1032 – Ray’s Holiday Trip With Scooter
A holiday theme park tour with Ray and Scoots where every puddle offers a chance to pause and meander.
- Pandorean Style Food
- “It drains me, Ray”
- The Greatest Showman
- Team Rodent Book
- Pink Floyd
Notable Talking Points:
- Live action scooby doo movies are vastly underrated
- Gingerbread Carousel
- Kids giving a hard time to stormtroopers
Episode 1032 – Ray's Holiday Trip With Scooter
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, my patron peeps…hey patron peeps, it’s Scoots here. So good to be in your ears. As Ray would say…as Ray may say soon, so good to be in your ears. It’s time for Sleep With Me, patrons, the podcast to put you to sleep. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts you’re thinking about, things on your mind, so thoughts about the past, the present, the future, stuff, lists, listicles. I’m not even exactly sure what a listicle is, to be honest with you. I hear people’s…that’s another word that might be hard to spell; listicles. Is that like an…?
This isn’t the first time I’ve made this association; listicles and icicles may be spelled in similar ways. I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll remember to come back to that. But whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts, feelings, anything emotionally coming up for you. If you’re Ralphie from A Christmas Story, he probably as an adult had feelings about icicles, maybe. Maybe he wrote listicles about icicles. I don’t know. But…oh, it’s a fictional character. Oh, it was not a fictional character though, right? Because it was…but in the movie it was a fictional character, but…’cause it was based on…wasn’t it…? ‘Cause I went to the Christmas Story Musical. Vessna sent me Jean Shepherd’s book. Oh boy, I’m off-topic. Have I ever done a Tale of the Tape for A Christmas Story?
I think I have and I still…I don’t remember, and I don’t remember…that’s gold. But whatever’s keeping you awake, like thoughts, feelings…oh, physical sensations could…that could be keeping you awake. Could be changes in time or temperature or schedule, route…if you’re off your routine, you have a new routine, you work a different shift, you got new neighbors, or mysteries. That’s normally…well, I mean, I…as soon as I said mysteries, the Mystery Machine popped in my head. But I wonder who named the Mystery Machine. Was that Fred? Was Fred the owner of the Mystery Machine? Here’s a mystery; where…was Fred…is Fred from the landed gentry or is that just my imagination? I don’t know Fred’s backstory.
Actually, I don’t know any…I’m sure there was at some point…oh, I think that Scooby-Doo animated movie that came out in 2000 or 19…not 1999. Oh, 2020 or 2019, there was a Scooby-Doo animated movie. That may have been Scooby and Shaggy’s backstory, but I didn’t…here’s a spoiler; I watched it but I did not pay attention at all. I wasn’t watching it; I was using my phone. Now here’s the thing, I think I was doing Duolingo and then I played Risk, ‘cause those are the two normal things I do. I just…this is not a joke; I think there was…it opened on a picnic blanket and then they teamed up to get snacks. This isn’t against the movie or anything. That’s just the only thing I remember. I wish it was twenty-five years ago, but it’s not. How did I get on…how did I get so far field?
Thoughts, feelings, Mystery Machines…oh, ‘cause sometimes mystery…the mystery…I say, why can’t I fall asleep? That literally happened to me last night. The old super-tired…and I just…I feel like I just talked about it on another intro, but I said oh boy, I’m ready for bed. Every ounce of my being said that, except for some part that was already…that was on a…in the opposite schedule. I fell asleep for about four seconds and then that other part of me said, nah. So anyway, whatever’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of that. What I’m gonna attempt to do here is create a safe place. I’m gonna smooth it, I’m gonna pat it, I’m gonna rub it down, I’m gonna say safe place, I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night, I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones.
Oh, so creaky are my dulcet tones. I’m gonna go off-topic and…so, oh, pointless meanders and superfluous tangents, because…we’ve already had a few; Ralphie, listicles, icicles, and Scooby-Doo, and Mystery Machine, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy’s backstory, Fred’s backstory. That’s not even to get into Velma and Daphne’s backstories. Talk about unappreciated movies, are the live-action Scooby-Doo movies. My daughter’s now seen them in different phases of her life and I’ve watched them with her. I don’t know, just personal opinion; one, I want to go to that theme park from the movie, but two, I don’t know. I just think huh, I’m surprised…I don’t know. Maybe just my daughter’s into them so I’m into them. Okay, so, where was I?
Oh, this is a sleep podcast, not a senseless movie…not my regular podcast, Senseless Tangents About Movies and Stuff. Oh no, wait, that is this podcast. It’s called Sleep With Me. Sorry if you’re new. So, what I’m here to do, believe it or not, is take your mind off of stuff so you can fall asleep. So, if you are new, a couple things I want you to know. This podcast obviously is very different and it’s not for everybody, but it is worth it. Most listeners say to give it two or three tries to kinda see how it goes, ‘cause on the first listen or two, obviously you’re gonna be like, what is this dude talking about? Because I mean, even part of my internal makeup is like, what are you talking about?
I say, I don’t know, but how am I gonna tie together…I hope I don’t forget to talk about Ralphie, and I hope I don’t try…forget to try to spell out listicles and icicles. But so, hopefully I’ll remember to get back to that. But so, this podcast is very different. If you’re skeptical or doubtful or unsure, that’s totally normal. I mean, we’ve dealt with so many sleep solutions and sleep things in our lives that have been guaranteed to work, or people have…this works every time, and it hasn’t worked. Now, I’ll be honest with you; this just doesn’t work for everybody, and I don’t know if that helps to lower your skepticism, but it’s just true. But hopefully it does. But so, oh…so, yeah, it doesn’t work for everybody. It’s also not really a podcast you listen to.
