Author's note:

Welcome to
Trip Reports!

We have made a lot of friends on the internet, on a number of boards. Unfortunately not all our good friends are welcome everywhere. That raises a dilemma: where to post trip reports where all our friends can enjoy them?

I need to post where all the people who have been there for me, when I needed them, can share the stories. So for now that will be at the Lodgeboards and here.

I ask that people respect my rights as an author by please referring people to where I put my work rather than copying them.

Trip Reports at the Lodge




LY/MI, Chapter 4,
If it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,
then go fry your ass.


How was it possible for the temperature to get any hotter than it had been?

My friends say ‘It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.’

What the hell is that supposed to mean and how does that help anything? Are they trying to say it’s not so bad to burn your hand opening your car door as long as the armpits of your shirt stay dry?

If you ask me, it’s the heat AND the humidity. They both suck.

Faced with another heat storm for the day, we reluctantly got out of bed. We slept in that morning because we had no need to push ourselves into misery. We only set small goals for this trip and so far had accomplished everything we had set out to do.

Except Lights, Motor, Extreme stunt show, but that was just temporarily rescheduled.

The extra rest did make a huge difference in our attitudes, not that we were having any attitude problems.

Not until we got to Chef Mickey’s at least.

I had to go to the gift shop and buy Del another pair of sandals and some moleskin. The sandals he bought at ESPN had hard plastic on the bottom and were tearing up his blisters. And you know, now that they had touched his feet, there was no returning them. I did that quickly and returned to the room to get the crew into the van.

On the drive over to the Contemporary Hotel we went under the over pass for the boats. Em was having a hard time understanding how we could be driving under water without getting wet.

Disney magic baby.

We pulled up to the guard gate, told the guard what business we had there and he wished us a magical day.

He did it with an English Accent. That is one of my favorite accents.

So we went into the Contemporary parking lot and I had a good feeling about this breakfast that we would be having at Chef Mickey’s. It would be fun, no incidents or confrontations, just a napkin twirling good time.

This feeling would be complete and total bullshit.

No wonder I have never won the lottery.

First off, I think I am losing my mind. The last time we were there, I honestly could have sworn the elevator talked to us. This time it didn't. Yes, Doctor. Sometimes Minnie Mouse talks to me in elevators.

We got off the quiet elevator and into the lobby of Chef Mickey’s. There was a large group of people, not really standing in a line, more like leaning on the wall. It was hard to tell if maybe they were one extremely large family or if the hotel had recently tipped to the right and this is where these people ended up.

I stood at the back of the group with the crew and asked the girl in front of me if this was the line to check in. She rolled her eyes at me, but didn't answer.

Either I had asked a very stupid question, even after all these years of being told there are no stupid questions or this girl didn't speak English and I should have figured that out by simply looking at her.

Another lady and her family walked past us and straight to the podium. Okay, maybe these people were involved in a Magical Gathering. Totally possible, I reasoned and walked up to the podium behind the lady who had passed us. “Wait here.” I told the crew before I left just incase I was wrong, at least they would be holding our spot.

While I was standing behind the lady that had passed me (no need for a nickname, she is now irrelevant), another lady (we are going to call her Sally) stood behind me. “Is this where you check in?” She asked me. I smiled and shrugged my shoulders and explained that I knew it was, but didn't know anything about the people standing off to the side. This could be a dangerous line-cut as there were many people leaning on the wall.

A different lady (we are going to call her Ursula) came up behind her and told us we needed to get into the other line. The line we were in was exclusively for people that had a priority seating. She was one of those people. People like us needed to stand to the side and wait for a table. Please, step aside.

‘People like us?’

I see your priority seating and raise you 3 AP holders and a letter carrying member of the Disney Dining Experience.


But I wasn’t looking to have a problem with this woman. She came across to me as someone who took one look at me and decided I was beneath her. I hate confrontation more than anything, so I decided to step aside and let her go to the podium first, I would just go after.

Having an argument with this woman in a public place in front of my husband and kids would have ruined my entire breakfast. Waiting 2 minutes for her to check in first was only a minor irritation.

People much better than her have looked down on me. It wasn’t a life changing experience or anything.

