Friday 17 June – Off to Pop

Greetings from Disney's Pop Century Resort

The blue van was there to pick me up at 9:05 am; the only other passengers were a couple in their 80s who chattered all the way to the airport so the trip wasn’t as quiet and boring as usual.

The flight for Orlando, scheduled for 10:45, was delayed about 20 minutes, but other than that, all went smoothly. A couple of kids really enjoyed their monorail ride from the gate area to the main terminal.

On the monorail to the main terminal at Orlando International

I was letting Disney take my checked bag to Pop so I just proceeded over to the Magical Express area where I had just arrived in line for Pop when they ushered us on to a bus.
The bus seemed just about full when we pulled out a few minutes later. This is where the arrival process began to slow down. We dropped off guests at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House first, then did the same at Kidani Village. Felt like we were at AK Lodge for hours. But after that it was on to Pop and the arrival sequence once again was up to speed.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

I had no wait at all in the online check-in line, where Marina from Barcelona had me armed with my key and dossier of critical resort information in well under 2 minutes. Apparently I am destined always to be in the 90s section at Pop, which is actually okay with me. This time I am on the ground floor right by the pool, and that suits me just fine. A short couple of steps to aquatic refreshment and the mild tedium of laundry, when that day comes in about 4 days.

So it was around 4:40 pm, I was settled in my quite satisfactory room, but I hadn’t eaten anything since a banana around 6 am. Report to the court–the food court, that is. One of those “Mom’s Night Out” dinners would probably take care of what ailed me. On Saturdays it’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and cornbread. And a refillable resort mug’s worth of iced tea.

On my way back to the room I notice the big dark clouds that are rolling in and I see that the Weather Channel’s prediction that there will be isolated thunderstorms daily throughout my stay is likely to be fulfilled. By the time I get to my pool and Roger Rabbit on a barrel of turpentine, the lifeguard is chasing everybody out. I figure this is a good excuse to just hang out and relax for a bit as I digest prior to any theme park expedition.

Computer Pool under dark clouds

The quiet time was nice but after about half an hour no storm had materialized so I decided to go to the bus stop and take whichever one pulled up first. As long as it didn’t have a long line.

The sky still looked threatening and there were distant rumbles of thunder but I was not deterred. The lines for both the Epcot and the Magic Kingdom buses were formidable, so I sat and waited on a bench for the Hollywood Studios bus, which at that point had no line at all. When it came, one couple and I were the only passengers.

I was trying to access my Dropbox where I had park hours and other pertinent info but couldn’t for some reason. Had left my copy of that stuff in the room. Tarnation! Upon arrival at Studios at 6:45 pm, I learn that it is scheduled to close this night at 7. Silly me.
Oh well, here is a Friendship launch headed for The Epcot area.

Looking back at the Resort Area on approaching the International Gateway to Epcot

I get off at the Swolphin dock and take a stroll over to Epcot via the Boardwalk. Very nice, since the temperature has really gone down and it is pleasantly cool.

Epcot Resort Area

At this point I am not up for the tour of World Showcase so I proceed through the UK and Canada to Future World, lingering here and there to test benches and observe the passing humanity. Of course I am thinking about what sweet treat I am going to pursue since I did not have dessert at Pop earlier. Suddenly I hear the Dole Whip call so I must press on to the monorail station and set out for the Adventureland Veranda.

People are already camping out on Main Street in wait for nocturnal pyrotechnics when I enter the Magic Kingdom. By the time I cross the bridge into Adventureland, the sprinkling has begun. So I take my awesome pineapple float under the roof of the entrance area to the Swiss Family Treehouse, closed at that moment, and savor it there.
By the time I am slurping up the last delicious drops of my favorite treat a cast member has arrived to open the Treehouse. My dogs are barking too loudly for me to embark on that climb, however.

I prefer to sit for a while as I tour the devastation of a Caribbean town being pillaged and plundered by pirates. Yo-Ho!

Pirates of the Caribbean Ahoy!

A walk through Frontierland and Fantasyland takes me to Rockettower Plaza where I encounter a sight that I don’t believe I have ever seen before: a line that snakes about four times and goes as far as the Astro Orbiter queue–for the Peoplemover. It’s now raining in earnest though so I am undaunted.

When my tour of Tomorrowland is complete, the castle projection show that precedes Wishes is underway and the hub and Main Street are packed. The park is open til midnight tonight and Extra Magic Hours go on until 3 am. But there’s no way I’m having any of that!

There’s quite a line-up for the Pop bus at stop 18, but when it rains it pours: when one bus came, here came two others as well, so we all got transported.

Rain at Magic Kingdom bus stop

No longer raining after my snack in the food court and the bed, as always, felt mighty good.

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