If you’re waiting for me to get started with the story or something that makes a lot of sense, I really never get to that point. There will be a trip report from my neighbor Ray, and it does follow a basic structure, but it…this podcast is kinda one you just tune out. You say well, I’m just barely listening. I’m gonna just keep you…I guess that’s…I don’t know what else to say. You say yeah, I’m barely paying attention to you, Scoots. So, that’s one thing, is it’s a podcast you don’t really listen to. It’s also a podcast that doesn’t really put you to sleep. I’m more here to keep you company as you drift off versus putting you to sleep. So, what that means is that I’m just here to take your mind off of stuff.
The reason the show is about…over an hour is to give you plenty of time to drift off so you don’t have any pressure to say oh boy, I gotta be asleep by…in thirty minutes. But also, I want to reassure you if you can’t sleep, this show is here for you. So, there are listeners that listen because they can’t fall asleep, and I’m here for them to the very end. So, I’m kinda here to keep you company whether you’re listening or you’re sleeping and to engage the parts of you that might be awake or might be trying to keep you awake, to take their mind off of you so you can sneak into slumber. So, those are a couple things I want you to know. Let’s see, what else? Oh, the structure of the show can throw new listeners off as well, so I just want to tell you about that.
So, the show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. That way, people feel welcome, invited in, and seen. Then there’s business. Listener support, sponsor support, and other things listeners can connect with. That’s how we’re here free for you. Then there’s the intro. The intro goes from like, minute six or minute eight to about minute twenty, twenty-two. Some people think that’s part of the business or part of the housekeeping, but the intro is really a show within a show. It’s a show within a show that never gets started and never goes anywhere, as…if I…my version of P.T. Barnum would say. Did Hugh Jackman pay…play P.T. Barnum in that movie? I didn’t see that movie even though I want to. I’m not making fun. I know it’s a beloved movie…musical.
But so, anyway, I got distracted. Now I got Hugh Jackman saying yeah, this is a podcast that never gets…the least-great show on earth. It makes it pretty good ‘cause you don’t…you’re sleeping. Oh, so structure of the show. Oh, so the intro…it’s a show within a show to introduce new listeners, but from our regular listeners, what up regular listeners? To all my regular listeners, fishes and pets, what up fishes and pets? Of course, when I say what up fishes, I mean all pets equally are great. It’s just a metaphorical term, except if you’re a fish, it’s…I’m talking directly to you. So, oh, so for regular listeners, the intro offers a chance to wind down, to leave the day behind, and to ease into bedtime. So, some listeners play the shows…are getting ready for bed, maybe brushing their teeth.
It might not be easy to hear me, but not important, either. Or some listeners are doing some sort of relaxing routine; doodling, stretching, foam rolling, sitting, laying around, knitting, cross-stitching, stitching, needlepointing, yarn…doing stuff…other things with…some listeners may be playing with yarn like a kitten. Some people may be looking at kittens or pictures of kittens, and then other people are in bed getting comfortable. 3% of listeners skip the…start the show between twenty and twenty-two minutes, and then a few thousand listeners listen to story-only episodes on Patreon. So, as you become a regular listener, you kinda say oh, okay, that’s how it works for me. Sleep With Me is part of your bedtime routine. Ideally, it’s a supplement or a supporter or a foundation of your bedtime routine.
So, it just gives you some distance from the day. Then there’s business between the intro and the story, and then tonight we’ll have our story. It’ll be our guest Ray Perkins, my neighbor. He’ll give a rundown of a 2019 holiday trip to Walt Disney World. Really, he’s…really brings his A-game as far as walking around talking about stuff and meandering. So, that’ll be that, then the show ends with some thank-yous and goodnights. So, that’s the structure of the show. The reason I make the show, as I said, I’ve been there. Last night I was there, tossing and turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep. You’re welcome. That’s what part of my brain said.
So, I know how it feels and I know how it can feel when an…I’m not…I mean, I’m laughing because I know people can relate to me and it’s relieving to know, and maybe it’s relieving…that’s…the hundreds of thousands of people out there that know how you feel in the deep, dark night, not just me. There’s hundreds of thousands of other people out there, millions, just not all of them listen to Sleep With Me. So, the strong feelings in the deep dark night, I had them last night. So, that’s one reason I make the show. The other reason I make the show is you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place you can rest, you deserve a bedtime you could feel neutral about or look forward to being versus something you dread. If I can help you achieve any of that, not only will it give me purpose, it makes our world a better place to live in.
If you’re rested, your world’s better, my world’s better. So, that’s why I make the show. A couple other things to know I guess is…let’s see. So, we were talking about…so, listicles. Icicles, how do you spell icicles? Ice…oh, by the way, if you’re new, I have dyslexia, so that’s why some of this stuff is not…I’m not hamming it up. So, icicles is I-C-E…cicle; C…I-C-E…icicles…C-I-C-L-E-S, maybe? Icicles. They say sorry. Icicles…how come you always…I guess you always have to…what…here’s the thing; if you say ice…these…I’m thinking of those spelling bees. Why do…you know a word the kid is spelling, so why did they have to say it three times? I do like that rhythm, but…so, listicles would be L-I-S-T-I-C-L-E-S. Cicles. Oh no, it’s not listicles. It is; listicles. Listicles.
