Wednesday, November 30, 2016
We started with Space Mountain. D3 waited in line with us but did not want to ride it so he sat out. There was a bit of a scramble in the line at the last moment so Shan ended up being in the front seat. So now she hates us all. The roller coaster in the dark was interesting. Not being able to see where you are going really intensifies the experience. For Shan, all roller coasters are dark rides as she always keeps her eyes closed. After Space Mountain, we did the People Movers. The wait was only about 10 minutes. Some people don't like this one but we did. It gives a nice overview of Tomorrowland. It even gave D3 a glimpse of Space Mountain - which we all agreed that he would not have liked. Next we moved on to the Carousel of Progress. This was another classic that lived up to the history. We were able to walk directly on to the ride. Cheryl wanted us to do the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and had been talking about it for the last two days. It was only a 10 minute wait and the ride was okay. I got the high score - even beating my FPS son. We popped in to the Merchant of Venus and I picked up a foam Tusken Raider Gaffi Stick for $20. The clerk was new so we were unable to ship it back to the room and we had to carry it, D3's book, and the rest for the remainder of the night. We got in line for Stitch's Great Escape but they told us that the ride was 20 minutes long and that we would miss the fireworks so we left and made our way to the center courtyard for the night-time fireworks show. Afterwards, we went back to Tomorrowland and walked back on to Stitch's Great Escape. It seemed a bit dark for Stitch - which makes sense when you learn that it had been rethemed from the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. With the seats, where you are locked in, it does seam as though Stich it right behind you in the dark To finish up our day, we had a 10 minute wait and did the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which had some great thing to keep kids busy while waiting. Then we made our way back to Liberty Square and walked on to the Haunted Mansion. Another classic ride satisfying the history. I would have gone again, but D3 was done for the day again so we left, again going by the carousel with no line but not stopping. We took the right bus home, but got back too late for a snack - about midnight.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
We got up and had breakfast at the resort. I had an omelette at the omelette station. Back at the Magic Kingdom, we started at the station and took the train around to Frontierland. We took the raft to Tom Sayer's Island and looked around there. There is not much to it, but it is one of the classic parts that we wanted to see. Then Shan and D3 waited while Cheryl, Gee, and I went on Splash Mountain. It's more of a ride than I had thought, with The Song of the South storyline well depicted. The line had been about an hour for that one. When we finally go to the front, we found out why - they let about 100 Fastpass riders through to every 10 standby riders. We didn't get the final splash though, as it had a problem 3 boats ahead and we had to wait, and wait. About 20 minutes later cast members came by and started unloading the boats from behind us. A poor little girl was in front of us. We pushed them to rush her out as she had to go to the bathroom. We did get to see part of the ride that most people don't get to see - the backstage. Due to the problems, they gave us a mini water, and Magic Kingdom fastpasses to use later. Outside, they wondered what was taking us so long but had figured something was up when they had turned off the water. Because our photopasses, we did get a photo of our boat going down the ride without us. We moved over to the Pirate of the Caribbean, and waited about 40 minutes for that. It was pretty dark and they have updated it to add in a few Jack Sparrows. As fans of the movies as well as Monkey Island, it was great to finally see the prisoners tempting the dog in person. Another 30 minute wait and we were on the Jungle Cruise. It's been one that we have see clips and photos from for decades and it was great to be on it. Our guide kept up a running commentary of bad puns that kept us chuckling the entire time. I wasn't able to get the iconic shot of the hippo spraying water however. Both the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse were closed so I was unable to cross those ones off our list. We hit the main courtyard in time to find a spot for the parade, We saw the new steampunk Malificent dragon. D3 was already a bit tired and sat off to the side for the parade in what shade he could find. Shan had bought one of the water-spray bottle fans. She proceeded to mist us with