Alright soap fans will probably like this more than Disney fans. Sorry! First off…35,000 people at MGM on Saturday. Less on Sunday. MEAN PEOPLE! Ugh. Also I wrote this up for a soap opera stars message board so it has references to that place. Just ignore them. I really didn’t want to edit or type it up again…Sorry!
Alright, I’m never good at describing things, but here’s what I could remember.
Ryan’s trip to SSW 2005!
Alright thought I’d give my write up on my experience at SSW.
I left the apartment on Thursday morning to head to Disney. Went to the Pop Century resort to check in at about 9 and found out that the room I requested 6 months ago wasn’t available, but one around it was available just had not been cleaned. Not a big deal, just a few extra steps to the main hall. Went to the Animal Kingdom for about 2 hours and called to find out if the room was ready and it was. Went back to the hotel unpacked the car and relaxed. That night went to Epcot to hang out and sample some food at the Food and Wine Festival. Took in a Loverboy concert and then went to the Boardwalk for dinner at the ESPN Club. Went back to Epcot because it had evening extra magic hours and it was open until midnight. Went on Soarin (2+ hour wait) and Test Track (FP) and went back to the hotel.
Friday I pretty much took the day off. Thought about going to the Alicia Minshew and Cameron Mathison signing at a Wal Mart 20+ minutes away, but decided to sleep some more instead. Went to the Magic Kingdom and hit all the rides I wanted to (Mountains, Buzz, Pirates, and some others). Then went back to the hotel for a bit to relax before it was time to head to DTD. Took the bus down to DTD and walked over to the AMC theater that was showing the Carpool Guy screening. The line was about 200 people deep and the theater held 500. After about 30 minutes of waiting I decided to head out to dinner instead. I bought the movie and decided that I’d watch it sometime when I got home. Went to Earl of Sandwich and shopped a bit. Then went back to the hotel to rest up before the big weekend.
Saturday I just felt something wasn’t right. I woke up at 3 and had thoughts of heading over to MGM earlier than normal. Instead I decided I wouldn’t deviate from my normal routine. I got up got dressed and was at the bus stop at about 4:45 am. More people showed up around 5:15 and we talked about who we wanted to meet and past SSW’s. Like every year the majority of the people showed up in the 10-15 minutes after the food court opened at 6. Bus showed at about 6:50 and everyone rushed on. Remember those earlier bad feelings? Turns out they were for a reason! Normally if you are on the first bus you are ok. Well, turns out there were at least double the amount of people normally already at park waiting. Not a good sign. They start letting people in at 6:30 (earlier than normal). Lines to enter the park moved slower than normal with what seemed to be a lot of ticket problems. Got through the turnstiles and jogged towards the GH line. After about 50 minutes of waiting in the line mom and I reached the attraction entrance. We walked through and with about 30 people infront of me they announced Kelly had about 25 tickets left in her second session. Sure enough those flew and with 3 people infront of me she was on standby. What a killer! Not being a fan of the standby because of earlier experiences I figured I would get the 2nd and 3rd people on my GH list and move on. So I got Kimberly McCullough and mom got Lindze Letherman. Started to head towards the OLTL line but just didn’t feel like waiting. I guess you could say I just felt dejected about being so close! Went over to the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire line (another new addition…they never really had lines before). Found out that Kimberly McCullough and Natalia Livingston were taking Alicia Leigh Willis and Tyler Christopher’s spots in the first WWTBAM. Being a fan of both we got a ticket each. It was fun as usual. After that we walked around and I did what I normally do, take pictures. Not as easy this year as in years past. Crowds were HUGE around certain people, with the largest being around Steve and the one around Kelly. So I wandered