I wonder if it was ever…was there ever a Roman orator, Listicles and Icicles? That could be…that’s a Sleep With Me episode right there. But so, what was my point? Oh, I guess I was thinking that Ralphie probably…I mean, I’m just projecting, so this is all imaginary; fanfiction within…fanfiction within fictional non…fictionalized fic…non-fiction. But I would think that Ralphie would have had complex feelings, even if they were subconscious, about icicles. Maybe…I don’t want to make it about bedtime, but let’s say Ralphie’s one of us, somebody that as an adult or a teen or in his twenties…oh, Ralphie from A Christmas Story. That’s a holiday special. Maybe not everybody’s seen it, but pretty popular. But he was just a kid, just an imaginary kid, and you don’t need to have seen the movie.
So, here’s the setup; he used icicles to get out of trouble with his mom. He made up a lie about icicles. So, I don’t know if later in life every time he saw a icicle that he was vulnerable or whatever, hungry…in a grouchy mood or whatever. It said Ralphie, something like that, you know. I guess I’m just imagining…I mean, this is what my life is like. I encounter sentient…I don’t encounter any sentient icicles just ‘cause I don’t have icicles around me, but there’s other stuff. Just like I said, last night, I said oh boy…asleep. What, are you kidding me? We got stuff to talk about. I guess that would be it. Ralphie would be in bed, the children were settled all snuggled in bed while Ralphie looked out the window and visions of icicle shame danced in his head. They say, what were you thinking, Ralphie, lying to your mom?
I don’t know, was that a scene cut from the movie? Ralphie the…wasn’t there an…some sort of Christmas Story 2 or something? I think there was. I never saw it. So anyway, what was my point? Listicles, Micro…not the Micro Machines; Mystery Machine. I guess we’ll have to get to that another time. But here’s the thing; I really want to help you fall asleep. I just happen to be good at obviously going off-topic and getting mixed up and pointless meanders. So, I really hope I can help you fall asleep. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive. Thank you again for coming by, and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to keep this show going.
Alright everybody, this is Scoots here and this is my neighbor…this is a vacation I took…oh, so we have a guest coming up, my neighbor Ray. Ray Perkins is a neighbor of mine. You may have heard these episodes before, but this may be your first time. Ray is probably the calmest, most engaged and generous of heart, spirit, and mind person I’ve ever met. He’s so well-adjusted, chiropractors call him just to look at him. He says, it’s not my back, it’s my backbone or something. I don’t even know. He’s got a saying for everything. But he’s just an amazing person. He does have a pretty intense love of going to theme parks and commenting on it and making these trip reports. So, he comes on the podcast a few times a year to share his trip reports with all of you.
Now, I’ll be honest, this is his fourth day on a trip we made at the end of 2019. We had held off on recording…we recorded a couple and then we held off, and it’s…so, we’re recording this almost a year after the trip or more than a year after our trip. I don’t know who’s gonna be listening, if this will be a release in the main podcast feed or in the patron feed because I don’t know when the next time Ray’s gonna be able to travel. But hopefully when you’re hearing this, it’ll be a little bit different. But either way, you get to travel through Ray’s eyes. He does love to comment on…when I’m on vacation, I like to drink a lot of soda, which…it’s my vacation; I’ll drink a lot of soda. So, he keeps track of when I drink soda, when I go to the bathroom. He is a parental…grand-parental type figure for me.
When we last left off, this is the middle of the day and we were going to catch a bus. So, we’re at the Walt Disney World. Well, I’ll let Ray…here’s Ray Perkins, everybody.
Hello, hello, hello everybody. This is your friend Ray, your neighbor Ray. Oh boy, is it good to be in your ears here. Thank you, Scooter. We call him the Pod Boy or Little Andy around here, these parts, because he’s…that’s who he’ll always be to me, even though I met him when he wasn’t Little Andy. Once I found out people called him…well, no one calls him Little Andy but me and some of the listeners. Thank you, listeners for calling him Little Andy. But we…I call him the Pod Boy, and he’s a neighbor of mine twice over because I…he moved. I said well, that’s time for a change for Ray as well. I’m gonna have a move.
I used to live in the apartment building next to his. Now, I lived in an apartment building. Now, a little bit different of an apartment building built on the west…west side…east side of Alameda. No, the west…west Alameda. No, it was where we lived originally. So, I lived in one of these apartment buildings they probably put up…there used to be a big naval base there. Closed down in the 90s, but they probably built a lot of housing. Now, small apartments. I mean, not just the apartment size but the building size. Not super glamorous on the outside, but my home is on the inside, so…so, I lived in an apartment building that was just a one-story…or was it two stories? Now I can’t even remember. Oh, boy.
But Scooter lived in a home, a house that had been converted to apartments over the…a long time ago, probably in the 60s or the 70s. So, he lived in something where you’d look at it and you’d say oh…if you don’t live in the Bay Area, you’d say well, that looks like a pleasant enough house. Probably a few bedrooms, but really it was four apartments in there. It fit…there was a number of people that lived there. I met him when he would go down his driveway with his furrowed brow and I would say, who’s that furrowed brow? Just like Madonna sang who’s that girl? I said who’s that furrow-browed boy walking by me, trying to pretend like he didn’t see me or pretending he was on the phone? Not that I hold this against him.
Oh boy, I don’t, but he would…oh, he would nod to me and say anyway, what did you say? One time his phone rang while he was pretending to be on a call. But that just made me love him more. We became friends eventually. You chip away at the ice and eventually you find that it’s not a super soldier down there. It is a winter soldier used to being frozen on the inside. But also a little bit of…to make this connected to our content, a little bit of a Peter Pan in there. I said, fly like Tinker…you know, Peter Pan, I’m gonna teach you how to fly like Tinkerbell, your friend Ray will. I can only imagine if I had said that to him, what he would look at me like. He’d say okay, excuse me, I gotta use the…I have a meeting. This was before Zoom though, so he couldn’t say I gotta get on the Zoom.