it - as I had predicted to Gee (and did not appreciate). We moved on to Liberty Square. We stopped for an early dinner at The Diamond Horseshoe/Liberty Tree Tavern and had a family-style feast of turkey, roast beef, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. Cheryl had an issue with her salad and they gave her a fastpass for 5. With dessert and drinks included, dinner was about $33 a person. It was a fine meal and a great way to cool off at the middle of the day. We caught the Hall of Presidents just in time to catch the show. Another classic, and a very impressive show. I was too caught up in it to take many photos. The Riverboat wasn't running and Small World was now boarded up for repairs. We next got in line for Peter Pan's Flight. It ended up being about a 45 minute wait in line. I found it too long a wait for the ride, although the view of the city was nice. I found that the mast of the ship blocked sight and photos, and it was too dark to get anything more than a blur. Taking a fastpass though would have missed the tour of the house which was nice to see at least once. The long lines through the kids' bedroom was also the only place where we saw major litter in the parks. Seeing Tinkerbell interact with the furniture was neat but it wasn't enough to make up for the wait. Again we skipped past the Carousel. On our way to Dumbo's we passed a Pooh and Tigger going to their ride. The four of us rode Dumbo's Wild Ride. It's not super exciting, but still one of the iconic rides that my wife and I wanted to see. After the ride, we got some pictures in the test Dumbo they had off to the side. Gaby and I went off to ride the Tea Cups at the Mad Tea Party as the rest went into the Big Top Boutique. We were able to walk on to the ride and spun as fast as we could before heading back to join them. We got our purchases sent back to the resort and popped over to see Merida, but we had missed her so we moved on to Tomorrowland.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
I had a good chance to get a faded copy of the French version of Dune, which includes both of the expansions for about $100 but by the time I got back from holidays, it was gone. I was able to get a copy of Dust online. It came from Spain. The picture in the listing was for the Fantasy Flight (English) version but they sent the Edge/Ubik (French/Spanish) version. Luckily, the components are language independent and the English rules are available online. I also found a good copy of Blood Royale. It’s complete and in very nice shape. The event cards aren’t even punched and there are lots of sheets on the pads and the markers aren’t broken as so many are. I had another chance and was also able to get a different copy of the French Dune for about $100. It seems like it might be missing one of the expanded Treachery cards – but I may reprint those in English anyways. While the Sandworm cover of the Avalon Hill game will stay on my grail list, the Dune game itself is now considered achieved. This clears the main items on my Grail List. I’m adding the Games Workshop Battle of Five Armies and Crime Lords by Steve Jackson Games to my Grail List. Doom of the Eldar, Bommerz over da Sulphur River, and Willow are being upgraded to my watching list. The Battle of Five armies rules are similar to their Warmaster system – which was the fantasy version of their Epic rules. It came with a lot of tiny miniatures which should be easy to paint. The Crime Lords is based on the Illuminati game system, which is one on my top ten games, but in a stand alone version with a mobster theme. I’ve been watching this one lately and it might be achievable sooner rather than later. I still have the Mechwarrior Solaris VII sets for Medium, Heavy, and Assault packs on my watching list. As well, I still need cars to complete the WizKids RaceDay 2006, and a Servants of Thebes to complete my Arcane Legions set.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
While on holidays I picked up some 40K Ork Burnas/Lootas. Besides being at the American rate, they were also half price. I was very tempted to add some Skitari figures as well, but was able to resist. 40K – Ork Burnas/Lootas – 5 Oct figures bought - 5 figures painted – 0 Running total 2016 – figures bought 62, figures painted 0
Friday, October 28, 2016
