Sunday, 22 January 2012

Platinum Plan - Extreme Touring Part 2

OK - so I am still racing from one event to the next in my over-scheduled Platnium Plan 40 hour challenge. In Part 1, I checked into the Polynesian Resort, breakfasted at Kona Cafe, spent 7 hours on the Backstage Magic Tour, enjoyed the degustation dinner at Victoria and Alberts....

and the day is still not over.

Dragging my Mr Creasote body out of V&A I waddled down to the Grand Floridian wharf to meet the pontoon for my Fireworks Cruise!

The pontoon at the GF wharf. (source:
Fortunately warm fluffy fleecy blankets were provided cause once we were out on Seven Seas Lagoon it was cold enough to freeze your brass monkeys. But we had prime position to watch the 20 minute fireworks show - the last for the Halloween parties for 2011. The narrative and music is played on board the pontoon and the 5 of us enjoyed a prime view, directly in front of the Magic Kingdom. There's a bit of movement - well - I was on a boat!

So that back of that head you see in the video? That's a chick I met up with off the DISboards - by coincidence we found we on the same day, doing the same tours and staying at the same resort. So after wandering back from the GF to the Poly we went up into the Tambu Lounge and had a chat and drink.

Of course it had to be something in a pineapple - with a little umbrella. How could one resist? It is a "Lapu Lapu": dark rum with tropical fruit juices.
Then it was off to sleepy bo bo land in my Polynesian Room. And All Ears, of course, have a great room review video.

I LOVE the green marble in the bath/shower!

In Australia, the old shower curtain is virtually non existent in a decent hotel these days. But not so in the US. Even the most expensive hotels will use them, and Disney always print theirs to the theme.

Poly huts and palm trees with hidden mickeys.
But more important - some thing I have never seen before. Something that shows how Disney manage the little details .....

Mini suction cups! on the shower curtain! YAY!
Have I just revealed something about the standard of general excitment in my life?

To see what happened when I woke up the next morning, follow me after the jump. It is full of segways and jet skis and more excitement!

After sleeping in a bit, I dashed off to Chef Mickey for a mediocre breakfast and out to Bay Lake for Sammy Duvalls watery adventures. I arrive, check in and ...

SD CM: "Ummmm ..... did someone tell you that you can't go parasailing today?"

Me:        "Ummmm .... no ...."

SD CM: "yeah ... the boat is in for repairs"

Me:       " well, I'm from Australia and it was too hard for Disney to ring me or even email me about cancelling the scuba diving with the dolphins, so I suppose that's how it works."

No paragliding for you!

That's one bit of detail Disney didn't manage.

But I am still able to go on my "personal watercraft" (a.k.a beginners jet ski) tour of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. This was GREAT! For approximately 40 minutes, with the guide, we scooted around all over both ponds, stopping occasionally to hear short infomercials about "this is where they store the barge" and "this is where the wave machine used to be". For the last 15 minutes we let loose in an area about the size of two football fields for "freestyling" (a.k.a keep yourself occupied in this limited space where no other boats come.) That last bit was a bit pointless.

The jet skis are beginners versions, and they fixed to not go about 30 mphs. So there is no fear of falling off or even getting wet really. But good fun - especially for me as I had never ridden one before. I recommend doing the guided tour cause going around in circles in the special patch isn't going to hold anyone's imagination longer than a few minutes.

Disney released a 2 min video showing the 'personal watercraft' tour and parasailing. Take a look. I'm sure the boat will be operational when you are there.

Then it was over to Fort Wilderness for the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour.  This tour starts off with a short (30 mins) training session and then away for 2 hours through the unkempt wilderness around Bay Lake. The segway was 4WD tyres fitted and the remaining 2 hour tour is on dirt tracks, bike paths, roads, grass, through the trees - anywhere. Also they keep the segways locked on beginner mode so they move quite slowly.

I was the only person on the tour - YAY! So I had two chaps looking after me. Good fun pleasant guys. Obviously retired to Florida and did Disney tours 2 days a week for extra pocket money. Nice work if you can get it.

The tour route is a big circle: through Fort Wilderness, through the forest, over to the Wilderness Lodge and around the grounds there, along the edge of Bay Lake, and back to FW. I'm given a wireless headset so the guide can yammer away and I can easily hear him. Which was fine until half way the battery in mine died so he had to yell. Anyway - one is supposed to be hanging onto the segway and not taking pictures, but I did find this 3 min video that summarises a 2.5 hour tour.

And I did take a few pictures. Especially when we came across these deer

Turns out these guys were everywhere and we were able to get quite close.
But I didn't see an armidillo

Finally we stopped for break and the tour guide shot this photo for me with the Contemporary Resort in the distance.

So the segway was supposed to transform personal transportation. It is an ingenious piece of machinery with a bunch of gyroscopes and auto-balancing. It is clean and easy and wonderful - as long as you don't want to go down stairs, or up a kerb, or through tight spaces or are in a hurry - or just want some basic form of exercise. In fact even if you want to move any part of your body. It is extraordinarily difficult and uncomfortable to keep your entire body still the entire time.

So - have you ever ridden a segway? or a jet ski? or even a pontoon?

 In the final part I go Cirque De Soleil and Fultons Crabby Shack!

1 comment:

  1. The Shower curtain is there so if a sister, friend, brother, mother, aunt, uncle, father, niece, cousin etc.....are staying in the same room and WANT to use the other components to the bathroom at the same time they can without seeing the other party starkers...

    USUALLY something appreciated for both parties...

    I think is GREAT...and I hate Australia feature almost exclusively the awkward glass banging door. That even in a five star resort often leaks...