But we’re talking now about a trip we made to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. I could see how people may say oh boy, that is…and we…now we…oh boy, do we budget. Scooter…now, Scooter does…Scooter is like, this is his area of expertise, is saving money on travel. There’s nothing he loves more than booking hotels and then re-booking hotels up until the last minute, as a matter of fact, even on this trip I think. He even said if I could do it again, Ray, I would have re-booked one more time, maybe, but…if there was deals. So, he’s…he just knows how to do it. It doesn’t always work out perfect, but this trip worked out quite well, and we were lucky to do it. So, all things in moderation. I understand. Now, I’ve lived a full life, so for me, this is what I want to be doing.
Scooter also likes me to say that yes, this is an…this is a bit of excess, but we only do it occasionally, though when you hear this you say oh, it sounds like you do it all the time. I mean, if I had my way, I don’t think I would do it all the time, but I might want to do it once or twice a year; go to amusement parks even a little bit more. But I live a simple life beyond that, and I plan for it, and it’s not for everybody, just like this podcast, or your friend Ray is not for everybody. Going to these theme parks is not for everybody. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion about things, and actually, all…some opinions can be true at the same time. I really believe that. I’m reading the book Team Rodin right now, and I’m really enjoying it.
Strong feelings about the Disney corporation, some of which I share, but I’ll still say well, I share them…I’m not a perfect person. I’m a complicated man even though I’m simple. Okay, so who am I? Who, what, where, when, how, right? Who, what, where, when, how, why? Who; I’m Scooter’s neighbor Ray. We covered that. Who, what; this is our trip to Disney World. I’ll have to see what day it was. I think it’s the 24th? Yeah, so it’s the 24th in the afternoon or the early evening. I do not have a time on here because Scooter’s the one who takes the notes. If you’ve seen Scooter’s notes, you say okay, that’s what makes this more fun, because we haven’t…this is a year ago. We had spent the morning at one of the theme parks at Epcot Center, and it’s Christmas Eve.
Instead of going back to the hotel, we said why don’t we take…why don’t we…so, Scooter has this very fond memory of…not of this trip but with his daughter Sophia and him doing…they decided one time on one of the trips to do four parks in one day. For Scooter, that’s still a highlight. So, I don’t know how many parks we did, but this would only have been our second park. So, we had been at Epcot Center in the morning, then we left Epcot Center and we went for a walk. We were gonna try to take the Disney Skyliner thing, the Disney gondola, the Skyliner, but it was not working, so we said well, let’s go over to the Beach Club. Let’s look at their…what do you call the thing…? The holiday decorations. They had a gingerbread carousel. Let’s take a little break.
We’ll drink some soda, we’ll have a snacky-poo, and then we’ll decide what should we do? We decided let’s go to another theme park. So, we decided we would go to Animal Kingdom, so we went and we walked to the bus to get the bus to the Animal Kingdom. When you travel with Scooter, it teaches you a form of patience and…his thing, and he jokes about it but it’s true, is like…hurry up and have fun is his motto, which is not for everybody. But so, he usually rushes to the bus ‘cause he doesn’t like to miss the bus. But we…I think we still had to wait for the bus. Then we went to the Animal Kingdom which is kind of…if you’ve never been there, it is the combination of a theme park, an animal-themed theme park, Animal Kingdom. It’s not really a zoo, though people say well, it’s kinda like a zoo.
It has some animals in it, but other than that, you’d say I don’t…I can’t…wouldn’t call it a zoo. Now, they do have a couple of zoo-like trails, so you got me here. I forgot what this trail is called. I called it the Gorilla Trail, but I think it’s called the Pangani Forest Expedition. I can remember this because Scooter’s daughter did not want to…so, we were gonna go on the…they have a Safari ride as well. I’m looking at this and we must have had some FastPasses, so that’s why we went to the Animal Kingdom, is because we had FastPasses in the evening. So, that would be the only…so, that makes sense. Scooter did not note that in his notes, but now I’m remembering. So, we didn’t take…now, this is your friend Ray just interjecting here; normally I would say go back to your hotel and take a break.
Don’t do two parks back-to-back unless you’re gonna call it an…call it early, which…stay tuned because some of the reasons to call it early, like to take a break, is one, the parks get very busy. The parks are probably the busiest between 11:00 and…11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. In Florida, at certain times of the day, you just don’t want to be there at those times of the day anyway up until 5:00 or 6:00. It’s getting warmer and warmer. But this was the wintertime, so the weather was pleasant but it was Christmas Eve, so I think there was the sense of lack…because it gets very busy at these parks, so you can’t really get a lot done. Because Scooter and I have experience and we have a working relationship with this, you kinda ease your way around.
Also at the time I’m recording this, I’m just realizing that this FastPass could be a thing of the past. Disney doesn’t have…offer it anymore currently, and there’s also…it’s…rumors that they’re gonna add a paid FastPass like they have at Disneyland, which I’ve never used before, or they’ll offer some sort of other thing. But FastPass meant you would go on the website. Now, Scooter would handle this as well because it’s kinda like getting a deal. I think you had to do it three months ahead of time or ninety days. That’s three months, so, yeah. Or sixty days; I don’t know which one. But you would have to do it at midnight or whatever time they started because if you didn’t do that, you couldn’t get on this one ride we wanted to go on, which I’ll tell you about in a minute here.
