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






Survivor Longa-Walka-Hallway
Episode V- Myron!!

Let’s review:

  1. Loud Jimmy Hendrix.

  2. Hypodermic needle on ear.

  3. Rental car, near warp speed, approaching Magic Kingdom Toll Booth.

I pointed at the DVC Members parking pass on the dash. Mr. My-Job-is-to-Collect-$5.oo-parking didn’t even look twice. I guess hypodermic needle in the ear, mini van speeding, Hendrix fans are a dime a dozen round here.

Walking in I still thought was a riot and found it so amusing I couldn’t even say 'Jimmy Hendrix' when relating the story to Kelley in the Wilderness Lodge lobby. She wasn't too impressed by my tale but thought my speech impediment was hysterical.

Can you trade teenagers in when they get to smart?

Delaney came back from another pit stop and Kelley was still mocking me. Delaney enjoys mocking me as much as any of the kids (brats) but she was still a little mellow and eased up on me uncharacteristically early, must have be an early Christmas present. She sat on my lap. Man this kid is skinny.

I like the Wilderness Lodge Lobby. It is big. It has cool themeing. There are all kinds of loud noises coming from Whispering Canyon.

There was a regular revolving door of people taking pictures by the Christmas tree. We were sitting right next to it and found the parade of photographers amusing. Most have little clue how to use their cameras. From time to time, I volunteer to take the shot for families.

I do this a lot on vacations, so a whole family can be in the picture. There is a protocol to follow. First you take the picture from where they were going to, inevitably this is WAY to far away and the people look like ants. I take one there anyway because they want the whole lobby in their picture, even if you can’t see them in it and they are outside the flash’s effective range. Then I walk much closer, frame the picture so you can see them and still tell it is some place cool and ask, “How about one a little close where we get a good look at your faces?” and burn off a shot real quick.

I am willing to bet cash money the pictures I take like that are the best picture of their whole vacation.

A particularly brilliant author, over at Deb’s in the Digital Photography section, suggest this tip sheet for photographers, Top 10 Tips for Great Pictures. They guy is brilliant, so is the tips article, go read both.

There is a marked increase in the din of noise coming from Whispering Canyon. Our buddy Bobby the Kid has spotted us and is yelling across the restaurant and lobby to say hi. I love the subtly of this guy.

Our pager thingy goes off and it is time to be seated. This is convenient as it is the direction of the bathrooms and Delaney needs to go again. What has this kid been drinking?

We are led to our table and arm ourselves for Bobby’s arrival. Everyone get stickers ready and the kids cover him as he walks up. Bobby takes the microphone and introduces us to the rest of the restaurant. Then he makes formal introductions with us and his other tables. “Old tables, this is the new table, they are one of my favorite family but they will take pictures of your shoes. New table, old tables.”

I sometimes feel sorry for the people around us, we play this place WAY up. We clink our glasses for the newlyweds at the next table. The other wait staff catches on real quick that we are fair game and they all come over for a yell or two. We yell back.

We have certain rules of engagement in this place. Number one is we always bus Bobby's tables when he isn’t looking. If necessary we swipe the bussing trays from other unsuspecting waiters. One bluffs that we should clean one of his tables and off we go. Duh you think we are gonna be embarrassed or something? Bobby comes back yells at the other waiter for poaching his guests.

Myron is the manager. Myron has met us before. We carry on with him too. At some point we ask Bobby if he got our “little”card. We made Bobby a Dunlap special too and want to know how he liked it.

He didn’t get it!


I patiently explain to Myron about the scroll. That we sent it FedEx to the food and beverage manager of Wilderness Lodge and the Camp Grounds, by name. That it was delivered on or about September 1. Myron and I have a pleasant little chat. He is a hands on kind of guy and is on the mission to find Bobby’s scroll.