The first lady (Sally) looked at me and said “Do you have priority seating?”

I nodded my head and started to take a step back.

“Oh, no you don’t!” She said and grabbed my arm. “I don’t think so honey. You stand right here. You were here first.” She looked back at Ursula and stuck her chin up then gave her head a wiggle.

HO-MY-GAWD! What ARE you doing?!?

“Really, it’s okay. I’m 15 minutes early anyway. No big deal, I don’t mind.” I said feeling her tighten her grip on my arm as I spoke.

Ursula had a friend. The friend came over to investigate what was going on. She didn't have her happy face on.

HO-MY-GAWD! What the hell am I being dragged into here? Is there going to be hair pulling? I hate hair pulling!

I tried to look back to the crew and let them know I was getting into trouble without even trying. ‘Wobin the twoublemaker’ was at it again. I thought if I could get a glimpse of them they would immediately know by the look on my face that I was in need of immediate assistance.

Or the look on my face would make them think I needed to use the restroom. There was a 50-50 chance of getting help from them.

The problem was Sally had a grip on my arm so tight; I couldn't turn back enough to see them.

“We have priority seating but thank you so much for sticking your big nose in our business. Now go F#%@ yourself.” She spat at them.

Okay, I’m scared of Ursula, her friend and now Sally.

I couldn't move. This was seriously messed up.

“Prove it.” Ursula leaned into Sally’s face and said. Her friend leaned in a little too.

I guess there won’t hair pulling until they do some head butting.

The only way I had of proving it was by stepping up to the podium and saying my name. Isn't that what she didn't want me to do in the first place?

“You go right ahead darling. Prove to them you have priority seating.” Sally instructed me.

Do I look like a homeless person or something? Are these women under the impression that I don’t know how to use a phone? Why did I have to prove I had priority seating to these people? Why couldn't they just go ahead of me and leave me alone?

They were fighting over me going to the podium first by making me go to the podium first.

I stepped up to the podium with all three ladies directly behind me and said my name. The CM said she had my seating, handed me a card and told me to step aside to have my photo taken.

Can we be done now? I really don’t like this game.

Sally and Ursula exchanged some more words but the crew suddenly appeared and rescued me. Del noticed that they were arguing and started to mention it too me. I pulled him away to have our picture taken.

“Just don’t look at any of them. I’ll tell you later.” I said to him.

I forgot to tell him about it later, so honey, when you read this that is what happened.

We had our picture taken behind the big plate. I have no idea how it turned out because the pictures never made it to our table.

We had a seat and waited for our table to be ready. Em was drooling when people walked past us with plates of food.

The hostess showed us to our table, followed immediately by our waitress. Our waitress turned out to be ‘sister of Ursula’. “What can I bring you to drink?” She asked and we all replied ‘Orange juice’ and started to get up.

This was our third trip to Chef Mickey’s. We knew the routine.

“Sit down! I’m not finished! Have you ever been here before?” She snapped at us.

“Yes, this is the third time.” Nikki said.

“Well, you will stay seated until I have finished. The characters are walking around the restaurant and their expected arrival at this table is 10 minutes. You need to be seated again in 10 minutes.” She said like if we weren’t at the table in 10 minutes the world would tip on its axis and we would all be thrown into space.

That explains the look on Nikki’s face in this picture. She is smiling because she is surprised by this woman hostility.

“10 minutes, got it. Thanks.” Nikki said and we again got up to leave the table. Em was a little freaked out by ‘sister of Ursula’ and wouldn’t step more than a foot away from me. Em had no idea of what I had already encountered so she had no way of knowing Nikki was the one she needed to be hanging off.

I was just out to piss people off this morning.

We filled our plates with food; I got a teaspoon full of omelet, a slice of bacon and 6 Oh-my-god Mickey waffles.

To know me is to know, I love Mickey waffles. They are a religious experience.

We returned to the table in under 10 minutes as instructed by ‘sister of Ursula’. You’ll find more pictures and video on Lou’s thread.

Chip was feeling frisky and tickled the love birds.

Aren’t my grandchildren going to be absolutely beautiful?