Scooter…now, this…again, this may…they may not exist anymore. Scooter has…now, Scooter…there’s a man called Len Testa who has a site called TouringPlans and a app called Lines, and he optimizes everything with math to make your waits and lines less. Now, Len Testa has said…now, I’m definitely not even paraphrasing, but my memory serves is that you could use his applications and his math and all those…that stuff to say well, this is the optimal time to get a FastPass. That is optimized, the waiting in line and making your day efficient, but Scooter also…he’s like the emotional Len Testa. We love Len Testa, so this is not to take anything away. But Scooter has an emotional version. So, I think on the Len Testa site, it says well, you should get these FastPasses.
They’re usually around 10:00, 11:00, or 12:00. But Scooter’s theory, and I would ascribe to it if they still had FastPasses, was no, no, no, trust me. He walked me through this and it took two or three times. Ray, we always get to the park when it opens. When you get to the park when it opens, you could get in on one or two of the rides with long lines most of the time without waiting. Even if you can’t get on your first choice, you could usually get on your second or third choice, and you can get a lot done when you get there, when the park opens, before the park opens. Scooter said, and then if you use Len’s plan, then yeah, you would get to go on some big-ticket rides when the park’s more busy, like 10:00, 11:00, 12:00. You would optimize your morning up until 2:00 PM in the park.
But Scooter and I, we take breaks and we’re big believers in the taking a break, go back to your hotel, take a nap, those kind of things. But so, where was I? So, Scooter has…and he doesn’t…we just shared on this podcast here and I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore, but it guides this afternoon we’re having right now, is that you…Scooter makes his in the evening, the late afternoon, from 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, somewhere between…he says when you’d be waking up from your nap, then you take another hour. So, I think the ideal time for Scooter would be between 5:00 and 6:00, 6:00 and 7:00, and 7:00 and 8:00 if he could pick. Usually, you get three FastPasses. Scooter’s theory is an emotional theory.
He says that way when you go back in the evening, you got something to look forward to ‘cause usually the lines have matured and all the wait times for all the rides will not be the peak wait times, but the…they’ll still be pretty long lines for the park, especially over a holiday season. Scooter factors in…his daughter’s…was twelve at the time, but still, you say well, it’s easier if you say don’t worry; we get to go on these three rides here no matter what. So, unless the ride is not working…and in between that, we could kinda see what the wait times are for other attractions. So, that’s just Scooter’s theory. So, we did go on this Jungle Expedition Trail, and I remember we saw a lot of good gorillas there. I think we kinda got separated a little bit.
Now, you can’t get…because Scooter sometimes…he doesn’t like anything zoo-related, even this, so he was more trying to focus on the…what do you call it? The architecture and things. Now, there’s a aviary. Scooter’s fine with the aviaries. It’s just something…he says it’s in his limbic system. He says it’s not conscious that he just doesn’t feel comfortable in zoos. But this does…for Scooter’s thing, it does have a lot of lush landscaping. The gorillas there look like they were pretty happy. I think there was even some tigers, but that could have been another thing. Just cool; it…there’s one…they have these two hikes. Oh, I was gonna say his daughter was like, you gotta be kidding me; I don’t want to be walking. I’ve walked all day. I don’t want to go walking to look at animals. But Scooter put his foot down there.
So we did that, then we had a FastPass for the Safari ride. That’s a nice little ride there. I don’t have a lot of description of it now. We did see some good giraffes. I think we went on this trip more than once and we enjoyed that. Now, we had had some sodas, so then as soon as the Safari was over, Scooter needed a restroom. Now, the problem is, this part of the Animal Kingdom, you’re at the back of the park, and Scooter did not know where the bathroom was. There was some debate of what we were gonna do next. Scooter said holy moly, I gotta go, where he was like, see you all later. He went to someplace where he thought a bathroom would be and it wasn’t there, or else it was closed. Then the next bathroom was at a place that was very, very…I mean, this park was busy because it was Christmas Eve.
Everybody wanted to get their money’s worth, you know. But so, eventually we reconvened outside of the Lion King show. We didn’t go to the Lion King show, but there’s a restroom nearby there, and you can…there’s also a walkway to Pandora. This is a underrated thing me and Scooter like. Now, it was a little bit busy. They’re also building the Disney Club 33 there, so you got to pass by that building that they were working on. At the time, I don’t think it was open. But between the Lion King and then the Club 33, there’s a restroom, but you go along a faux river for a while. I mean, not a mile; maybe a quarter mile. I don’t even know; maybe an eighth of a mile. But it’s a very fun walk, almost walking…there’s a lot of lush things.
There’s sound effects, there’s music, and at some point, it transitions into the Pandora/Avatar type music. It was still sunny, I think, when we…this was…so, this was around sunset, so this must have been 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 there. Then we had a FastPass for the Avatar Flight of Passage, which is Scooter’s mother’s favorite ride, I think. This ride is very popular. Holy moly. I think we talked about another show; the one time we went on it at opening, it was quite a to-do. So, Scooter prefers to just try to get a FastPass for this, so I don’t know what we’re gonna do in the future, because Scooter’s thing is…it’s really…the ride is so popular that it’s hard enough to get there, to the park, early enough to be at a good place in line to get to the front of the line where you’re not waiting, though it is possible. But it was a fun ride.
