As I sit at my table in our Fort Wilderness Cabin, I want to share a few thoughts about our current trip to the World:
1. We did the Magic Kingdom on Monday, Jan 21. It was a great day . . . until the end. 7:00 hit and Cast Members were singularly focused on getting us out of the park. I never felt like I had been kicked out of a Disney Park, until now. If you don't have a ticket to the Pirate and Princess festivities, it may be best to choose a different park that day. (Problems were compounded because the Monorail was out of service right at 7pm. This created a mosh pit waiting for the Ferry.
2. We ate in the Yak & Yeti Restaurant today. It was PHENOMONAL. The dishes were excellent, and the atmosphere was quite unique. The theme of the restaurant was that every room was a different room in the hotel, and they were set to serve restaurant diners instead of hotel guests. We ate in the main dining room (with the main staircase in the middle). The Mahi Mahi was outstanding.
3. The Haunted Mansion refurb was worth it. I'll keep things spoiler free . . . just do it.
4. Spaceship Earth was terrific. Every scene was enhanced and upgraded, mostly in how fluid the movement of the audio-animatronic characters became. Every scene was enhanced, and the new scenes fit nicely. (Plus, it was appropriate that the newspaper worker was made a bit older and serious.) The ending was fun and interesting . . . the first time we rode, the enhancement on the ending worked well. The second time, it did not. Even so, it did not detract from the enjoyment.
5. The Hoop De Doo Revue is a MUST DO. Our 4 year old daughter danced in the aisles, our 9 year old son laughed until his belly ached, I ate until I busted, and the wine and beer kept flowing . . . we went to the 5pm show and that was a good decision. We needed to get up for Early Magic at the MK, you know!
6. Fort Wilderness is a terrific place to take a day off. There is great recreation, and the grounds aren't nearly as large as described. We rented a cart, but the bus transportation was good and we could walk easily to most places. (But, then, we like to walk quite a bit.) It was very cool that we could see the MK fireworks productions through the trees from our cabin porch. The view of the fireworks from the beaches is good, too.
7. Animal Kingdom was super crowded on Thursday, and it was tough to move through the park . . . because most walkers are looking up as they move through the lands. That's ok, though. It's nice to see everybody appreciate the unique features of each area. I wish folks would take the same amount of time through Main Street in the MK!
8. The Oh Canada! Movie was good. The only drawback is that they did not take full advantage of the Circlevision 360 capabilities. It seemed like the only scenes that were full surround were the inclusion of the old film segments. Even so, it was nice.
9. We definitely recommend a rental car. It is really a time saver for Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
10. Retro logos are plentiful on park merchandise, especially T-Shirts. It's nice to see the original WDW logo showing up on things, along with the retro Epcot gear.
11. There were some old MGM items in select gift shops. I expected to see these discounted, but they certainly were not. (In particular, they still have several of those movie clapboard signs for sale.)
12. Disney has made a serious commitment to healthier kids meals. They have taken great efforts for better choices. All kids meals, pretty much everywhere, come with two choices of sides: carrot sticks, applesauce, grapes, among some other choices in most. Down at the bottom of the menus you could see "french fries and soft drinks available upon request." The kids ate great, and we never missed the fries. (OK, we did order plenty of Chili Cheese Fries at Pecos Bill's, but why should we punish ourselves!?!)
13. The Safari is still a jewel at AK. I was glad that they reduced the whole poacher chase storyline . . . not completely, but less of a story, at least. They should lose it all. The real attraction is the animals.
It has been a great trip. I am already morose because we leave on Saturday. Big day tomorrow with Magic Kingdom in the morning, a mid-day break, and then Extra Magic Hours at Epcot tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Have you seen my dad? Would you page him for me?
Next Family trip = April 16 - April 23, 2011, staying in an All Star Vacation Home!
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