Okay, strange but beautiful.

Who you calling ‘Dave’?

When napkin twirling time came around, Curt put a new twist on it. He held his napkin up and bapped Nikki in the forehead with it twice while twirling it.

She had a look of surprise on her face and crossed her eyes to try and see her injury.

We ate breakfast, got up for a second round and Del raised his hand to ask ‘sister of Ursula’ for a little more juice. She was totally put out by the request and stomped away to get the pitcher of juice. “What did I do?” Del asked. “Is there a limit on juice now, only one cup per person?”

He apologized to ‘sister of Ursula’ when she came back with the juice. We really couldn't understand what we had done to piss this woman off. The other plates were piled neatly in the middle of the table and when she reached over to get them I told her I had a letter saying I was a Disney Dining Experience Club member.

“You need to have the card.” She spat at me.

“No, I called and was told the letter would be fine. I have been using it all over for days; I haven’t had a problem with it. My card didn't make it in the mail before we left. The letter is to show you that I am a member.” I explained to her.

This lady was having a bad day. I wasn’t trying to make it worse but I wanted my discount that I was entitled too. I took the letter out of my backpack with my ID and tried to show it too her. She turned on her heal, carrying some of our dishes and walked away.

15 minutes later, while we sat there talking and waiting, she walked by and dropped the bill on the table. I opened it and saw she didn't apply my discount. “Madame, you didn't give me my discount.” I said.

She ripped the bill out of my hand and walked away.

We sat.

We napkin twirled for a second time.

We sat some more.

Pluto came by for the 7th time and just shrugged his shoulders.

25 minutes later, we saw ‘sister of Ursula’ standing near the doorway. Nikki got up and asked her if we could have our check.

“I will be with you in a minute!” She snarled through her clenched teeth.

Bitch, did you just growl at my kid?

“I want my bill NOW.” I leaned over and snapped at her.

I’ll take a lot from someone; I’ll try to be understanding, but DON’T take your bad day out on one of my kids who had nothing to do with it. Nikki was polite; she hadn’t been sarcastic when she asked for our bill. Even if she had been, she would have been justified in doing so at this point.

From the time we had finished eating, to the time my correct bill arrived at our table, 45 minutes had passed.

I signed my travelers’ checks, handed them to her and told her I wanted change. “Oh, yes, of course.” She said, now trying to smile at me.

When she handed me back my change I had a $20 dollar bill and a $5 dollar bill in my hand. I handed her the $5 and said “This is for clearing the table…” then put the $20 dollar bill in my pocket, “And this is for growling at my daughter.”

Have a magical day.


As we walked back to the van in the parking lot, we explained to Curt that we had been to Chef Mickey’s before and had always had a great time. This had been a fluke. This one bad experience wouldn’t stop us from coming back another time.

I obviously had ‘screw you’ written on my forehead when I walked in.

We left the Contemporary parking lot, stopping to wave at the guard at the gate with the accent. If I had known when I pulled in so long ago that he was the only nice person in the joint, I would have given him a hug.

The drive from the Contemporary to Epcot is only a few minutes away.

Unless you take a wrong turn somewhere like I did, then it is about 30 minutes away.

But that was 30 minutes in air conditioning, not a problem.

We arrived at Epcot parking, took the tram and got through the turnstiles with no problems.

I know, we could hardly believe it either.

I had told Curt that I had read somewhere that Disney puts a recording of an injured bird on the Epcot ball to keep other birds from making a nest there. I didn't know if it was true and wondered if he would recognize the sound of an injured bird.

He was quiet confident that he would recognize such a sound. It is apparently a very unpleasant sound.

We still don’t know if it is true of not, Disney may have a recording of an injured bird playing up there but they cover it up with background music so you can’t hear it.

I guess walking into park with a bird screaming in pain would scare small children and possibly some adults.

We walked over to the ride wait-time board and the wait for everything was forever and a day.

Welcome to Disney in the summer vacation months.

Discouraged but not defeated we started walking over to Soaring to get fast passes. The crew wanted to stop in Innovations for a look around but I wouldn’t allow that. No, we needed to secure our fast passes first, and then we could knock around and look at things.