to see who didn’t have big crowds. At 11:45 it was time to head over to Kimberly’s line to meet her. Of course being a big fan for a long time I was looking forward to it. It was great for me. Kimberly was not the most talkative person and at some points people mentioned that it seemed like it was more of a chore to be there. I wasn’t disappointed. I said a couple things and she responded with answers, albeit short ones. Got my picture taken and a photo signed and moved on. I seemed to be one of the few people who wasn’t disappointed with her. Many expressed sadness in how “rude” she was to them. Many said when they said something to her she basically ignored them and didn’t offer and type of response. Questions went unanswered and people left disappointed. At the session I went to I took pictures and at some points she looked a bit tired and seemed like she was wondering when it was over but she still seemed friendly. Had a bit of time to do nothing so I hit the Great Movie Ride. Good way to pass time and sit down after all the walking. Had 30 minutes to my next signing and the ride took up 25 of it. Moved on to Lindze. If anyone has followed Lindze you’ll know that she has wanted to go to SSW since she started. She’s begged and pleaded to be invited and never was. She was ecstatic to be invited this year and she showed it. She talked to everyone who went in her line. She smiled the whole time and just seemed overjoyed by the experience. It’s always nice to see star’s reactions at their first SSW because most really enjoy it. This meeting trumped Kimberly’s just because of how nice Lindze was and the effort she put into each person. After that I was done with meet and greets and decided to walk around and check out everyone else. At about 4:00 I ended up at Kirsten Storms signing. She started at 3:30 and it was her only one of the day. She was 5th on my list of people to meet because I liked her on Days and also being a Disney fan I’ve seen her there as well. She’s always been fan friendly and fun to be around. Well, she flew through everyone with tickets and with 25 minutes left in her session there was no one else. Being that she has to stay for the whole thing they said if anyone wanted to go up and get a photo or an autograph to just get in line and she’ll get through as much as she can before 4:30. I got in line and got up to her and froze! Not the first time, but this was different. I just couldn’t think of anything to say. I felt like an idiot! Again, not the first time. She asked for my name and I told her. Got my autograph and my picture and after that I just blurted out “Keep up the great work on GH”. Then I moved away quickly wondering what I just did or said. So that went well. Sometimes it does pay to be in the right spot at the right time. I also heard that Sydney Penny had the same problem. She finished with everyone before her time. Unfortunately I wasn’t in that right place at that time. Went check out Steve’s last signing of the day then I was going to head over to grab a spot to see the motorcade and concert. While in Steve’s crowd of people some wonderful lady elbowed my mom on her bad elbow (which she is waiting to have surgery on). Not a good thing. So we ended up having to leave earlier than had hoped. Not a great end to a day that had it’s highs and lows. Went back to the hotel to get some ice on moms elbow. I went out to dinner by myself and to DTD to think of a new way to attack SSW on Sunday.
Steve seemed to enjoy being there but at points was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd and not thrilled with the pushing that was taking place.
Laura Wright is very good looking in person and seemed to be really enjoying herself. She said she was having the time of her life. Also learned that she asked before she signed her contract if she could go to SSW because she felt that she needed to meet the fans to be accepted in a role that is loved by so many people.
Kelly looked amazing on Saturday and seemed to be having a lot of fun (as usual).
Michael E. Knight was a no show because he was ill. Apparently he was extremely upset that he was not able to make it. So that made 3 people originally scheduled to not make it.