It was a nice little ride there. You fly on the back of a banshee, and it’s quite enjoyable. But I don’t know if it was even as enjoyable as our dinner, and this is Scooter’s daughter’s…one of her favorite places to eat. Scooter also…and I also enjoy it. I think it’s called The Zatui…I don’t know what it’s called. Sathui Canteen or something. It has kinda Pandorean-style food, they say. They have outdoor eating and indoor eating. They also have a drink stand nearby where Scooter’s daughter gets some sort of fruit slushie boba tea that she really likes. They have these cheeseburger pods with the kids meal. I highly recommend it. We also mobile ordered, and that was flawless.
I gotta tell you, I remember this like it was yesterday because some places excel at this…mobile orders, and other places, even though they’ve had it for over a year or more when we were there, they act like it’s a surprise. Scooter actually had some high temperatures at another point in our trip with that. But this one, you went right in, they said oh yeah, we’re working on it. It was a nice, clear area and no stress. We got our food, Scooter’s daughter got a drink. I think we ate inside, though sometimes we eat outside. I remember eating there with Scooter’s parents one time. You get chips and there’s noodle bowls. So, if you like a noodle or a rice bowl, that’s what the adults got.
Then we also had our first holiday dessert that was successful that Scooter wanted to try, which was a peppermint mousse with kind of like a crumbly Oreo chocolate cookie base. That was nice. By the time we had done, it was getting…what does that say? I’ll have to look at that. I’m not even sure what…hm. Scooter’s writing is always…but so, what did we do? We went, we ate there, then the sun set. Then Pandora has kinda black light glow-in-the-dark things, so we walked around Pandora. Oh, the dessert was good. It was pretty good. Then we walked around Pandora there and looked at all the light-up stuff. Then we walked across the park. Now, it was getting very busy because it was Christmas Eve. Everybody wanted to be in a theme park.
So, these are the ones…now, I guess I wouldn’t go my first time when it’s busy, and some people say I’ll never go when it’s busy, but we like it when it’s busy. I don’t know, there’s something about the buzz of people. It could push your nerves, but it could also be quite fun. So, we walked over. We were checking…we were using the Lines app and saying okay, Dinosaurs…the line for Dinosaur is not bad. We also had a FastPass for Everest, Adventure Everest, or something next. So, we went on Dinosaur and Scooter put something light, exclamation, exclamation, deer…dider dawn. I don’t know what it says. But I think what he said is like…so, we walked on Dinosaur. We went on that ride. That’s a fun ride. I’ll say it; it’s underrated with us. We like going on that ride. It’s always thrilling. It just feels fun.
It’s a bit like the Indiana Jones ride in California, but a little bit different. But Scooter’s put something about the lights, and I think what he was saying is that they did a really good job with the lights in this…these sections of the park, the holiday lights. Then we went on Expedition Everest. That’s what it’s called. We went on that once with a FastPass and then once again with single rider. I think Scooter was a little bit pooped out because he was like, I don’t want to go on it again. But we said come on, Scooter, get it together. We’re going on the ride again. ‘Cause even the single rider line had a line, but maybe thirty minutes or something. Then we decided to go, because the park was very busy, it was getting close to closing time, and that’s another thing with Scooter; he doesn’t like to leave at closing time because then he’s…he says it drains me, Ray.
Wait…there’s collective exhaustion and maybe you have to wait at the bus stop and we get on a second bus, and everybody’s exiting at once. I believe him. I say well, but don’t you want to see the fire…? They don’t have fireworks there. They had a…they used to have a river show. They don’t have the river show…I never saw the river show, so I’m a little bit miffed at myself. Then we walked to the wrong bus stop, which we recovered from. I don’t know how we did that, that we went to the wrong bus stop. Scooter must have just been walking too fast. Then we got a bus home. We weren’t really ready to give up, because it was Christmas Eve. I think it was early, so I’m talking like, 8:00, 9:00. So, we walked around the hotel lobby and just looked at that. I think…oh no, this would have been the next day.
Maybe they had some cookies or something. But then we went to the arcade. We played a couple games at the arcade. We looked around the gift shop. We were staying at the Port Orleans. I think Scooter’s daughter probably wanted to go to the pool, but I think the pool probably closed at like, 8:00, ‘cause I remember a couple close calls. Then, let’s see; we had…we walked around…oh, then we got some hot cocoa. We had hot cocoa and we watched some Christmas specials on the TV, which was nice. Then we decorated our hotel room with lights, then again…and I think this was more driven by the youngster, then we walked by the pool, but Scooter didn’t…I don’t know if…plus, it’s cold in the evenings in Florida. Then we all took turns taking showers while we were watching more holiday specials.
Then we all went to bed, and believe it or not, Santa Claus came on that advent…I mean, all the way from wherever, he found our hotel room for Scooter’s daughter. It was great. What a trip. Now, the next day was Christmas and we had…now, Scooter’s daughter’s Catholic. Scooter’s…has a more…different kind of belief system, but Scooter’s daughter wants to go…wanted to go to Catholic church. They’re having a Catholic mass in the Contemporary…what do you call it there? The convention center. So we said yeah, let’s just not go to the park. We’ll worry about going to a park if we want to go to a park, ‘cause we had passes that you could go…we had paid, you know. We said wow, and we sleep in ‘cause we’ve been getting up so early. So, we slept until around 9:15, Scooter put here.
Then Santa had come, so it was very exciting. We were drinking coffee and we opened some gifts. Then Scooter even had a soda at 10:10 AM, he put here. 10:10 AM, soda. Then we took a lift to the Contemporary Resort there, which we could have gone to the Magic Kingdom and then taken the lift there, but I don’t know. Scooter wasn’t in charge of that planning. Then we walked around the…oh, then we went to the Catholic mass and it was very nice. Then we walked around the lobby of the Contemporary just a little bit. Oh no, no, we…oh boy, this was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had in theme park history. I forgot about this. Oh my gosh, what…this was a day I’ll treasure forever. I’m sorry I forgot about it ‘til now.
