May 18, Part 3: Rope Drop at DCA
After wiping off the powdered sugar and licking our fingers, we decided to walk over to DCA as we sipped the last of our coffee. Note: the containers of coffee are huge—we easily could have shared one.
We wanted the full effect of entering DCA so, instead of taking the entrance through the Grand Californian as we had last night, we headed for the main gate. We had a better impression of the Golden Gate area this time than the first time we saw it right before DCA opened for the first time before we moved to Florida. Missing California probably had something to do with it.
The two main attractions we were interested in were two of our favorites at WDW: the Tower of Terror and Soarin’ over California Which one to head to first to get a FastPass? We chose Soarin’ and it’s a good thing we did because that section was open before rope drop and we could secure an FP. Hollywood Pictures Backlot would not open until precisely 10 a.m.
Upon securing our FPs we stood in line at the rope drop for Hollywood Pictures. BTW, I was wearing my birthday pin today and when the delightful CM—an older man I call “DCA CM Dad” because he was like a father welcoming back his prodigal daughter—saw my birthday pin he called me upfront. He put his arm around me and asked where I was from. When I told him the story of growing up here, moving to Orlando, and back, he squeezed my arm and said, “Welcome Home, Kathy.” I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.
And then he introduced me to the crowd waiting for rope drop and had everybody sing “Happy Birthday” to me. It was a wonderful way to start the day. Then a group of hotel “bellmen” approached to lead the walk down Hollywood Blvd. to control the crowd so that the enthusiasm heading toward Tower of Terror didn’t get out-of-hand. Many of the guests were annoyed over the speech about “single file line,” “don’t walk on the sidewalk,” etc. “What are we–in grade school?” some of them said.
The line was moving quickly and we barely had time to notice any differences in the theming of this ride compared to the one at WDW. We were quickly approaching the bank of elevators and we were the last two to join the group ahead of us. But when we arrived at the elevators, there wasn’t room for us. We figured we would have to wait for the next group, but, the biggest surprise of all—we got to ride in our very own elevator.
I chose to sit in the back row but Rich convinced me to sit in the middle of the back row and not hang on to the cage on the far side.
Well, to honor this special occasion, we just had to buy the goofy picture with me slumping in the seat, making the biggest face, holding on for dear life because drops terrify me. But I love the theming of this ride and Rich absolutely adores this ride—this is probably his #1 favorite ride.
When the elevator opens at the top and you see the view below, it was wild peering over at the Matterhorn instead of the WDW landscape. Woo hoo! Another great welcome home.