Monday, March 19 2007
Good morning and welcome to Day
3 of the 11th Annual Spring Training Trek 2007!
We head straight out to the
ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports for a 1pm game
against the Indians. Both the Indians and the Dodgers
are leaving their long time Florida homes (the Indians in
Winterhaven, the Dodgers in Vero Beach), and I have to say
that visiting Dodgertown was always one of my highlights
back when I traveled to away games. In any case, let's
get to the game.
Chuck James started for the Bravos
and struggled a bit in the first inning, loading the bases
on a hit and a pair of walks. However, he was bailed
out by a terrific catch from Willie Harris, playing for
Andruw Jones (soar shoulder) in Center Field. My seats
were in the upper level just to the left of Home Plate, a
terrific view. For lunch I decided to go basic with a
hot dog and diet coke, $6.75. What a deal.
The deal on the field was that
neither team scored through the first four and a half
innings. In the bottom of the 5th, the Braves loaded
the bases with only one out, but James struck out and Kelly
Johnson grounded out. In the sixth inning, Bob Wickman
came on in relief, mowing down the Indians 1-2-3.
Brian McCann tripled off the Center
Field wall, scoring Tony Pena who had previously singled,
butting the Braves on the board first. Doug Clark
doubled to Right, scoring McCann's pinch runner. Scott
Thorman then doubled in Clark and the Braves were up 3-0.
Rafael Soriano pitched the 7th
inning with a couple of strikeouts. After a chorus of
Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Harris led off the bottom of
the inning with a blooper double that dropped in between
three fielders. Bryan Pena singled in Harris, but Matt
Diaz hit into a double play leaving the bases empty with 2
outs. Tony Pena struck out and the Braves could only
add one more to the lead.
In the top of the 8th, Mike
Gonzales faced 3 batters and had no problems sending them
back to the dugout. In the bottom of the inning, Doug
Clark singled and Scott Thorman homered to extend the Braves
lead. Chad Paronto came in to shut out the Indians
After the game, which lasted just 2
and a half hours, I returned to Disney-MGM Studios and then
decided the only way to ensure the rain did not come was to
run back to the Port Orleans Riverside resort and get my
jacket and umbrella. I was barely able to get back to
Disney-MGM Studios in time for my 6pm seating at Hollywood
and Vine, an all-you-can-eat buffet. I had left my
tripod in a locker (this time I knew which one would work),
and retrieved it on my way back into the theme park.
Dinner consisted of a variety of meats, veggies, and yes,
deserts all for $29.87 which of course I put on my dining
It was Extra Magic Hour night at
Disney-MGM Studios, with the gates not closing until 1am.
Dinner was part of a Fantasmic! Dining Experience, so at
7:30pm I made my way to Oscar's gas station for a walk back
stage to an exclusive seating area for the 8:30pm showing of
Fantasmic! For the uninitiated, Fantasmic! is a
wonderfully creative and sentimental production combining
pyrotechnics, live action and aquatechnics into a
traditional Disney-style story. First are introduced
to Mickey Mouse and his imagination releases all sorts of
classical Disney characters from Fantasia up to Beauty & The
But then Maleficent appears, dead
set on taking control of Mickey's imagination and releasing
all the villains from movies past. But as the Magic
Mirror warned, Good always triumphs over evil and Mickey is
able to draw the sword from the stone and smite down his
tormenters. The feel-good climaxes with all the
characters appearing on a replica steamboat with Mickey
dressed as Willie. This is followed by Mickey standing
atop the mountain and directing the fireworks in a scene
reminiscent of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Unfortunately, drizzle and wind
detracted from this performance, forcing the production to
skip a scene where Maleficent grows four stories tall and
causing the water screens to blur at the edges and spray
mist on the audience. However, the weather soon
improved, so I returned at 10:30pm for a second showing
which was much better.
Then the whirlwind Extra Magic
Hours adventure began. The line for Rockin' Roller
Coaster never let up, so I went on the Tower of Terror and
then back to Mickey Avenue for the Magic of Disney Animation
which featured a trailer for the upcoming Meet The
Hendersons. From there I went on The Great Movie Ride
and then shuffled over to Star Tours. At 12:30am, with
the line at Rockin' Roller Coaster still over an hour, I
decided to call it quits and head home. Monday had
come to an end, but Tuesday would soon bring a new first or
the Spring Training Trek. Don't miss it!
Who is segueing to tomorrow...