The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 2/26/24

Tron Lightcycle Run PhotoPass shot

It’s trip report time yet again! Come along on my long weekend trip to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon. You can see all the post in this report here. Onward!

My last Disney day began in the same way Disney days so often do: with a just-before-7am wakeup call to join a virtual queue. I was at a Magic Kingdom-area resort, so I figured I may as well take aim at Tron: Lightcycle Run!

Once that was done, however, there was really no need to hurry. I laid around in bed for a bit before showering; when Becky and Kristin got up shortly after, we enjoyed some communal coffee. I know all the Disney resorts offer coffee makers now, but there’s something strangely compelling about having a fresh, regular-size coffee pot to gather around. The allure of a DVC one-bedroom and its full kitchen grows more understandable all the time. I’m not saying I’m buying in, but I have been taking a hard look at those point rental charts…

Speaking of hard looks, let’s talk about my eyeball situation. Since the incident when my contact lens vanished the day before, no contact lens had emerged from my eye. I even made Becky look again with her phone flashlight (my friendship is a TREAT). You’d think this would finally enable me to rest easy. Ha! How little you know me. 😜

Instead of concluding that the lens must have fallen somewhere, I considered the possibility that it might still be stuck somewhere under my eyelid. I did some research and discovered that there is an optician at the Edward Beiner glasses store in Disney Springs. The site said they don’t do exams, but perhaps they would still just take a quick peek into my eyesocket?

One other option had occurred to me: the First Aid center in the Magic Kingdom. I wasn’t entirely sure what examinations fell under their purview, but I was willing to find out.

Besides, I was headed to the Magic Kingdom anyway. A morning of monitoring had revealed that the Tron virtual queue boarding groups were moving up one per five minutes. This was a faster clip than I anticipated and I decided to make the park my first priority.

We all finished packing, said a sad goodbye to our lovely Wilderness Lodge room, and parted ways outside the building. Lucky ducks Becky and Kristin were on their way to Universal! I would have to console myself with one more solo Disney day.

After leaving my bags with bell services, I backtracked through the lodge to the boat dock at the other end of the resort. A boat launch to the Magic Kingdom arrived in short order, and at mid-morning it was lightly populated. I enjoyed a free and easy ride to the front of the park.

Is Cinderella Castle looking a little pinkish-gray to anyone else? Did someone forget to apply a primer coat?

WDW trip report - is Cinderella Castle looking weirdly gray?

My first stop – because you haven’t heard me harp on this enough – was the First Aid center next to Crystal Palace. I wandered in an explained my predicament to the medical technician (nurse? Nurse practitioner? Not sure), and she said nothing would thrill her more than to take a closer look at my gross insides.

I was led to a room beyond the lobby that was set up much like a regular doctor’s office, with an examination table covered in paper and a counter stocked with your standard doctor-y accoutrement – you know, gauze and stuff. She pulled out a pro eye exam light or pen light or whatever they use, and after a thorough look-see she declared that she saw nothing. Another signature Jenn Tempest In A Teapot. You’re welcome, all!

Hey, at least I got to check out the behind-the-scenes situation in First Aid. That’s fun, right? If I’d been smart, I could’ve done this the day before; I already had an MK Park Pass that ended up going unused, and I was only a boat ride away. Would have saved me some grief, and it would have saved Becky and Kristin from the grief of listening me to babble about my grief. Ah well; to paraphrase Tom Stoppard, I’ll know better next time.

Finally as free from fear as I ever really am, I turned my attention properly to how to spend my Magic Kingdom day. I still had a bit of time to kill before my Tron VQ return slot, but I figured I might as well head to Tomorrowland anyway. I find the ambience there low-key underrated. Also I could ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. And who doesn’t love the TTA?

The Peoplemover is one of those rides that somehow manages to be both criminally underrated and utterly adored by a niche yet disproportionately ravenous fanbase. Add me to the second list.

My Tron callback time was too close to seriously consider attempting another ride; I cast about for an alternate means of temporary amusement. I wandered through Star Traders, then said hello to Space Mountain so my ears and sweatshirt would know where they came from.

Space Mountain selfie with Space Mountain Minnie ears

Tragically, there were no PhotoPass photographers nearby. I had to make do with entering the grid instead.

And then my VQ time was called, and I really did enter the grid. Well, that’s not strictly true. My VQ was about to be called per the advance-one-group-per-five-minutes rule I had observed. Second observation: the callback line was CRAZY long. So I slid in a touch early.

I could’ve slid in a touch earlier, because I spent twenty minutes in line before I even made it to the tapstyles. I noticed, too, that shortly after I entered the queue, the VQ groups stopped advancing every five minutes and started advancing every ten. Interesting.

In all it took me just about an hour from entering the VQ line to exiting the ride. Could be worse. My Tron photo never came through, though, which is a bummer considering I wore my newest Magic Band expressly to avoid the problem. I know I could go after Disney to try and help me find it, but eh. Still wish the ride was longer.

Having successfully exited the grid, I also exited the park. I wished the train station a fond farewell before taking the walkway to the bus stop at The Contemporary. There was just enough time left to scrape out a trip to Disney Springs!

Magic Kingdom train station selfie

I arrived at the Springs at immediately headed for the most important store there: Gideon’s Bakehouse. Pat would never forgive me if I came home from Orlando without Gideon’s cookies! The line was standby rather than virtual, but I found myself walking out of the store, bag in hand, in under half an hour. Not too shabby.

Gideon's Bakehouse February 2024 menu

It suddenly occurred to me that it was mid-afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten since my Tony’s leftovers that morning. I kinda wanted to hit up Homecomin’ for lunch, but it had looked sorta crowded on the way over and I was running low on time. Instead I slipped into Morimoto Asia and passed a very fine lunchtime at the bar. Review to come!

Alas, by the time lunch was over my time was up. I ate a tub of peanut butter frosting from Gideon’s while I waited for the Wilderness Lodge bus, to make the process less joyless.

That’s about it, I guess! I took an Uber to the airport, and my flight took off more or less as scheduled. No tornado warnings or anything. Great success.

And so here we find ourselves again, at the technical end of another trip report. I would like to thank Becky for gifting me a Princess Half offer I couldn’t refuse; Becky AND Kristin for listening to my nervous chatter about my eyeball for the better part of twenty-four hours and somehow never slapping me across the face once; and YOU, dear reader, for making it this far. If a trip report is published in the forest of the internet, and nobody reads it and goes “Hm,” is it still a trip report?

Don’t get complacent just yet, however; I still have a couple food review posts up my sleeve. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the blogwater…

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

4 Comments

  1. Great trip report, great photos! I might not quite be in the ravenous fanbase, but I could probably just stay on the PeopleMover continuously for the better part of an afternoon if given the chance!

  2. I would like to thank YOU (and Kristin) for accompanying me on what would have been a much less fun trip if I was solo. I am glad my “I couldn’t get a studio, only a 1-bedroom with my DVC points and it seems ridiculous to be in a 1-bedroom all by myself” line worked.

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