March 21, 1998 NC RADP meet
(+ toad-in bonus )

On Saturday March 21,1998, we had the 2nd NC RADP meet. After an uneventful drive I arrived at the Haynes Mall on time, and found Chuck already there sitting on the bench in front of the Disney store in his save Mr. Toad shirt. He gave me a couple of save toad postcards to send in and we commenced to chatting about all things Disney :-) I had brought my postcards (as I had mentioned in the e-mail leading up to the meet that I'd like to find otheres to trade doubles with) and a few Disney books. I got so engrossed in our conversation that when I saw someone coming up thru the mall wearing mouse ears it didn't even occur to me until they were right on top of us that it was Tim and Tracey Kugel. We all started comparing next trip/last trip notes and found that Chuck was going the next weekend, Tim and Tracey were going the following week with an overlap on Sunday (for the Toad in). Not only that but all of us are going in various times in May (which makes me think June might be good for the next meet).Chucks going the beggining of May. I"m going the 7th-10th (10th is my B-day). And the Kugels are going towards the end of the month.

We chatted there a bit just to give Cathy a bit of time to show up (though we knew she had said she might not make it to the meet).We found that all of us had been to and like Disneyland very much, as well as WDW. The Kugels travel alot due to their jobs, and Chuck and I both grew up out there. Then we browsed the Disney store. While looking thru the book section I found a book I had just mentioned to Chuck, before the Kugels came up, Walt Disneys Railroad Story. I wanted to buy it so bad but It's a bit pricey for a spur of the moment buy (though I have found it is has a pretty good discount at and will probably purchase it from there soon).

After that we headed over to Charleys (a resteraunt at the mall) for lunch. We ended up getting the exact same booth as we had for the last meet neat huh.Tim and Tracey told us a little about the circus they were going to that night (how was the dancing hippo?). And that they are theme park enthusiasts in general and have experiance with a variety of parks. Even though no one else had broght piostcards to trade I passeed around a few to look at anyhow and kinda gave the Kugels a double take when the talked about how different Pirates entrance looks on my old dl postcard. When they terraced off the frontierland area for veiwing fantasmic that area must have really changed!

After the meal we had a server take our pic on the way out. It was really a nice time visiting hopefully we can start getting a tenative date for June together sooner so more folks can plan to attend the next meet. I'm willing to travel up that way again if most folks attending are from up that way but since the Kugels are from Charlotte (as am I and we have two malls with Disney stores here this might be a good choice as well . url on shirt reads: Happy  Disney Fans :-)
 Chuck Strom, Brian Martsolf, Tim Kugel, and Tacey Kugel Tim and Tracey (look at all the pins on their hats!)

Upon arriving home I found an email from chuck asking if I would like to go with him the next weekend since the room he had (at the contemporary!) had two beds and he was going by himself. I wasn't sure I would be able to work the hours out then thought of a way to work it and made plans to go. Over the course of the next few days Chuck and I even got invited to the big saturday meet at spoodles (thanks to Deb Willis).

Unfortunatly, Wednesday night I got a call from my mom that my cousins husband had died . My sister and mom were going so I decided to go too. It was nice seeing all my relatives but Saturday night (the funeral was on Friday)as we were coming back from Pennsylvania I couldn't help but think of all those RADPers at spoodles. Well theres always May :-) BTW (by the way) the next weekend I managed to get a dose of Disney in by going to a postcard show in Atlanta

