Saturday, October 25, 2014

Epic Disney Weekend Day 3

The last three times we were in Disney Parks we were waking up early to get to race start lines. It was really nice to actually be able to sleep in until 7:15 each morning. Today's agenda wasn't as demanding as the previous day. Morning in the studios, afternoon in Epcot. Most of our morning would be occupied by Frozen Summer Fun and our evening by hitting the three Eat to the Beat Hanson sets.

Of course we had bus issues. "Let's walk to the main building". Along our way we were able to see buses for other parks go by, including one with no name listed. We decided we'd wait at the main building for a few minutes and get a cab if we had to. Luckily, that blank bus was actually heading to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Hooray! We got to the main gate with lots of time to spare and hold these stupid Olaf signs. After passing through the turnstiles we made our way towards the Sorcerer's Hat stage for the park's special opening show for Frozen Summer Fun. This involved some British guy on stage talking to Olaf on a Jumbotron while attempting to be funny.

After the fun we hit headliners - Rock & Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania. Fortunately Holly's gun was broken and we got a second ride around without waiting. Because of this Dave got his highest all-time score (213M - not great but great for him). The Frozen winter wonderland was still open (not the official name) as well as Wandering Oaken's store. The play area with the snow and ice skating rink were well done and a nice add-on unique activity.

We settled into a space on Hollywood Boulevard for the Frozen Processional. We had to guard the space with our lives since this was the last day of the parade and people were being pushy. The parade portion of the processional lasted about five minutes and featured some costumes and floats from the Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade. This was ok with us since we've never seen that parade live. After the princess and queen pass you sorta join a mass of humanity and shuffle up to the stage where the characters engage with the host and lead the crowd in a horrible rendition of "Let it Go". We skipped the sing-a-long show in the theatre since we were returning in November when that particular show will still be running.

Time to head to Epcot. We had just missed a boat and decided to wait for the next one. It took forever for another boat to arrive and took even longer for the boat to get just to the Swan. We decided we could race the boat to Epcot from there. Good news is we won. Bad news is we got real sweaty doing so (humid out there). We made our way to the Chase Cardholder Lounge in the American Adventure Pavilion. Chase credit card holders had access to a third floor lounge with AC, sodas, bathrooms, and a small cash bar. Disney Visa Cardholders could get wristbands for special seating to one concert and Illuminations fireworks. We obtained our second reserved seating for a Hanson set (the first one was obtained by booking a lunch package). We may have found a loophole and received reserved seating to the third show, but we didn't feel too bad about since we each have a Disney Visa Card account and could get two bands per card.

We booked our lunch package at Via Napoli. For $40/pp we could each have a soft drink, appetizer, main dish, and dessert. Way too much food but it drove us to try things other than pizza. The calamari appetizer was probably the best fried squid we've ever had! The meat/cheese plate was a nice small appetizer and easy to share. We split a pizza and chicken parmesan for our main courses and had gelato and zeppolis for dessert. Cocktails cost extra.

We walked off all the food by strolling the Japan Pavilion and getting beverages for the first show. Our dining package bands got us seats a few rows back in the second section, which were not undercover. It looked like there was going to be a chance the skies would open up on us, but we dodged that bullet!

Some of our friends thought we were kidding when we said we planned a Disney weekend around the Hanson Eat to the Beat shows, but we really did. Most people gave up on Hanson as a child novelty act after "Mmmbop". Dave stumbled on a Hanson video podcast a few years ago focusing on making an album and visiting South Africa ("Taking The Walk"). As adults they proved to be talented musicians and songwriters. You could classify their current music with groups like Train, Sister Hazel, Better than Ezra, etc. As an added bonus they have their own beer.

We saw all three sets and they exceeded our expectations. Friends we coaxed into watching the show were quite surprised at their talent level,  Hanson sang well and put the effort into making each set a show. During set one, some lady in the front section passed out. We got to see Disney in action and take her out in a stretcher. Impressive enough, Taylor Hanson stopped the show for a minute to ask the cast members if she was ok. Set two and three we were about four rows back thanks to the Chase Lounge access. There were a few repeat songs in the 35 minute sets but enough variety to keep it all interesting. The final song of the night was AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top".

When the last set ended it was almost time for the park to close. Luckily the Food & Wine booths were open until the last minute so we were able to get a sausage and schnitzel from the German booth just before they closed. We didn't bother with Illuminations and headed to Mouse Gears (the big store) for a last minute merchandise check before leaving the park. Luckily an Old Key West bus was at the stop waiting. We closed the evening spending some time at the little closet bar then walked back to our room. The next morning we got up early and headed home.

This trip proved you can really get quite a lot accomplished at WDW if you plan well and resign yourself to the fact that you will be exhausted.

Here's some video with more Frozen Summer Fun, Hanson, and general nonsense:

No comments:

Post a Comment