We’re going on Soaring, we’re going on Soaring!

This is the actual walk over to Soaring. We were so excited.

Until we got into the Land where Soaring is located and saw the largest mob of people in the world. “Maybe they are all waiting to get something to eat.” Em said trying to convince herself more than anyone else.

No worry, we will get a fast pass and come back.

Fast pass return time 6:40, Current time 11:50.

We’re NOT going on Soaring, we’re not going on Soaring.

Nikki and Curt had made plans to leave us early to go over to the Animal Kingdom because it was the extra magic hours for that park that evening. Curt, the hunting veterinarian, wanted to look at the animals and Del would rather not.

I have to drag Del to the Animal Kingdom. Not enough rides there for him. So Nikki and Curt decided to go without us, which was a great idea.

We still had a lot of time left before they were planning on leaving so we took a walk over to ‘Honey, I shrunk the Audience’ after a quick water stop because Nikki was a little parched.

Feeling much better.

We sat in the theater waiting for the show to start when a CM kindly asked us to look around our seats for a little pink sun visor. A gentleman found it, held it up in the air and a little girl left the theater happy.

Aww, that was nice.

I took my sunglasses off and hooked them on my shirt. I put on my special safety goggles and enjoyed the show.

Once we exited the show, I started feeling my self up. At least, that’s what Nikki assumed I was doing. I kept touching my chest than slapping my butt. “Am I going to have to call security?” I guess to the normal passer-byer I looked like I was a pervert.

I opened my backpack when Nikki asked me what the hell I was doing.

I couldn’t find my sunglasses. I really liked those sunglasses; they had a tiny charm with a Mickey head dangling on the side of them. If I turned my head too fast however, the charm would touch my face and I would freak out thinking it was a bug.

My family thought they were cool only because of that. I did it a lot.

I have a small but reasonable fear of bugs.

Anyway, Nikki turned back into the exit and told the CM I had lost my sunglasses and asked if it would be all right if she went back in to look for them. The CM was happy to help and led her back into the show.

Del, Curt, Em and I stood outside for quite a while before I went back to the exit to retrieve my lost daughter.

I liked her a lot more than the sunglasses.

The CM at the exit was happy to let me back in to get my daughter and when I walked in, Nikki was just standing there with her eyes wide open. Next to Nikki was a woman totally flipping out.

“You made a bigger announcement over a pink sun visor and a stupid pair of sun glasses! (Hey! They weren’t stupid, they were cool. They had a little charm…) I want my cell phone back right now! Someone in that place has it! I will not leave without it!” The lady was screaming at the poor CM who was doing the best he could.

Okay, losing my cell phone would have been worse than losing my sunglasses, so I was grateful this crazy lady put things in perspective for me.

Time to go.

Nikki and I exited ‘Honey I Shrunk the Audience’ minus my cool sunglasses and met back up the guys and Em. They were looking pretty droopy from standing in the heat while waiting for us so we popped over to ‘Figment into Imagination’ to go for a ride.

Another great ride if you want to sit and cool off.

A quick stop for a smoke and a kiss on the way over to meet Crush.

What is so funny?


Daddy, sit up. Daddy, lean forward. Daddy, hold still so I can make rabbit ears behind you.

While Del and I had a cigarette, Curt noticed a lizard and decided to hunt it.

I have no idea who the people are watching him, but they really wanted him to catch it so they could see it. He missed.

We walked towards the Living Seas to go meet Crush. On the walk over, Em felt she couldn't go any further without a Mickey bar, so we stopped.

She’s pretty heavy and nobody was willing to carry her.

While we stood and waited for Em to eat her Mickey bar, Del and Curt suddenly noticed that Epcot is completely polluted with lizards. Stop and look sometime, they are everywhere.

There is an entire field behind the ice cream cart where people were sitting eating, drinking and having a good time. While Del and the lizard hunter went looking for a catch of the day, Nikki noticed something white on the grass.

“Gee, what is that?” Nikki said and walked over and leaned her face over it.

I’m glad the smell got to her before she stuck her finger in it.

“OH! Someone got sick!” She squealed.

“Ick! Ack! Protein spill!”