Probably one of my favorite…and this is something you could do when it’s not Christmas and you don’t want to go to a theme park if you’re staying at these Disney resorts there. But oh boy, what a trip there. So, we walked around the Contemporary lobby ‘cause they had…what do you call it? They had their own gingerbread display. Scooter had his refillable…unlimited sodas. There was also a cold…a hot cocoa cold slushie Scooter’s daughter got. We also bought some sugar cookies and some coffee, and we just enjoyed it. It was a really nice day. Then we went out the back of the Contemporary Resort there and from there, you could take a boat over to the Wilderness…they have campgrounds, but they also have a Wilderness Lodge.
We walked around, we took the boats to the Wilderness Lodge, and oh boy, did we enjoy that. So, they had free cookies there for Christmas. So, we took a boat there, and this is free transportation. It was just a nice, pleasant boat ride. You get on the boat, you say happy holidays, you feel like you’re on an adventure. Then you go into this Wilderness Lodge which is over-the-top…kinda the US Forest Service type hotel style. Very fancy. Never stayed there. I would like to stay there one day. We walked around the pool, then we walked around the lobby, looked at the tree, ate some cookies, walked up to the top of the lobby to the top floor, ‘cause it’s a big open lobby to look down, sat in some rocking chairs, used…Scooter, of course, used the restroom probably multiple times.
Scooter’s daughter did get these Frozen bits for her MagicBand that fell off, which was a little bit of a disappointment for her. But yeah, let’s see, we said…we had some more soda here. Bathroom, lobby, tree, gingerbread, and then something I can’t read. Oh, up to the third and fourth floor, then we went out on the…they had a little roof area, free cookies. Oh, there’s fake streams; we walked around there. Then we went on a pool bog walk. Oh, then Scooter even put, we got on the…then we got…went to get a boat again to the Magic Kingdom. We took the Mermaid One. Now, this was, according to Scooter, at 1:33 PM. It must have been 1:30 or something, because that time is a little bit off. So, we went to the Magic Kingdom. At first we weren’t even gonna stay there.
I don’t know what we…but we had that…we had paid for the free popcorn refills or whatever, $1 to refill your popcorn bucket. So I’m guessing maybe we got there at 1:00 or 3:30 and we stayed past 2:00 at the Magic Kingdom. Now, the Magic Kingdom at this point is packed for the holidays. It’s Christmas. So, we got some popcorn and then one of our people in our party said you know what? I feel bad that you lost your water bottle. I’m gonna go look at Lost and Found at the Town Hall and find out if they have your lost water bottle. So, then we said well, there’s a X…Christmas parade about to start, or going on, so we went up to the train station to watch it. The entire train…now, oh boy, this is…so, this is just a marketing thing that really makes Ray a little bit…my temperature rise.
So, Disney has this train station that overlooks this Main Street, USA. It’s a very good spot to watch the parade. So, understandably, they have it roped off for the VIP tours. But they have the whole thing roped off, and they have…now, the…and they charge a lot of money for these VIP tours. So, I understand the idea of having a private spot with a great view for people that are paying a lot of money. That I do not begrudge anyone. Now, some of the kids that were acting like they were paying for it, younger kids, that’s…but for them to put it out in the open, to block off the whole train station, and then they had people watching, so they…people would of course try to sneak back there, and they’d say no, no, no, you can’t go back there; this is for the VIP only.
It just to me felt like a very gross thing of…what do you call that where you’re aspirational marketing, where they’re showing these people off having this privilege that no one else could have? To say well, maybe next time you’ll love your…I don’t know. It just did not sit right with me at all. If you’re gonna give these people a private place, give them a private place. To be honest, from the other side, if you’re paying $7,000, $8,000, $10,000 to be escorted around the parks and you’re in a position where you’re normally used to paying that versus…you’d probably want a private spot with air conditioning and a little bit more privacy versus people that say well, maybe I’ll…I don’t know. I just did not like that at all. Then I even learned more recently that despite the…and again, this is a company.
Everybody’s gotta do what they gotta do, but the people that work there that are running the tours for them, they only get paid minimum wage plus the tips, so it’s relying on the people that are already paying a lot of money to tip the people that are giving them good service. I don’t know, that just bothered me, too. I’m…said, if you’re charging $7,000 and you’re only paying…the people should be getting paid $100, $200 an hour that are conducting the tours, in my opinion, in my opinion. So anyway, that was a little bit of a area of frustration. So, we actually moved away because we said this is ridiculous. So yeah, Magic Kingdom…Scooter’s water bottle could not be found…Xmas parade, dealt with VIP BS. Now, it didn’t ruin our day or anything.
We watched some of the parade, then we said okay, let’s get out of here again ‘cause it’s so busy. Then we went to the Polynesian Resort, again, just to walk around, look at the lobbies, have a relaxing day. We had slept in, so this is 3:04 PM here. Now, we had been snacking, but at 3:04 we had lunch at the quick service there at the Polynesian called Captain Cook’s. I remember it was very windy. But then we hung out at the beach there and we even found some hammocks and a swing, and Scooter’s daughter built a little sand castle. So, it was just a nice…I mean, talk about a way to spend the holidays. Then we went to the next resort which is the Grand Floridian. All of this Scooter would have walked, but of course we took the monorail because not everybody likes to walk as much as Scooter.
