Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Don Donfris; Will Gregory
Episode 99 continues our summer Munch Madness table service dining tournament. This week, we tackled the first round of the Resorts & Downtown Disney Division – a sort of catch-call category for table service restaurants that didn’t really fit in any of the more focused divisions.
We decided to take a bus over to Epcot. The bus ride took a bit, and we continued through bag check and the turnstiles. We grabbed a Photopass shot in front of Spaceship Earth (the Photopass CD hasn’t arrived yet). A quick look at the Lines app said that Test Track was a 140 minute wait and Soarn’ was a 120 minute wait (and Soarin’ Fastpasses are gone)! So we headed to Test Track to grab a Fastpass (and got a return time of 6:00 p.m.)! Then we headed back to Soarin’ and got in the Stand-by line with a posted wait time of 100 minutes.
In line, I passed out waters and snacks. We played with the “games” in the queue and chatted and plotted the rest of the day. It actually only took about an hour to get to the boarding point. It was pretty cool for my kids -e we got to meet a young girl who was there on her “Make a Wish” trip. We talked with her and her mom, and rode Soarn’ with them. It was their first trip ever to Walt Disney World, and watching them experience Soarin’ was very cool.
After Soarin’, everyone was ready for lunch as it was about 12:15 p.m. But no one would agree on what to eat, so we opted for bland basics at Electric Umbrella (when all else fails, chicken and hamburgers work). We ate, rested, cooled off, and one of the twins decided it time for Mission: SPACE. Against Dad’s better judgment, I let the kids choose Orange. We got in line, got our assignments, and boarded our X-2 Deep Space Shuttle. Luckily no one lost their lunch and everyone exited happy! With hours now until we can could use our Fastpass for Test Track, we decided to head to another park.
(Through the magic of editing, we pick back up with Adam and his family on their return to Epcot, later in the day).
After a short bus ride we were back in Epcot, and making our way toward Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. We got in to the queue, designed our cars, and moved on to our ride vehicle. After Test Track we headed into World Showcase. We stopped to watch the Chinese Acrobats for a few minutes, as we strolled through World Showcase, just taking it all in. We stoped at the American Pavilion and grabbed everyone a Coca-Cola Slush and a Jalapeno Pretzel, and pressed on. We slowly made our way to the International Gateway and boarded a Friendship Boat to head back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to pick up our van – still one more theme park to go!
(Ed. Note: Yes, there is another park in between the two stops in Epcot. Just stick with us).
On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, Mom had a day scheduled to spend with an old college friend that lives close by, so the princesses and I decided that we would try a 4 in 1 Challenge (June 4th)! We came up with a set of ground rules for our challenge:
Two major attractions per park
At least one attraction must take photos
Some sort of eating in each park
Use each of Walt Disney World’s transportation options
All within normal park operation hours (no EMH)
We plotted out our day the night before and planned to begin this marathon day in Disney Hollywood Studios. Morning came and we were up and out of the house at Windsor Hills, by 7:30am, since we had seen crowds form well before DHS opened every time we have visited. We wanted to be there about 45 minutes to an hour before DHS opened. We were parked, through bag check and headed to the turnstiles to wait for opening by 8:15!
We stopped for a quick photo op to start the day then jumped in the turnstile line. At 8:25 they started scanning guests in. A quick bump of the Annual Pass to “Mickey’s Nose” and we were OFF! First up was the Toy Story Midway Mania, which meant participating in the “non-Disney designed” side attraction the TSMM Dash. We were at the front of “the Dash” so when I spotted there were no empty Fastpass lines, I quickly herded the kids into the standby queue, where as about as fast as we could walk through the winding queue we were boarding our ride vehicle.
From TSMM, we rushed to Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. By 9am we are in line and they HADN’T EVEN OPENED THE RIDE YET! We moved quickly (well quickly by Disney line standards), and were in one of the first few stand-by groups to get to the “Sound Studio.” BAM 2 headliners done and it was not even 9:30 a.m. yet. The kids made the call to see if we could fit in a bit more before the DHS crowd built up. Standby for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was posted at 80 minutes so we grabbed a Fastpass and darted to Star Tours. On our way to Star Tours we grabbed a popcorn bucket and a couple of cokes, and just chilled on a bench outside the ABC Sound Stage. Star Tours was a short wait – it took longer to walk the queue than to wait to board. Our Tower of Terror Fastpass time was almost up, so we headed back toward Sunset Boulevard at a leisurely pace. We still arrived a few minute early, but they sent us in anyway (it helps to smile and be nice to cast members). It was only 10:30 a.m. and we had already enjoyed four major attractions in DHS! We headed back toward the front of the park, stopping along the way for our Photopass shot in front of “the Hat,” and then out of DHS toward our the next part on our agenda.
Welcome back to the DISDads Podcast Midweek Destinations And Diversions Show. The DAD Show is your humpday vacation fix. Our intro and outro music was created and performed by Mitch Furman.
In Episode 13, Eric Anderson talks about his couples cruise on the Disney Dream (with a day at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival before sailing).
The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.
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The Munch Madness Walt Disney World table service dining tournament podcast series continues this Sunday, as we take on the Resorts & Downtown Disney Division. Here’s your chance to try and influence the panel that will be voting on the show. You can vote for one in each pairing below. The criteria that panel members will be encouraged to apply to their selections are: menu, food quality, service quality, atmosphere, value, and overall dining experience.