Zurg & Myron have a gentlemanly exchange concerning the lost scroll. Other guest, thinking this is the ESPN club call their bookies with wagers. (Myron was favored 7:3)

What is it about unseen managers at Disney? They get to a level where the don't see guests and loose all common sense. I worked complain to the president duty for a big bank in Philly. We got 250 complaints to one nice letter. I would get that compliment into the hands of the person it was written about at light speed. Get a grip, in a service organization compliments and appreciation are critical. Some how Disney executives are too busy thinking up stupid ways to nickel and dime (OK $10 OR $20) us guests to take the time to pass on a compliment to a CM from a guest.

This isn’t the first time we have had a problem with this. I used to write letters to executives but we found out they didn’t get passed on. That is why we made the BadShoe pins. We give’m to great CM because the pin head suits are to self absorbed to appreciate good staff.

Here is a lesson, listen up you managers out there, this is your Evil Emperor speaking: A manager shines in the reflected glory of their people. The people don’t shine you don’t get any reflection. Got it? Good.
Now send me a check that’s worth more than most management seminars.

I gave Roy Disney a Pin at the Shareholder Meeting in Phily and told him we made them because compliments to managers about CM sent don’t get passed on. He shook his head, he gets it. Must be why they ditched him from the board. He get it that it is the Cast not the Executives that make the magic.

Bobby’s scroll went un-found. We’ll have to make another.

I called managers regularly and they claim they made an effort but bottom line - they lost it. They say it arrive between hurricane. OK. So?

They were real sorry and claim the will send us a letter comp-ing us to dinner at Whispering Canyon and that they talked to Bobby and made sure he knows we sent it.


We haven’t gotten a letter but it is between hurricane seasons. Wonder if they ever said Boo to Bobby?

Anyway we didn’t know the depth of the boss’s short comings at the time and wouldn’t let the bosses being twits keep us from having a good time anyway. Bobby recruited us to help take the guy at the next table oceans of ice tea. Kind of like the ketchup gag only with mugs of ice tea. Seem he was ordering a lot of the stuff.

Another time bobby brought the guy a bucket with a huge tea bag in it. At one point Bobby was chasing the guy around and he turned and pick up Bobby effortlessly. I looked at the guy’s wife and asked if he was a firefighter, nobody else is that graceful and effortless carrying a waiter.

 MYRON! We found the fireman's kid's Toy Story toy cleaning under their table. Make sure it finds its way back to the kid. (Myron did.) Least we could do for a fireman.

Delaney was drinking chocolate milk almost as fast as the fireman was chugging tea. She needed a refill. Bobby brought a half a jug. Delaney was thrilled. Funny she didn’t get jazzed by the sugar, quite the opposite she didn’t even want dessert. (Hey look this stuff is 25 carbs a cup.)

We carried on for about two hours. It was a blast. We should have a meet there some time. Bobby won the immunity challenge alto the fire guy was a clear contender in the waiter carrying event.

Tribal council met and the vote was unanimous. The Fed Ex went to Kate Cubbage, Bobby never got it. Her crime was not making sure Bobby got the scroll the kids made. Later in the week we would find a worse manager. Still, the tribe spoke and Kate is off the island.

Bobby gave the boys his waiter’s apron and a few Whispering Canyon check presentation folder thingies. Delaney got a stack of brand new napkins. Back at the hotel Connor was doing Bobby imitations. I was planning the morning with the kids ( Kelley would be in charge while Kim and I ride Seaways in Epcot.)

Delaney was still not feeling right and Kim put the pieces together.

  • Thristy all the time.

  • Peeing a lot.

  • Skinny.

  • Lethargic, particularly after a lot of sugar.

She got out Connors backup blood glucose meter and tested Delaney’s glucose level.

Delaney was off the chart high – hyperglycemic with keytones.

That counted as an unexpected twist.

She wasn't too bad yet but if a few days will be.

Good thing I have two ears, I’ll need’m for needles - We have another diabetic kid.


Text and Photos Copyright © 2004, Bennet Dunlap

Love Ya / Mean It and Pins

Tony, Delaney, Connor - Love Ya / Mean It

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