Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aug. 26, 2016

Disney Warmup

This week we are located in a Snowbird park about 15 miles south of Disney World.  Large park (very large) pretty much filled with ‘mobile’ homes (most of them now have roots) with a scattering of spaces for RVs.  Very nice place with lots of activity facilities.  Must really hum in the winter.

Monday we drove up I 4 through Orlando to Sanford, FL.  Home of Boss Laser.  Birthplace of my laser machine.  Spent over an hour with a sales rep. No sales talk.  Just tips and techniques for using my machine and possible resources.  Showed us the assembly warehouse where I saw several of my model machines as well as some very large (work beds larger than a sheet of plywood) models.  I doubt any of you are looking for a laser cutter/engraver but if you are I don’t think you can go wrong with Boss Laser.  The machines are built in America with a mixture of American made and high quality imported parts.  Packaging and shipping are outstanding.  My large heavy machine was snugly secured in a wooden crate and traveled 3500 miles without a scratch and worked out of the box.  Support is the best I have ever seen anywhere on any product or service.  Questions or issues are addressed quickly and dealt with rapidly.  By text, over the phone (instant software fix and setup tweak) or by next day mail if needed.  Every contact with every individual (from receptionist to sales to head of tech support) by phone, email, and now in person has been pleasant, supportive, and productive.  They are interested in you and happy to be of help.

Tuesday we went to Disney Springs.  Formerly Downtown Disney. Expanded, upgraded, etc. Still geared to upscale shopping but does have attractions, food, and entertainment.  Each individually priced.  Disney Springs is a major hub for the Disney bus system.  We took a bus (free) to the Polynesian Resort (by way of Typhoon Lagoon). Quest, in addition to seeing the grounds, was to get a Dole Whip. Found the Pineapple Lanai, literally a hole in the wall window serving one item.  Only other place to get Dole Whip is in Magic Kingdom which we couldn’t go to ‘till next week.  Got cups of Dole Whip, pineapple soft serve, and sat in hotel lobby eating ice cream, watching people and using Disney internet on our phones.  Walked from Polynesian to Grand Floridian along the lake shore.  Passed the hotel pools and water parks, the wedding chapel on the lake, and the resort beaches. Including the beach where an alligator grabbed a small child recently.  The beaches no longer go to the water.  There is a fence and between the fence and the water is a ten foot zone of coarse rock breakwater.   The effect is a very difficult area to traverse.  Nothing short of a tank could cross it let alone an alligator.  There are now signs mentioning alligators but they are small, low key, and easy to over look.  The state park we stayed in with alligators in pond had huge signs with easy to read and understand wordage. I know Disney doesn’t want to scare its’ guests but minimalizing warnings seems poor.  Back on a bus to car at Disney Springs (free parking) and then home to Carbus.

Wednesday – early drive to Universal Studios.  Good close up parking in garage, quick visit to will call kiosk, brisk walk to back of Universal Studios park and into Diagon Alley.  Walked right on to Harry Potter ride. After ride we walked the Potter area, visited shops, and had a Butter Beer (Sue regular, me frozen).  Then to train (going through wall) to Hogwarts area of Islands of Adventure park.  Again walked right on Potter ride.  Then walked Hogwarts area and shops.  Walked around rest of Islands of Adventure park. Much of it is geared to young kids or enormous coasters.  We were about to go on Jurassic Park ride when it was closed down because of weather.  Walked back to Hogwarts and took train back to other park.  Still raining so had lunch at Leaky Cauldron in Potter area. Supposed to be something ‘to do’.  It was ok.  A bit pricy but I guess some of the price is the experience.  Dessert was ice cream from the ice cream shop (next to the butter beer shop).  That would be a fun place to go back to.  Lots of different and very intriguing flavors.  Left the Potter area and walked through the rest of the Universal Studios park.  This is the original park.  Took several rides in that park.  Back to Potter area to take train again (10 min wait this time).  Over to Jurassic Park ride.  30 minute wait but fun ride.  Back on train.  Another butter bear(both frozen) and then walk to park exit.  On the way out we came face to face with a parade headed our way.  Stood on sidewalk and watched parade/show.  Large floats, costumed characters, performers, etc. The parade stops and the entire cast does a dance routine.  Interesting to see three blocks of dancers lined up doing the same dance routine.  Somehow dancing Minions and cartoon fish didn’t quite do it for me though.  Finished our exit and back to car.  Judging by vacancies in garage, our day out lasted many who came after us.

Two more days for rest up, laundry, etc. and then we start our Disney Experience.