logistics of the Phone a Friend lifeline would be impossible, they choose instead to have a Phone a Complete Stranger lifeline. There is a phone located near the Fast Pass machines outside that rings when you choose to use this lifeline. A Cast Member mans the phone and grabs someone walking past to aid the contestant. The results are often hilarious at best.
Anyway, here is how things went for me on this particular attempt:
The first 5 questions, as usual, were uneventful. I don't even recall the 100 point question, but the others were something like this:
200 - What is the name for the material with which you cover a pillow?
That one worried me at first thinking they may give me choices like Linen, Silk, Satin, or some such, but then I saw the choices which included such distractors as briefcase and court case.
300 - Which of these is the name of a bookstore chain in the U.S.?
500 - What is the product you get when you multiply 8 by 4?
1,000 - What aspect of the movie "George of the Jungle" was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop?
A. The forest
B. The treehouse
C. something I don't recall
D. The gorillas
Another one that worried me at first. Despite this being a Disney film, I hadn't seen it and was afraid the choices would all be different types of
creatures. When I saw the choices, obviously I nailed it easily.
The middle stack gave me a few minor scares. The questions went something like this:
2,000 - What is the slang expression that is used to describe something of
little value but great cost?
Don't remember the choices here, except that Red Herring was one of them. The answer they were looking for was White Elephant. Process of elimination worked well.
4,000 - What government agency does Sydney Bristow work for on the TV show "Alias"?
The only choices that I recall were CIA and FBI. I mentioned that I hadn't eever seen the show, but from seeing the commercials for it I was fairly certain she worked for the CIA. Nervously, I said Final Answer. :ermm:
8,000 - Who directed the movies "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable"?
A. Eve Plumb
B. M. Night Shamalyan
C. Alonzo Morning
D. Susan Dey
I hadn't heard of "Unbreakable", but I knew M. Night Shamalyan directed "Signs" and I also believed he did "The Sixth Sense". The distractors were a bit ridiculous, too. Jan Brady, Laurie Partridge, and a basketball player??? :roll:
16,000 - Which of these is not the name of a bone in the human body?
No trouble figuring this one out. The Uvula is the thing that hangs down from the back of the throat and is not a bone. The host remarked that it was pretty easy for 16,000. Of course, that is much easier to say from where he is sitting.
I'm now looking at the 32,000 question and it begins nicely enough for me...
In the Disney film "Pinocchio"
So far so good...
Pinocchio is made from what type of wood?
Uh oh, is this a tree question? I believe the choices were Oak, Maple, Pine, and Ash. :shock:
Just before hitting the panic button, I convinced myself that this wasn't a tree question, but a Disney one and that meant I should be able to nail it.
That thought immediately unlocked a memory of dialogue from the film which I then quoted: :idea:
Blue Fairy while waving her wand over Pinocchio's still puppet form: "Little
puppet made of pine. Awake, the gift of life is thine."
Pine, final answer.
The host then showed the leaderboard and mentioned that I was in great shape. He said that rarely do they see anyone get this far with all lifelines intact. Of course, I knew that the waters were about to get rough, so I had to try to hold onto them for a bit longer.
64,000 - Which First Lady was instrumental in bringing about the minimum wage laws?
A. Eleanor Roosevelt
B. Mamie Eisenhower
D. Lou Hoover
I vaguely thought I remembered this from watching the television show, but I was having trouble remembering initially who it was. My gut reaction was that Roosevelt was correct, though, and I had extra motivation for going with her in the form of some very distinct clicking noises as soon as Eleanor Roosevelt's name came up. I decided I'd use the "fourth lifeline" this once and see if it would get me a step closer. The clicker (who I suspect may well have been Melanie) did not let me down.
The next question was on the subject of Art, which is not a specialty of mine. However, I happened to remember this question (and more importantly the answer!) from an episode of the TV show.
125,000 - In the Jan Vermeer painting "Kitchen Maid", what is the subject seen doing?
A. Washing windows
C. Slicing bread
D. Pouring from a pitcher
I was one happy camper here, knowing the answer before the choices even came up. I said that this is where being a fan of the show was going to finally pay off for me because I remembered the question from the show and knew the answer. D. Pouring from a pitcher, Final Answer.
I'm now getting ready to look at the 250,000 point question with all 3 lifelines intact. I think it was at this point that the reality hit me of just where I was. I quickly pushed the thoughts aside because I wanted to stay "in the zone" a bit longer.
250,000 - In what order are the flags of the United Nations arranged?
A. By population
C. By order of entry into the UN
D. By continent
Well, this one I didn't know and any clicking that might have helped me was gone by this point in the stack. I felt certain the answer was either B or C. The C choice seemed the most obvious, too obvious perhaps for this level, so I was leaning towards B, but wasn't confident. I asked to use my Phone a Complete Stranger lifeline. The host questioned my logic in choosing to use this lifeline first, but I said I wanted to do so evertheless. The call went out...
and was answered by Steve from Michigan. He said that the correct answer was Alphabetically. I asked how sure he was and he said that he was almost certain. I asked if he by chance worked at the UN and he said no but that he had visited it before and they were arranged alphabetically. That was good enough for me. B. Alphabetically, final answer.
First things first. Steve from Michigan, thank you!!!!
The host then said that from watching the show, I had to be nervous about going with alphabetical since it seemed the most logical. Of course, as I had already mentioned, it seemed more logical to me that it would be in order of entry because they wouldn't have to keep rearranging the flags that way. Anyway, on to 500K.
500,000 - A "Spitzenberg" is a variety of what type of fruit?