Oh, how I laughed.

They make going in to see Crush pretty complicated. You have to stand in a line, and then stand in a room, then go sit in another room and watch a wicked boring movie then stand in another line, and then get into an elevator…

Honestly, why do we have to do all that? We just wanted to see the talking turtle.

Dude, Crush was really awesome. He was worth all the trouble getting in to see him. The parents sit on a bench and the little kids sit on the floor in the front. Crush interacts with them, answering questions and telling jokes. The little kids were screaming and laughing, it was a lot of fun.

Getting out of the Living Seas takes 2 seconds. One elevator ride (that I don’t think is really and elevator) and you’re free.

Outside of the Living Seas is a statue garden of Nemo and friends. Everyone wants a picture in front of it and people were getting pretty ugly. The girls jumped up in front of it, I snapped the picture quickly and we were gone. Some of those people were about to come to blows.

Curt and Nikki decided to leave us to go to the Animal Kingdom. We said our ‘Love ya, Mean its’ and they left.

There were too many people and the ride times were too long, so Del and I took Em back to the rooms so we could go for a swim. Besides, Del was limping because he could hardly walk anymore. His feet were a mess.

I really feel we got our moneys’ worth out of the hotel. I have never had a vacation where we spent so much time at one.

We started out at the pool closest to our room, but Em wanted to go over to the Hippity Dipity pool because of the flower showers in it. That sounded like a great idea to Del because it is also the pool located next to the bar.

Great idea until the life guards started blowing their whistles and threw everyone out of the pool. Em came running over to the table where Del and I sitting at with a look of distress on her face.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“I don’t know, but there is a guy going over there with a net.” Em informed me.

The guy with the net was scooping something out of the pool.

Oh, yuck! Poop in the pool!

Em came unglued with this information.

As did Del.

‘Why would someone do that? There is a bathroom right there. Don’t they know people swim in that pool? That is so gross! Now what are we going to do?”

Well, unless it was a serial pooper, we could always go back to the other pool.

Back at the other pool, Del and I were sitting at a table talking about Nikki’s birthday party and that I needed to get on the ball and order a cake. Em came running out of the pool, over to us. “Watch it, you’re wet.” Del said to her.

As far as little kids go, Em is one of the cooler ones. She hardly ever gives us a problem, she is pretty co-operative and most importantly, she does everything I tell her to do.

“Give Daddy a big hug Em.” I told her.

She lunged at Del who jumped out of his seat and tried to get away. It didn't work out too well for him.

We took a walk over to the food court to get some dinner and milkshakes. Em’s teeth chattered the entire time we were getting our food.

We took the food back over to the tables at the pool and ate, Em had another swim and we went back to the rooms for a shower.

It ended up being a pretty good day after all.

Del put Em to bed while I called the bakery to order Nikki’s cake for Whispering Canyon and then joined me. Within a matter of minutes he was sound asleep and snoring like a buzz saw. I lay in bed waiting and listening for the sound of the door next door.

Legally, she may be an adult, but she will be my baby girl always and forever.

When I did hear the door open and close, I drifted off to sleep.

Copyright Robin Costello, All Rights Reserved 2005


The Gulf coast states could use your help. You know what to do.


Love Ya / Mean It and Pins

Tony, Delaney, Connor - Love Ya / Mean It

Robin & Del, Kimball & Bennet (aka Delswife & Scuba Steve, Zurgswife & Zurg) are proud to announce two unique limited edition trading pins to benefit research to help find cures for Juvenile Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy.

We love going to Disney World and writing funny trip reports, after all it is how we became friends.  We care just as much or more about helping these two great causes. All the profits from pin sales will go to JDRF and MDA because, well, Robin thought it would be a fun idea.

So if you enjoy the trip reports please chip in and buy a pin or two. Pins are $10.00 each including shipping and handling (North America.) Send an email to with how many pins you would like and we will get the pins rolling. The pins have sold out. Existing orders are being filled but we can't take anymore pin orders, sorry. There still Love Ya /  Mean it Pins (there were more to start.) 

If you feel inspired click either MDA or JDRF's logo or both and make additional contributions.