This year I played in the Mezzacotta Online puzzle challenge. While I was only able to solve 2 of the 26 puzzles, I was able to make solid headway in almost half of them. I was the only person on my team and was able to place 203 out of the 231 teams that scored points. There were also 88 teams that had signed up but did not solve any puzzles, and 3 teams that were disqualified. This would make me a more respectable 203 out of 322. I was still only able to score 7 out of a possible 130 points. They released 5 puzzles a day for 5 days. If you solved them on the first day they were worth 5 points. When they released the next day’s puzzles, they would also release a clue for each of the previous puzzles and reduce the score for solving that puzzle. After 3 clues, the solution would only score 2 points. After all the puzzles were released, the answers could be used to solve a final Meta puzzle. I had good fun. While I only solved 2 puzzles, 33 teams were able to solve all 26 puzzles. On one of the days the five puzzles were linked together, meaning that you had to solve one to be able to solve the others. I was unable to solve this set. I'm going to have to see if I can get any of my friends interested in next year's challenge but, if not, I'm definitely in for another try.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
We left for Disney World early on Sunday Aug 21. We had to be up and out by 5 am. My folks drove us to the airport and dropped us off. There was a bit of concern if we would all fit with all of our luggage but it was fine. We had dropped Boo off at the kennel the day before. We don’t normally get as choked up when we drop Gee off at the airport for her trips but Shan and Gee were both a bit weepy as we drove away. Dee’s first flight was okay. He sat by the window but closed it on the takeoff. Toronto airport is big. We got food at the Tim Horton’s – I got chili and a sub. Gee and I played the video machines while we waited between flights. They had ipads connected at several of the tables. Thanks to our friends at CIBC, we got Sun chips, a Mountain Dew, and a Water for free. Shan's sister Cheryl met us in Toronto. The flight was fine - D3 getting used to it and slept most of it. He missed supper. I had the chicken wrap and some tepid soup. We landed in Orlando around 8 pm. I thought Toronto's airport was big but Orlando was huge. Because we were staying in one of the resorts, we had the resort tags on our luggage which meant that we didn't have to collect them at the airport. Cheryl did not have the tags so we left her at the baggage claim and went on to the buses. The bus from the airport was nice. The video on the bus was fine and helped to pass the time. I answered most of the trivia questions correctly. I am very glad that I did not have to make the drive to the park. We checked in to our hotel - the New Orleans Riverside. We are in building 28 and our room was 2828. It is a nice size. It even has a fold-down third bed for D3 but it is too small for him. We dropped our carry-on luggage and made our way to the bus stop near us. We took the bus to the park at about 9:30 pm. We were a bit concerned as the Magic Kingdom was not listed on the bus times. Originally, we were going to take the travel days as off days, but the Small World ride was being closed for repairs starting the next day so we extended our park days to include the Sunday. At the park, we rushed in. We had to go around the castle as the fireworks were almost about to start and the crowds were filling in. We made it to Small World at 10 pm - just before our much-moved Fast Pass. The ride was very nice. Each section represents a continent: Europe, Asia and Australia, Africa, and South America. Then there was the winter celebration. As the ride ended, they mentioned that we could stay on if we wanted to ride it again. We totally took that opportunity. The attendants were very surprised and excited and sent us through on a boat by ourselves. We would have ridden a third time but D3 had missed supper and was hungry. We went back through the castle. We got our first park photo with the castle in backqround. We had a late supper at Casey's. It was now 11 pm so it as the end of the park day but we kept hearing them mention that the electric parade was happening. So we stayed for it. It was also very nice. It was a really good start to our first day. We got back on our bus at 18 where we were dropped off but it ended up being for New Orleans - Dock Side not Riverside. But our driver was great and took pity on us and dropped us off at our hotel. Crisis averted. We made our way back to our hotel, glad that our room was on the main floor. Our bags were still not here yet. Shan called the desk and they said that they were out being delivered. They showed up as she went to get ice.
Monday, October 3, 2016
I finally picked up The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth boxed set. It comes with 38 figures that need to be assembled and painted. They really do need to be painted as both teams are in the same color plastic. I should be able to play it with my old figures while they join the seemingly endless queue for painting. Sept figures bought - 38 figures painted – 0 Running total 2016 – figures bought 57, figures painted 0