No real clue, but for some reason the name made me think more of an apple than the other three and I know there are many, many varieties of apples. Anyway, with nothing more to go on than that, I asked the audience. The results were almost flat across the choices. Apricot came in first with 29% and apple came in last with 21%. I don't recall which of the other two was 26% and which was 24%, but that was the spread.
I told the host that I really wanted to at least get to see the million point question, so though I hated to do it I used the 50/50. The choices left were apricot (29% of the audience) and apple (21% of the audience). I thought until my time had just about run out and the host reminded me to watch my time. I then nervously went with my initial thought despite the audience vote and said Apple, final answer. :bluecry:
The correct answer was Apple!
I was so excited. I finally got to see a million point question even if I had no lifelines left. The host remarked on my going against the audience, but they didn't seem too upset about it and the spread was certainly not convincing. Anyway, the host then recapped my situation reminding the audience that if I got the next question correct I'd be going on a Disney Cruise. I remarked that my wife was sitting back there hoping for the cruise, but that what I really wanted was the million point jacket. The audience chuckled. Don then asked if I was ready to see the final question. I said "Let's do it" and the million point question was revealed.
1,000,000 - The island of Capri is part of what region of Italy?
Oh boy, world geography, certainly no strong suit of mine. :shock:
The only thing that came to mind initially was that an Italian restaurant near my home had a map of Italy with the various regions marked, but I couldn't picture the detail in my mind. I knew this was going to be essentially a shot in the dark. Remember, taking a guess was putting 4 pins at risk, because I had a 75% chance of being wrong and dropping back to 32,000 points. However, I also knew I had a 25% chance of winning the jacket and a cruise, so I never really considered not guessing.
Anyway, not knowing the answer, I decided to use what little logic I had left. The A and D choices looked similar, and I knew that often they would include similar answers like that on the show to confuse you as to which was correct. So, I decided I would use one of the two, but which one? No sense dragging this out, I'll just take a chance. A - Campania, Final Answer comes out as I take a deep breath. :ermm:
The host looks at me sadly and slowly says, "Rob...pack your bags" in a way which could have meant either good news or bad news was coming. :?
He finished by saying "because you are going on a cruise!". The streamers fell and I nearly went into shock. I never believed that I could do it, but I just did. The host was now standing and saying "What a way to start off the day!". I had thrown my arms up in the air excitedly and then, with prodding from the host, finally climbed down from the Hot Seat. Debbie was now standing, too, and I walked over to her and gave her a big hug. I also smiled at Melanie as I was ushered off stage to pick up my prizes. It would be awhile before I would stop shaking.
Oh, by the way, I had been worried about having to cancel my dinner
reservations had I missed the question. The reservations were at an Italian restaurant. 8)
The rest of the day we mostly stayed at the Play It! shows. Debbie, Melanie, and Melanie's son Sam all made it into the Hot Seat at one time or another. Debbie missed at 16,000 points, Sam missed at 32,000 points, and Melanie, a former million point winner, missed at 500,000 points.
My prizes consisted of the following:
15 Pin Set with lanyard, exclusive to the show
Baseball cap displaying the 1,000 point logo
Polo shirt exclusive to the show for 32,000 point winners
Varsity jacket with the 1,000,000 point and Millionaire logos
Gold Million Point Medallion in velvet box
A 3-night/4-day cruise for 4 aboard the Disney Cruise Line including airfare, all meals aboard ship, Government taxes and fees, Dining Room and Stateroom Gratuities
Transfers from Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral on the
sailing embarkation day and from Port Canaveral to Orlando International Airport on the sailing debarkation day
Round-trip coach airfare between Disney Cruise Line domestic gateway airport nearest to winner's home and a central Florida airport
Not included as part of the winning package: Laundry service, alcoholic
beverages, merchandise and souvenirs, local and long distance
telephone calls, hotel room service, Palo service charges, spa
services, shore excursions, incidental expenses, travel insurance,
and all other costs and expenses not otherwise mentioned above are
herein the responsibility of the winner.
You may want to check out the 2 photos that are in my gallery. One is Debbie and I with Don Lampkin on the set of the attraction. The other is a shadow box that I made with all of the pins from the show as well as other pins that I have bought.
Posted 05 April 2005 - 07:31 AM
I'M NOW OFFICIALLY ELIGIBLE AGAIN TO TRY TO WIN THE CRUISE AT WWTBAM-PI!!!!!
Not that I expect lightning to strike twice or anything, but I'm still excited.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled message board. Already in progress.
Posted 05 April 2005 - 12:17 PM
I'M NOW OFFICIALLY ELIGIBLE AGAIN TO TRY TO WIN THE CRUISE AT WWTBAM-PI!!!!!
I made a mental note when it was 30 days past my time in the hot seat. If only you were coming down in May Rob, we could combine our forces in some sort of a Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker duo (I thought a Star Wars related analogy would be appropriate) :king:
Posted 05 April 2005 - 12:44 PM
I am. Well, May 31st anyway.
Maybe we can set something like that up for October. They won't know what hit them.
By the way, with the coming of Summer, there will also be new audition opportunities for the daytime television version of WWTBAM. Since you are in the general vicinity of where they tape, you might consider auditioning. I'd be happy to provide any pointers that I could.
Posted 05 April 2005 - 01:49 PM
PixieDust, are you talking about the times they tape in Florida only or possibly those in New York? If there is interest, I could start posting information on when and where they will be auditioning next. I don't currently have any information, but once they gear up for the next season of shows I expect to hear about it and could post whatever I hear.
Posted 05 April 2005 - 05:18 PM
Certainly post the info on the opportunity to attend. Assuming I can get there(read: no work), I'll try out.