Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Back from the three-day surprise trip! in the Vacation Planning forums; (See http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...next-week.html for how this came to be...)
Friday around noon-ish, my friend and I arrived at MCO within minutes of each other, her arriving from Norfolk, me ...
Back from the three-day surprise trip!
(See http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...next-week.html for how this came to be...)
Friday around noon-ish, my friend and I arrived at MCO within minutes of each other, her arriving from Norfolk, me from Hartford. Down to Magical Express, we checked in, with just momentary confusion because we didn't have a packet (we booked a week ago, so they didn't arrive in time), and because we each had different flights and airlines there and back. No more than a 5-10 minute wait in line for the All Stars, and we were on our way. For the fourth consecutive time, the welcome video was not shown. Ah well.
We arrived at All Star Sports and went to the check-in desk. As the CM was checking us in, he started looking confused, and then said "Uhm, can you excuse me for just a minute?" and went into the back office. That's probably not a good sign.... after about 10 minutes, he and a manager came back. The manager told us that they'd like to move us over to All Star Movies instead, because of all the groups and competitions staying at Sports that weekend. To compensate us, they deducted $50 from the bill, which was pretty nice. We were still able to completely check in at the Sports desk, so when a CM drove us in a van from Sports to Movies, we were able to go straight to our room in the Fantasia (original) building.
Down to the foodcourt since neither of us had eaten since leaving our respective hometowns. We both had the surprisingly good Turkey & Muenster on Foccacia sandwich. And from there, on to Hollywood Studios. By the time we arrived, it was about 1:30 or 2pm. Our first stop was for FPs for RnRC, with return times of 6:15, I think. We went to stake out a spot for the new Block Party Bash parade at Star Tours, watching the Jedi Training Academy in the process. Unfortunately, the new parade starts at the park entrance and *ends* at Star Tours. Once we overheard a CM saying this, we left and found a good viewing spot between the ABC Commissary and the Hat.
I like the new parade a lot, actually. It's definitely not a traditional parade, and maybe shouldn't even be called a parade. I think the best part of it is that it will be different every time you watch. The Monsters Inc section stopped in front of us, and we watched Mike, Sully, Boo, George, and many others, along with insanely energetic CMs. Not everyone was jumping up and down and participating like they would have liked, but I'm hoping it catches on once people come to see this isn't a normal parade.
After the parade, we watched Indiana Jones, got a FP for Star Tours, and then did Muppets, taking the time explore the whole preshow area. My friend wanted a picture with the Green Ranger, so we did that and then went back for our Star Tours FastPasses. Then over to the backlot tour, where we were volunteered to be in the water effects show portion. That was fun, but I think once is enough.
Crossing the park over to RnRC to use our FastPases, we skipped what was by then a 70 minute line. Whoo. Then we crossed the park again to eat at the Backlot express (grilled turkey and cheese panini, made super-fresh because I ordered it without peppers. YUM). Finally, over to Guest Services to upgrade my friend's ticket to a Premium Annual Pass. Yes, friends, she's become a convert.
We decided to call it a day and get started on the night instead. :-) Back to the hotel to change and then on to Pleasure Island. We went to 8 Trax first, and found almost no one there. Over to Mannequins, and unfortunately more of the same. We stayed there for maybe half an hour before leaving. We realized it was early yet and they'd probably fill up later on, so we went into the Adventurer's Club. My friend's first time here, and she's completely sold on it. We saw Hathaway Brown in the Mask Room, Fletcher Hodges in the Treasure Room, Samantha Sterling in the library, and we stayed for the Hoopla (HOOPLA!!!). Then over to Motion, where we ended the night. I should point out that we were, er, partaking in quite a number of adult beverages throughout the night (including the refillable pails across the street from the Beach Club), so I don't have the most crystal clear of all memories of the clubs. But I know we both had a great time. Motion at 12:30 was significantly more packed than 8Trax and Mannequins had been at 9 or 10, which made it a much more fun dancing experience. We stayed there at Motion until it closed at 2am, then headed back to the bus stops (where a bus was waiting at each stop, very conveniently), and back to the hotel.
A wonderful start to our trip. I'll post about Days 2 & 3 a little later on. I should be, like, working or something.
