~8:55am – Called into PCH Grill for my breakfast reservation, and am guided over to get my photo with Mickey in front of his lifeguard stand. I was hoping to make “The U” with my hands like last time, but that pose never came up. The frogger asked to me do another pose, but I blanked on how to do it so I look dumb and confused in my photo (see below).
~9:06am – Not 30 seconds after putting my food on the table and sitting down, a sales agent comes to my table, pushes my photo right up to the edge of my plate and starts telling me how much I REALLY want to only spend $36.95 on my “special commemorative photo with Mickey so I can remember this trip with my family for years to come.” That’s great, but my food is getting cold. I ask him to put it on My Disney Experience and he said no “at Disneyland Resort Hotels character photos are linked with the Disney Dining PhotoPass card” (?) so all I had to do was show him that card (which I could buy from him for an additional $39.95) and he’d be glad to process my “once-in-a-lifetime picture” with the great mouse himself.
So in review, in order to actually eat my food and get my photo with Mickey I need to pay for my meal $35 ($42 with tax) plus $39.95 for the photo package PLUS an additional $36.95 for the photo itself. That’s…$111.90… for two glossy 4×7 photos in an equally glossy paperboard frame. Um, no thanks.
~9:18am – Minnie passes by my table, and poses for pictures with the family sitting at the table next to me. Honestly, I’m not here to see her, but she did “kiss” my hair on her way bac towards the stage area.
~9:25am – My favorite Hawaiian alien “dog” comes by my table, which I am overly-excited about as he intentionally walked right past my table on my last visit (I KNOW he saw me because he stopped at the tables to my immediate left and right) but since I’m dining alone and both Mickey and the PhotoPass friends are on “surf break,” I have no-one to take my picture with him (happens to me a lot in Florida too). Eventually, I corral a somewhat reluctant server into taking our pictures, and Stitch leaves to do his hourly “Surf Rock with the Kids” dance in front of Mickey’s backdrop.
~9:38am – I watch Stitch do his dance with maybe a half-dozen kids as I wait for my server to bring my check around. He drops it off at my table just as Daisy who like Minnie “kisses” my hair as I wait for him to return so I can officially start my day.
10:18am – Enter park and head immediately to Soarin’ around the World. I love hearing people complain about the “30-minute wait.” Do you know what you call a “30-minute” wait for Soarin’ at Epcot? A walk on!
11:04am – Speaking of which, I left Soarin’ and literally walked right onto both “Journey of the Little Mermaid” (which is EXACTLY like it’s MK counterpart) and “The Golden Zephyr.” I also got my photo taken in front of Grizzly Peak, and when I told him about what happened earlier, he sent me to “the photo shop on Main Street” to resolve it.
12:03pm – Left “The Golden Zephyr” and went across the pathway to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta where I had the most dried out, disgusting and flat-out inedible “pizza” I’ve had in my life. Seriously, my high school cafeteria could take lessons from whoever made that pie. Yep, $7.95 and I threw it away after three bites.
~1:25pm – Took the wrong path out of Paradise Pier (I was trying to get to Cars Land), but ended up in Carthay Circle instead. That was where I was told they could solve the PhotoPass problems from this morning. It took a while to find it as it was tucked into the back corner of another shop and was only really accessible from a small door next to the lockers (!), but once I explained the problem to the woman at the counter and she was able to do what the sales agent (whose job is to sell photos for as much money as possible) and manager (probably going on what the sales agent was telling him) from this morning couldn’t – in less than 30 seconds!!!
~1:57pm – Leave Photopass shop with printed copy of my photo (I only asked for the digital), and head down the opposite side of the circle towards “Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue” where the greeter noticed I was traveling alone and handed me a yellow card and told me to go “directly through the exit to the right” (same thing that happened to me at Indie yesterday).
~2:19pm – Turtle Talk with Crush (show actually started at 12:38pm, but I wanted to get out of the sun).
~2:56pm – Starbucks break (there’s nothing quite like a cold drink on such a miserably hot day)
~3:45pm – Enter Cars Land and get in the ridiculously short line for “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree” (which is basically a slow moving whip ride) before skipping the Flying Tires or whatever it is now and headed over to the main attraction: “Radiator Springs Racers!”
~4:01pm – I couldn’t read the sign for the wait on Single Riders and one of the four CMs standing there (a cute boy with blonde hair) told me it was “20 minutes, um, maybe 15” so if you don’t hear from me for a while then you know where to find me…
~4:31pm – Exit RSR and follow the road into A Bug’s Land. Judging by the times on the Disneyland app this shouldn’t take very long – particularly since I couldn’t stand that movie. Ian at Flik’s Flyers however rawr (a trait he shared with Ryan the “grouper” over at RSR).
~5:13pm – Back in Hollywood Land where I am nearly caught in the ropes they were setting up for the afternoon parade.
~5:24pm – Decide not to leave the park immediately and instead ate dinner at the Smokejumpers’ Grill (next to Soarin’ Around the World). I know it’s quick service, but it can’t possibly be worse than the pizza I had for lunch.
~5:47pm – Exit park through the nearby Grand Californian entrance. It’s a bit early to leave the park, but my feet are killing me, my thighs are so red it literally HURTS to walk and most importantly of all I have a recap to write…