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A blast from the past

#1 User is offline   rob_wilson 

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  • Interests:Disney, Trivia

Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:34 PM

I have been going through old e-mails and such in preparation for my pending departure from my job of the last 17+ years at the end of this month. In doing so, I came across this WWTBAM-PI! trip report that I thought some would enjoy. This is from my very first time at the attraction. It would have been from October of 2001 if I remember correctly. Enjoy!

First off, let me begin by saying that the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It!" attraction is a blast whether you get into the Hot Seat or not. However, it does get frustrating when you can't get your seat number in the number 1 spot of the Top 10 list, or even on it at all for that matter. Anyway, the original plan was to go straight from the airport to the hotel then to Disney-MGM Studios to try for the Hot Seat. We soon ditched that plan as the last show for the day was scheduled for 5:50 pm and we would have been hard-pressed to make it there by that time. So, we instead ended up playing mini-golf and retiring early. The next day, we made a beeline for the park. The park opens at 9:00 am and the first show is at 10:00 am. We grabbed a Fast Pass for the second show at 10:50 (?) then looked around the park a bit intending to make it back by 10:00 am for the first show while having a guaranteed seat for the second show. Well, that didn't work. The Great Movie Ride took longer than estimated and we ended up missing the first show. We did, however, make the second show. The set was very realistic. The seating capacity is 600, which is slightly more than 3 times that of the actual show in New York. Every seat is equipped with a 4 button device which you use to punch in your answers. If there is a carryover contestant from a previous show, the game begins with them picking up right where they left off at the previous show (just like the real show). You enter your choice of answers as each question and four choices is read. You cannot change your answer, so be sure you choose the answer you want. You are given points for accuracy and speed of answer. However, you do not see your points or rankings on your display. The only times you will ever know how you are doing compared to the rest of the audience is when they display the Top 10 scores and seat numbers. They do this after each milestone question as well as when a contestant leaves the Hot Seat.

When our show began, there was another guy from Indiana in the Hot Seat. I believe he had all three lifelines left and had won either 2,000 or 4,000 points. He proceeded to answer correctly on his first question and then chose to ask the audience on his next one about what substance makes up a rhinoceros' horn. Since the audience is playing along with each question, they are able to quickly put up the audience's percentages. The majority, over 60%, gave him the wrong answer of bone. Ironically, I had just recently read where their horns were made of a hair-like substance, so I confidently had entered keratin in as my choice. Only 12% of the audience was correct. He went with the audience and was out of the Hot Seat. As a side note, the place that I had read about the rhino horn was on a little activity sheet that they now have at my doctor's office which is supposed to occupy your time after you get your allergy shots since you are not to leave for 20 minutes after. However, it has the lamest activities on it that any 8 year old would be easily able to do. The trivia section consisted of 5 facts and with the exception of the rhino question they were all extremely easy. One of the questions is actually how many days is in a year. And, they all have 4 answers to choose from as well. Anyway, I digress, so back on the subject they were now ready to choose the next contestant. I was fairly sure that I would be in the Top 10, but there were more than 400 people in attendance so the odds of my being in the number 1 slot seemed low. Anyway, they show the Top 10 list filling in from 10 up to 2. My seat number wasn't listed. Then, after a short dramatic pause, they revealed the number 1 seat. Mine! Yes, I got in on my first attempt! I was concerned that it would take most of my vacation just to make it in there!