There, they had a big band playing holiday tunes. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the special with Whoopi Goldberg while…she’s there while they’re making the gingerbread building they have that’s a store…it’s a gingerbread house and a store. But she…oh boy, that’s a good one. But we took pictures. Scooter was hamming it so much that the photographer even got in the picture with Scooter while she was taking it. We looked at the big tree there, that was nice, walked around. I think they had free cookies there as well. Then we had some FastPasses, so then we took…we were going to Disney Studios. Now, the weather was starting to change, so we went at like, 4:30 PM, Scooter said. That’s when we took the bus, about. We did the Toy Story ride.
I don’t know if we…I don’t think we had a FastPass for that, but we’ll see. I don’t know. Oh yeah, no, ‘cause we had a FastPass for Frozen, for Slinky Dog…so, went on the Toy Story ride. That’s a fun ride where you throw rings on something. Then we did Slinky Dog Dash. But while we were waiting…this, again, I guess was a back-to-back VIP issue. So, we were waiting; we had a FastPass, so we were almost to get on, and then we were like, two people on. They said warning, the weather’s not great, so we might have to stop the ride for a while. Then these VIP people came and they just got right in front of us in line. We were like, you gotta be kidding, if they close the ride down. It wasn’t like we were in line anymore; we were placed to get…you know what I’m saying.
Then we…but we did get on the ride. That was very fun, oh boy. Then we walked around Star Wars Land and we had a lot of fun just watching the stormtroopers and the kids, because the kids were giving a time at…kids were giving a hard time to the stormtroopers. It was hilarious. Then we had dinner at some place called Hangar something. Hangar 7, maybe? We had pot roast and chicken which was very good. Surprising; you get pot roast in a theme park. Then we went to the Frozen Singalong. That was a great way to spend the holiday, ‘cause they actually had holiday tunes. It was a fun show. Oh boy, was it enjoyable. Then we had 8:00 PM FastPass for Star Tours. It was a brand-new movie, Scooter put, so I think from…I don’t know.
This was 2019, so I don’t know if that was…the Rise of Skywalker, I guess. So, it must have had some things from the Rise of Skywalker. That was fun. Oh boy, was that…that was fun. Then…now oh boy, this was a hidden gem we didn’t even know about, but they have a holiday projection show in the Tower of Fun, or whatever you call it normally, with the 3D projection mapping and lasers. Like, the old school lasers that you’d see in Pink Floyd shows, but more advanced, with fog effects and the imitation snow. This is something…this is a show-stopping show. I think it runs on a loop. I don’t know if it runs on a permanent loop, but it has different segments, like a Toy Story segment, a prep and landing segment, probably a Olaf, Frozen segment. Oh, does that…Jingle Jam…? Oh no, that was another thing, wow.
So, this just got even better and better. Holy moly. What a day. What a Christmas we had. Scooter, I gotta thank you. Scooter, I hope you put this out on the holidays. Please do it, in 2021, so two years after we had gone together. This is probably a good holiday show. So, the holiday show on the Tower of Fun was great. Then we said you know, let’s have a snack again. The little ones always like snacks. It’s Christmas, so we got a pretzel and we got a Olaf marshmallow, which I don’t know if that was…it just says Olaf marshmallow. I thought we got some sort of drink. Maybe that was…Olaf mash…it’s gotta be marshmallow, and a pretzel. Then Scooter put he used the restroom. Then we went and then they had another show on the Grauman’s Theater called Jingle Jangle BAM!
This was another one that Scooter wasn’t…he’s like yeah, let’s just go. But we said well, it’s not that…it wasn’t actually that busy, because it’s so spread out and such. So, we were able to get a spot not up close but halfway down the boulevard there. It was a fireworks and 3D projection show with lasers again. It was so worth it. We couldn’t believe that we just watched the other show over and over again and then we got to see this show. But it was just really good. It had music and the projection mapping is just amazing. So, we weren’t even done, though. So, we watched that show, and then we said let’s just ride…we had fallen in love with these Skyliners. I think we had taken it already. So, we said let’s go on the Skyliner and…just for fun.
So, we took the Skyliner twice, so we took it from…and now it’s night and it’s…oh, boy. We just weren’t ready to call it an evening, so we took the Skyliner from…plus it was gonna be…everybody’s…it’s very busy. So, we took it from Disney Studios to the Caribbean Beach Resort, and we just enjoyed that ride. Then we got online again and we took it to Epcot Center. It was just a nice way to cap off the evening. Then we walked from Epcot Center Skyliner Station to the BoardWalk Hotel. It’s a nice little walk there. I think Scooter even talked to some of his family on the phone, probably his brother in California. Then we had to call a Lyft, and because it was Christmas night at a theme park, that was very tough to acquire.
I think this was the time Scooter was watching it on his phone and the person had picked up the thing, but they must have been in a Walgreens ‘cause he said his car…the Lyft was sitting in a Walgreens parking lot for like, ten or fifteen minutes and Scooter couldn’t cancel it because I think it was…he gets stressed about those things. But plus, because it was so busy, you didn’t want to get back in the queue. Then finally, I think that person canceled it, but after they left him…left us hanging for like, twenty minutes. So, it was a long wait there. Not exactly a ideal wait in the evening…it’s like, sitting around, you’re tired, and waiting for the Lyft. But we eventually got home and we were in bed at 11:30, snoozing away. So, that was our holiday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Scooter that I’ll always hold special in my heart, so I appreciate it and I’m…I hope you enjoyed it too. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]