Sunday came early for me. I woke up at 2:30 am. Got dressed and sat around thinking. Mom woke up and her arm felt better. 3:15 comes and I decide I’m walking from my resort to MGM. They weren’t allowing cars in and a cab would have been $20. I walk over to the front desk to ask about walking. If you go to Disney, you’ll notice that once you pass the DTD area there are no sidewalks! Think they are trying to tell you something? Well I find out that walking is not against the rules but they do not encourage it because with no sidewalks you walk in the grass or the street. I decided to take my chances. Went back and found out mom wanted to walk as well. So at 4 we set off on our adventure. We reached the guard gate and got asked what we were doing. We told him walking to MGM. He explained that it wasn’t safe, etc, etc. Pretty much the same thing we heard from the desk clerk. We kept on. About 5 minutes later a security van pulls up next to us. He says that the guard gate guy called him about us. So he asks us the SAME EXACT QUESTIONS that the other guy did. Ugh. We answered. He asked for our room cards and our room numbers so he could make sure we were staying there. I guess it’s a bit suspicious when you are walking at 4 am and 1 person has a backpack. He went over the fact that it wasn’t encouraged. After him holding us there for 15 minutes he said he couldn’t stop us and to be careful. So we pressed on. No traffic at all on 2 of the roads we had to travel on so we walked in the street. We got to the main road and there was traffic. We walked on the shoulder and headed to MGM. It seemed like it was a quick trip. We got to the park at 4:45. So it would have been a 30 minute walk if the security guard didn’t stop us. When we got to the entrance to the MGM parking lot another security guard approached us and asked if he could help us. We told him we were going to line up and he said that since other people were doing it we could too. He was extremely nice (not like the other people) and showed us the shortest way to walk to the main entrance. Lined up at about 4:50 and there were all of 15-20 people there already. There are about 12 turnstiles and we were 2nd and 3rd in the one we chose. Park wasn’t opening until 7:30 we waited and talked to everyone. It was a lot of fun and I might use this method more often. More and more people started to arrive. At 6:30 they started letting the long line of cars that had been lining up into the parking lot. At 7 the buses from resorts started showing up. It was nice being where we were today as opposed to being where we were the day before. Again the Soap Sisters came out to entertain and open the park. People rushed through. And mom and I split up. I went to GH and she went to AMC. She was 4th in line and I was about 25th in my line. Had a much better feeling all day Sunday. Followed the leader in a single file line around the park to the Indiana Jones attraction. Waited until 8 when they started letting us get fast passes. 5 minutes later I had my fast pass to see Kelly in hand and the day was already a success! Met mom and she had my Alexa Havins one. So I was guaranteed to meet my top 2 people. For some reason I just didn’t want to wait in anymore lines so I skipped over OLTL completely for the weekend (which I later regretted) besides how much I wanted to try and see Kassie and Heather Tom. Went over to WWTBAM and got a ticket for the 3 pm show which was to feature Kimberly and Kelly! So I wandered around taking pics on the park. Because of the crowds for Kelly the day before I decided it might be best to head over to her signing area about 50 minutes before her first session so mom could get up close to snap a pic of her and I. The area filled up quicky and they started letting people with fast passes in. Time passes…more time passes…Kelly isn’t there. It’s announced she’ll be about 10 minutes late. Not horrible. So we still wait. Waited longer. The announce stuff to the crowd but not to us. People with other people start coming up and letting us know she hadn’t even left the hotel yet. Being 30 minutes into her signing that wasn’t a good sign. She would have had about 15 minutes to meet everyone. The head MGM guy comes over and explains that Kelly was not at MGM and she would not be making it to that session, but that she was making it up at 5:15. I was okay with that but some people were not. Some were leaving in the afternoon to come home and some had tickets to see other people at that time. So I went off. Rode a couple rides and walked around taking pictures. You could tell there were less people Sunday and the crowd went down as the day went on. Made it easier to take pics of most people (not Kelly or Steve though). Kelly showed up for her next session and looked stunning. I had nothing else to do so I wandered over to wait for Alexa’s session to start. Mom got a spot up front and they started loading us into the waiting area. Alexa was the person I wanted to meet more than anyone (except Kelly) because I missed her last year and just adore her! She showed up and looked amazing. She was facing the sun so she kept her sunglasses on. Not a big deal. Got in line and waited. She was extremely friendly and it was everything I was hoping it would be. I got my pic, hug, and autograph and left. I froze again but she helped me through it and was able to get a bit of a conversation in. After leaving I just was thrilled. I had about 3 hours until Kelly’s make up session. Walked around and took pics