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Trip Reports at the Lodge






Survivor Longa-Walka-Hallway
Episode X

You can fool some of the people

The Illuminations party was a blast. Thanks Kimball for the great job planning it you are a champion! Even more fun than I expected. The after party was great too. Thanks Suite for hosting again.  

Even after these great parties the Imperial entourage was not happy as we walked over to MGM the next morning. We were going early and we were all pissed. From what we could gather on the internet Isaac and the other Animation Academy artists had been given notice. Disney is going to use trained monkeys tracing characters rather than real artists. That stinks but even worse the manager who we sent their scroll to never told them about it. Apparently she put it up on her wall.

Some fact checking was in order, but even so the tribe was ready for tribal council and the name we were looking to write down was one Ms. Gloria Hardee.

We went straight to the animation gallery and sure enough our friends never got the scroll. They only found out about it by accident when they saw it on a managers wall. The manager would not let them have it and apparently only barely let them see it.

OK loosing a thank you scroll between hurricanes is one thing; sloppy.

Putting something on your wall that is very clearly intended for someone else is another. It is even worse when you keep it a secret. There is a word for taking something that doesn’t belong to you.

OK who remembers the free management lesson up there in episode V? Shining in the reflected glory?

Seems this particular person thinks other people’s glory is hers. Probably because she adds no particular value to guest experiences but deludes herself to think she does. Queen of the un-seen ones, she is the exact end result of a selfish executive management roll model manifesting itself in middle management. (A phrase that here means: a selfish little Michael Eisner wanna be.)

Now I am a nice enough guy. Some folk’s think the Evil Emperor thing is a façade. Well as long as you do things my way that is true enough. Gloria was in the hot seat and not the one in the Millionaire game. See I Fed Ex-ed the thing to her because she was the area manager. I was told she was the area boss – so I sent it to her so she could congratulate her people. And so it wouldn’t get lost.

I never expected her to steal it.

We went up front. Kelley was briefing the other Imperial offspring. ‘Let dad do the talking, look cute and pitiful at the same time if you can pull it off.’ I am thrilled to see how she appreciates the importance of setting the proper stage. She will make a fine Empress one day.

Kim and I want our scroll back. We know exactly where this one is.

I feel sorry for the poor guy I am about to eviscerate. It isn’t his fault but he needs to appreciate exactly how pissed off the Empire is, so he can communicate it effectively to the chain of command.

“Hi, I would like to file a complaint about a manager of area nine, Gloria Hardee, who apparently has stolen the personal property of these children (who are looking spectacularly cute and pitiful I might ad.)

“The property is hanging on her wall in an annex building. We Fed Expressed it, a scroll to her with instructions to pass it to cast members who made the kids’ last trip wonderfully Magic.

“The scroll never got to the cast members. It is on Ms Hardee’s wall. Since it wasn’t given to the people intended, it is still the property of the kids’.

“We will be in the park until noon. We want it back by then. I would be happy to resolve this here by then.” 

The other Cast Members had that look of “Thank Heaven I didn’t get this clown at my station!” on their faces. Our CM wisely retreated for a manager. They didn’t seem to want to golf cart me over to the annex.

OK I left my cell number. We were meeting friends to play Millionaire.


We met them in route. Del was carrying a camera bag. I haven’t touched one of them since his last visit.

I took a picture. 

Kim and I explained the Millionaire rules. Fastest finger; just push any combination as fast as you can. There are 600 people here so someone is going to guess and get it right before you can even read the full question. This is how Delaney got in the hot seat. After that the key is to click the right answer as fast as you know it, and keep clicking it. You can’t hold it in, pump it. If it isn’t A, B or C start clicking D before it goes up and the screens turn on.

The Imperial Tribe is very competitive at this game. The odd children (number 1 Kelley and 3 Connor) were both in the hot seat earlier in the week, in the same game. That was cool. Anyway a little competition is good for the Emperor’s mood.

It would be cool to get into the hot seat with my friends there. I am a good member of the audience and silenced my cell phone. Well put it on vibrate. I was expecting a call.

Fastest finger is all luck, see the rules above. I didn’t feel bad about not winning it. There is some skill in getting on the top ten board. At the first break I was looking good, sitting atop the board.

Then my phone vibrated and I walked out of the game. Pins, I got. I want my scroll back. It was the front of the park. I called back from the gift trailer, they had my scroll. Outstanding! 30 minutes early too.

I walked up front and got it, apologized to the poor CM who bore the brunt of my displeasure, for my lack of civility and returned to Millionaire before the show got out.

Hey who’s the new guy? Turns out it is Eric and he has connections. Good to know however it doesn’t sink in and I keep asking who he is all week.

I showed everyone the scroll and with the Imperial tribe set off to return it to the rightfully honored Cast Members.   

Gloria chose to advance her career by firing artists and saving a few pennies. I am sure she kept our letter and scroll to herself because we made it clear we return and bring our tourist dollars specifically because art is part of a quality guest experience. That is exactly the opposite of the crapoola that she is selling, which is: that guest will not notice if the people running the show are hacks tracing images.

Learn for history Gloria:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

 - Abraham Lincoln



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.