Whoo hoo! What a fantastic time to visit! I loved the Star Wars Weekend and the Flower and Garden Festival!
I stayed at both the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian.
Both were recently remodeled and were fantastic. Both featured new furniture and plasma TVs.
Which brings me to my new favorite WDW tradition:
WATCHING THE APPLIANCE DIRECT INFOMERCIAL!
I love this guy! He is a riot! (If anyone lives in the Orlando area and can send me a tape, PM me!!!!)
At the Polynesian, I attended the "torch lighting ceremony" one night at 6pm. It's worth attending even if you aren't staying there.
It takes about 10 minutes and features fire juggling and drum playing. Best of all, it's free.
DISNEY MGM STUDIOS:
Attended the Star Wars weekend, and I recommend it to everyone who is at WDW next year. Even if you aren't a BIG Star Wars fan.
My wife and I have seen all the films, but spent much of the day posing with odd looking characters we didn't remember. Still, how can you turn down an opportunity to take a photo with this???:
The sheer amount of Star Wars characters I saw in one day was overwhelming!
Lightning McQueen and Mater were also on hand.
They would drive down the street and stop occasionally for photos.
Another car on hand was this Love Bug I spotted on the "backlot tour."
This one was from the demolition derby sequence in Herbie:Fully Loaded.
Later I went on the Rockin' Roller Coaster and bought a silly hat:
I love Gertie the Dinosaur.
BTW, if you aren't familiar with Gertie beyond her incarnation as an ice cream stand check out the DVD Animation Legend: Windsor McKay or check out the hidden feature about Gertie on the Collector's Edition of Disney's Dinosaur. (To access this put in disc 2, go to the "development" section and highlight the dinosaur's head.) The clip is hosted by Walt and is over 5 minutes long.
Before leaving I FOUND the Great Movie Ride (someone had hidden it behind a big hat.)
I love the Chinese Theater replica!
On my Great Movie Ride we were ambushed by the "female" gangster character.
She was really cute, but didn't exactly fit the part. I wasn't really worried that she was going to shoot anyone.
WINTER SUMMERLAND/BOARDWALK & POP CENTURY:
I loved this place! I like mini-golf and it was included free in my "Premium Dining Package" so I spent an hour there golfing and wearing ANOTHER silly hat - my "Chicken Little hat."
The theming was INCREDIBLE! Every hole was more fun than the one before it!
Another great place to take some pictures was at Pop Century:
That night I went to Jellyrolls on the Boardwalk. They have dueling piano players there (sorry, I didn't take photos) and the atmosphere was really a whole lot of fun.
Ate at Donald Duck's Prehistoric Breakfast-a-saurus where he checked out my silly hat.
Then I rode Everest (AMAZING!) and bought - you guessed it- ANOTHER silly hat:
I am starting to think I have a "silly hat buying" obsession.
The Flower and Garden festival was cool, as was the new character greeting area near Innoventions.
I watched Arlo Guthrie play 3 shows in the America Pavillion at Epcot.
He was fantastic. I have seen him in concert 5 times OUTSIDE of Epcot and his shows at WDW were some of the best.
Arlo tells stories as he sings and his stories were very funny. However, some of the "pot" references which seemed relatively tame outside of WDW seemed out of place in Epcot.
Another neat thing in Epcot was an exhibit the Japan Pavilion dedicated to tin toys:
The exhibit showcased dozens of great old tin toys and a video hosted by John Lassiter.
I spent a rainy day at MK, I took in the fireworks from the Disney Vacation Club preferred viewing area (nice little spot in between the hub and Tomorrowland) and I found a trash can and pretended it was Push.
Sure, it didn't talk, but in a photo what's the difference?
I also checked out the "New" Tiki Room. I prefer the old one, but this show has it's moments. I love the "Big Bird" joke in the pre-show.
In fact, I think the pre-show is better than the show itself!
I also checked out the Carousel of Progress:
It's my favorite attraction, and every time I ride it I assume it was my last.
Luckily I have been wrong every previous time. I hope the same holds true this time.
Speaking of rides that have gone away, I miss the Skyway:
I am surprised they have not removed the loading platform yet!
I drove off site to Mouse Surplus.com's warehouse. It was INCREDIBLE. They have tons of stuff, and although their website highlights the giant items like their Monorail for sale, they have tons of smaller items. They have plenty of pins, DVDs, T-shirts etc. I had a blast and went home with a couple of bags full of swag.
The best part about that was that the bags were WDW surplus! They had big "2000" logos on them!