And if any of you were wondering about the toad-in heres a post about it I found on the News Group from JT TOAD no less!
Well, first of all, I want to thank everyone who showed up to Toad In IV. It had the greatest turnout so far (somewhere between 45 and 50 people) and certainly had Disney security out in full force again. Of course, that might have something to do with the planned "surprise", but I'm getting ahead of myself. One of the first things you noticed if you showed up on time was that I was nowhere to be found. This was the latest Toad In yet (starting at 2:30pm), but I still managed to be late for my own protest. The main problem was that I was having serious technical difficulties arranging the planned "surprise". The person in charge of pulling off the important bit was not only away from the phone, he was "at the beach". My associate and I spent some time trying to locate him via our only contact -- a person not fully in control of all their faculties, let's just say. The guy was supposed to be back from the beach at 2:30pm, and the slightly incapacitated person told us we should call him then. We explained that if we're on the phone with him at 2:30pm, it'd already be too late. Well, that was the best that could be done, we were told. So that was frustrating. And then when we got to the gates, another Toad fan hadn't bought their ticket yet and there was no way I wasn't gonna get the friggin Magic Kingdom Club discount for him, so I had to wait in line. Then they closed the ticket window just as we got to the front of the line and blah blah blah. It was a pain. Anyway, once I was sure he had his discount, I (already late) proceeded straight to Toad Hall to find a mighty big gathering of green-shirted Toad fans. It was the first good moment of the day for me. As most anyone who was coming was pretty much already there, the great big crowd cheered when I showed up and demanded I make a speech. I believe my eloquent speech went something like "'s a good ride. Save the friggin ride. Thank you." Hey, I'm no politician, I'm just a geek who digs The Ride. Anyway, the Disney suits were checking me out for signs of a surprise, but we were both disappointed. As you've probably guessed, the surprise never came about. I didn't bother with the 2:30pm phone call, as that wouldn't have amounted to anything anyway. So the surprise has been delayed until Toad In V. Can you stand the suspense? The crowd was full of people who heard about our cause on the Internet, including some people who had travelled all the way from Japan to take part. Well, I'm sure it wasn't JUST to take part, but they were definitely genuinely from Japan. They even brought the e-mail with them that they had received from Deb Wills, founder of the excellent WDW Info Guide that had interesting Japanese characters on it. Anyway, I didn't understand much of what they said, but they were extremely polite and good-natured and seemed to have a good time on The Ride. Sam the Pro-Toad Bartender filed this report that I missed completely: "...we were all brooding (about 50 of us) out in front of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when Cpt. Hook stepped out from behind the bushes to confront the group. He pointed to Mr. Toad then ran his finger across his neck (indicating that he's a goner) then after a few boos and heckles from us he did the old thumbs down kinda thing and went back to his character area. It was kinda neat, I didn't have a reason to hate Cpt. Hook till then." Wish I'd seen that. He really is evil. As usual, we hung around for a while, talked to passers-by, posed for a group photo (our group was so large that most the group shots I've seen are in two parts), and then went on The Ride. There were so many of us this time, that we attacked both sides simultaneously. I know some of you took pictures of each other in different cars inside The Ride, and if they came out OK, please let me know. Some people reported arriving over an hour late, but being happy to see that a good number of us were still hanging around. Due to the lack of the "surprise", some activities have been postponed to Toad In V, but some of us did manage to get a much cooler shot on Splash Mountain, which I'll have on the site as soon as I HMTLize this and add the pictures. At any rate, as you might have heard, Dave the Fantasyland manager was unable to the make this Toad In, so they sent out Dan the City Hall manager (and Toad In veteran) and Joe the Replacement Dave. They teased me about the lack of a surprise, then told me that Dave had been reassigned to Epcot, since the suits had labelled him a Toad sympathizer. They were just yanking my chain, of course. I never had to take that kind of krap from Dave! They didn't even wear the patented Dave bullet-proof flame-retardant trenchcoat. Altho they did have earpieces, which is nice. While we were lining up for the group photo, Dan was asked if it was OK if we chanted something. He kinda squinted and said ", I don't really think that's a good idea." and then everyone started chanting "Toad! Toad! Toad!" anyway. I told Dan that I had no control over these crazy people, but luckily it sorta faded out just as security was starting to look a little uneasy. Also of note, one Toad protester (who arrived even later than I) was hassled by security about his shirt (which says "ASK ME WHY MICKEY IS KILLING MR. TOAD"). He said he tried to reason with them, explaining that we are allowed to wear these shirts in the park and that many have done so in the past, but apparently they were very assertive. He told them that he'd just go and change then, but they told him to change right there. So, right there on Main Street, he turned his shirt inside out and proceeded to the Toad In (where he promptly turned it back in front of all of us). Dan heard about this told us he'd take care of it, then started giving orders into his walkie-talkie. So it's officially safe for us to walk the streets of the Magic Kingdom again. And if anyone gives you any guff about wearing your shirt in the park, just tell 'em "It's OK, check it out with Dan." So thanks again to everyone who took part. I hope to see you out there at Toad In V and maybe conditions will be better for the surprise this time. By the way, if you were there and have an interesting story of something that I missed (say, for example, you saw some loony woman wearing a hat with a chicken on it), let me know and I'll be sure to pass the info on to everyone and add it to the web page, whenever I get around to that. JT Toad Semper Absurda Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! - - All hail Toad!

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