and tried to see everyone I had not seen the day before (Forbes March, Kelli Giddish, Melissa Archer, and more). Ended up around Jacob Young. He was signing items in the crowd but I didn’t have my stuff with me. Oh well. 2:30 comes and it’s time to head to WWTBAM! We get over there early and are at the front. We join the rush when they let us in and are in perfect position to see Kelly. Soap Sisters entertain and again I hear complaints about Kimberly and her “rudeness”. It’s never fun hearing those things. Walt Willey is introduced and you could feel the crowds excitement. He announced Kelly and Kimberly and the place went crazy. You could tell this would be a fun show. Walt mentions the fastest finger question and Kelly asks for a lifeline. They do the question and the person who wins declines. Disney employees can not play and he is one. It’s not really announced so no one understands. So they take the second girl who was…interesting. She was fun and seemed overly enthusiastic to be there. Walt had fun with her. He told her he could get help from them and Kelly says she probably won’t be much help…she also mentions missing her first session. Crowd laughed. Kelly and Walt played very well off eachother. The girl liked Kelly’s shoes so she put her leg up and started pulling her pant leg up and the crowd enjoyed that…so did Walt. He told her not to stop. He said the last person to do that was Thorsten Kaye and she looks a lot better doing it. So they go through questions and Walt talks to the girls. He asks Kimberly how she’s doing and she says good. Short convo. Walt moves on to Kelly and called her a dancing queen or something like that. She sinks in her chair and says “I know I lost the rematch” and the crowd booed. Then she said but she still won DWTS and the crowd went crazy. She talked about dance and she thinks that everyone should spend more time dancing because it helps the mind, body and soul. So…Walt tells everyone in the crowd to stand up and to dance. Music came on and everyone danced for like 10 seconds. The girl lost on a question no one seemed to know. They look for the top scorer to replace her and that person declines (another cast member). Walt asks if it’s his breathe. Apparently these were the first people to decline and they didn’t know why. The guy says that it’s his 6th year and it’s his vacation. Walt asks for his favorite ride and he says “this one”. He says it’s not a ride but his favorite attraction. Kelly said, in a sexy voice, that sometimes it could be referred to as a ride and that perks Walt up. He ended up losing on a question that Kelly said she knew the answer to. After he said final answer she said she had no clue lol. Kelly was so much fun in there. When Walt was mentioning to the girl the prizes she would win if she got the 1,000 point question Kelly asked him if he was reading off a Teleprompter and Walt said “Daddy doesn’t need a teleprompter” and Kelly said “Daddy is good”. It was just an all around fun time and Kelly and Walt had fun and the crwod seemed to have a lot of fun. There wasn’t much else to do. I went around to saw who was signing in the area. Got some pics of Heather Tom and Kimberly. We went over to where Kelly was going to be. Scott Clifton was signing. It was the last half of his signing. People in the crowd were calling for him to sign a photo for them. Well, he had a system. He would meet the person in line and sign for them, then sign one and put it off to the side. He did that for the last 30 or so people. Ended up with about 50 signed photos off to the side. After he was done he went out and handed out signed pics and also took photos with people. I was able to get one of the signed photos. So that was a good addition. Waited some more and just barely missed getting Heather Tom to sign a photo on her way out. The crowd started to leave and I got a spot up front for mom. She’s not pushy so she gave it to something else. Great idea! Ugh. Huge crowd arrives. Those with fast passes get loaded in again and we wait. Kelly comes in and she poses for pictures and asks the crowd questions. Then we start. Kelly is amazing. She’s fun and she really seems to care about everyone that she meets. She’s talkative and seems to enjoy meeting people from OKM. She remembered the picture and talked to me about it. She said that she’ll be signing this years photo next year. So I got my pic signed and got one of the ones there and also got my pic with her. Kelly always seems to enjoy being at SSW and meeting fans. It was better than I could have imagined and the weekend was a success. I thanked Kelly for everything she does for her fans and also for making up the signing. She apologized for missing it and some other stuff. I’m sure everyone here who did meet her will have more to say about it. She’s just amazing in every way. After that I was on cloud 9. I walked around and took pictures for about an hour and I just started feeling sick. So we left with plans on coming back. I fell asleep and mom didn’t wake up up. So of course I missed the motorcade and concert for the 2nd year in a row!
So all in all it was another great SSW. Again I recommend everyone go to one if they can. It’s a lot of fun. Never got to meet anyone from OKM on the trip, but that was expected. I hope they had as good of a time as I did. Pictures are being developed right now and I hope to have them later today or tomorrow. I took some pics on my digital camera but it doesn’t like action pics. Questions? Comments? Concerns?