So, after figuring out how to navigate my way through the crowd to get to the Hot Seat, I introduced myself to the stage hand and host. I was wearing the shirt that I got for appearing on the actual show for good luck and the host commented that he liked the shirt. When I explained where I got it from the audience "whooed". I guess they figured that if I had been on the show and won $64,000, I should be able to give them a good show. Anyway, they then proceeded to explain the rules and lifelines: 50/50 and ask the audience which work just like on the show and phone a complete stranger where they grab someone walking by outside and they attempt to answer your question after you read it and the choices to them. Realistically, only one lifeline works just like on the show, the 50/50. The audience lifeline is similar, but in New York nobody under 18 is allowed into the studio. Here, all age groups were playing along, so the results are more skewed. Anyway, below to the best of my ability to remember them, is my question stack. Two questions are missing because I couldn't remember them. Others I don't recall the actual dollar (point) value. Still others I remembered the question and at least 2 choices, but had to make up one or more that I couldn't recall. For each question you get correct, you receive a pin with the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! logo and the point value on it. The first five pins have a bronze backing and the point value is in blue type. The second five pins have a silver backing and the point value is in green type. The last five pins have a gold backing and the point value is in purple type. In addition to the pins, at the 1,000 point level you receive a ball cap, at the 32,000 point level you receive a polo shirt, and at the 1,000,000 point level you receive a trip for 2 to New York, a leather jacket, and a medal. Like the show, if you miss a question, you drop back to the previous milestone and only receive the prizes up to that point. Even though I would have liked to have tried for the top prize, I didn't want to lose my pins, so I stopped on the last question below. How well would you have done?

Over the rest of our vacation, we saw this show several more times. Both Debbie and Donny wanted to get in the Hot Seat. Unfortunately, despite several close calls for Debbie, they neither one succeeded. I did win a fastest finger question once, but had to turn down the trip to the Hot Seat because they have a 30-day rule to prevent the same people playing all the time. Oh, the fastest finger questions are used to begin the show if there is no carryover contestant. That's the only time they do those. Debbie and I were also in the number 1 position at different times when the shows ended. When that happens, they just dismiss you and you don't get to be a carryover. If anyone goes to Walt Disney World, I would highly recommend you check this attraction out!

$100 - Which of these is the name of a state in the Southeastern U.S.?

A. Midnight B. Train
C. Two D. Georgia

Which of these is typically a grade level in middle school?

A. Second B. Fifth
C. Seventh D. Tenth

Which of these is not a type of light fixture?

A. Sconce B. Porch light
C. Chandelier D. Ladle

$2,000 - Which of these is not a part of Disney's True-Life Adventures series?

A. The Living Desert B. The African Lion
C. Jungle Cat D. The Lone Ranger

$4,000 - Which of these is not another name for a ghost?

A. Phantom B. Spirit
C. Shade D. Siphon

$8,000 - Which of these are considered to be the legendary founders of Rome?

A. Castor & Pollux B. Adam & Eve
C. Romulus & Remus D. Sonny & Cher

$16,000 - If you julienne carrots, what shape are you making?

A. Strips B. Rosettes
C. Cubes D. Spirals

$32,000 - In 1989, who became the oldest man to be voted Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine? (Used my ask the audience on this though I would have guessed right)

A. Robert Redford B. Paul Newman
C. Sean Connery D. Clint Eastwood

$64,000 - Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the anniversary of what?

A. Defeat of Napoleon B. Departure of loved ones
C. Benito Juarez' birth D. Independence War

$125,000 - The Ansel Adams photograph "Dome and Half Moon" was taken in which national park? (Used my phone a complete stranger and 50/50 on this. The audience laughed when I used the phone a complete stranger at this level. We later saw that more often than not they wouldn't have a clue at ANY level. In my case, he admitted he didn't know it but gave me a guess that was in line with what I was thinking and turned out to be correct.)

A. Yellowstone B. Yosemite
C. Acadia D. Grand Canyon

$250,000 - What was Mickey Mouse's first cartoon? (I gave this answer quickly much to the dismay of the audience who gasped. They soon found out that I knew what I was talking about)

A. Plane Crazy B. Gallopin' Gauchos
C. Steamboat Willie D. Orphan's Benefit

$500,000 - Who said, "Be happy. It's one way of being wise."?

A. Mohandas Gandhi B. Collette
C. Maya Angelou D. Plato

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