After getting in to our hotel room at about 2:30am, and not entirely sober at that, we were not able to make it to the Magic Kingdom by 9am park opening like I'd hoped. No worries, though. We were up by 8am, showered, and in the foodcourt for breakfast by 8:45.
By the time we got to Magic Kingdom, it was about 9:30. We immediately got FastPasses for Space Mountain, and then went over to Buzz for the posted 10 minute wait (closer to 3 minutes actual wait time). Not my best score ever, but I still made it to the third level. :-) Then next door to Monster's Inc. I was pleased to see they varied the jokes a bit since I was last there in August. "That Guy" just enjoyed mucking for the camera whenever it was on him.
Not quite time for our Space Mountain FPs, so we took a ride on the TTA. While on it, we saw that the Buzz line had built up to about a 30 minute wait. Yikes. Glad we got it when we did. Finally time for Space Mountain, and as good as ever. My friend wants me to find the music from the exit queue for her, she says it would be a great relaxation track.
Next we crossed the park over to Frontierland to grab a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain, and then waited in the Splash Mountain queue. Both were posted 30 minute waits. I think we actually waited about 20 minutes for Splash. The pair of teen girls behind us were somewhere between amusing and annoying the whole time. One girl was flipping out because she thought the whole ride was just the one drop you see, and so thought it would be over quickly. She said she had a fear of heights, to which I asked "Then why the heck are you on this ride?" But then when we went over the drop, she started accusing *me* of making it out to be worse than it was. Oy.
Big Thunder was ready for us by the time we got off of Splash, and was as fun as ever. Though I have to say I was getting annoyed at people in the standby queue sitting on the railings such that their backs and rear-ends were sticking out into where I'm trying to walk. After a while, I must admit I stopped being polite about trying to avoid them..
Next up was the Haunted Mansion. My friend's first time on it since the rennovation, and she agreed it was really spectacular. For some reason, Madame Leota wasn't floating, but her voice and face were synched back up. I wonder if the Imagineers decided to take out the floating ball until they could get the audio/visual synching corrected?
By now it was time for some lunch, so we headed over to the Noodle Station, only to find that it was only serving dinner today. Oops. Guess I should have read the times guide more closely. So we trekked back over to Adventureland, picked up a FP for Jungle Cruise on the way, and dined at Pirate & Parrot for the first time. Man I wish this was open year-round. I know it was a simple dish, but we both *loved* the taco salad. Very very tasty. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that we could mix in our own proportions of toppings and salsa and sour cream.
After lunch, we watched the Captain Jack Pirate Tutorial, and then took a ride on the Jungle Cruise with our FastPasses. Our skipper was unfortunately not the best we'd ever had. Most of his jokes seemed a bit more mean spirited towards Disney and the Magic Kingdom than normal. I know the "it could be adventure, or mystery, but it's probably just a gift shop" joke, but the way he said it sounded more derogatory. Something to the effect of "Oh get serious, this is the Magic Kingdom, it's just gonna be a gift shop". I don't know, it's hard to explain. Oh well.
Only thing left we were really interested in today was Philharmagic, so to Fantasyland we went. I love that show. I could see it three or four times a day and not get bored.
It was around 3pm, and we decided to go back to the hotel to take a nap and a dip in the pool, in that order. A couple hours of sleep to recover from the previous night was greatly appreciated, and the Fantasia pool was fun. I was a little disappointed/surprised that the pool wasn't filled with balls and noodle tubes like the Pop Century pools are, but oh well. After about half an hour in the pool, we went back to the room, showered, changed, and on to Pleasure Island again.
We decided to grab something to eat in the Marketplace, but both Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express had just ridiculously long lines for 8pm. So we walked on towards Pleasure Island, and ate at the Cookes of Dublin. I had the chicken tenders, she got the fried sausage. Both were very tasty.
Into Pleasure Island proper, we first saw the second showing of the Comedy Warehouse, which was delightful as always, and then into the Adventurer's Club to see a couple shows we missed the previous day. After that, on into 8 Trax, BET, and ending the night at Mannequins. A lot of fun, one and all.
Back to the busstops for another 2pm pickup, and back to the hotel to collapse yet again. :-)
(Day 3 coming tomorrow)
I agree! My favorite is "Star Tunnel." Or I believe that is the name to my favorite.
My friend wants me to find the music from the exit queue for her, she says it would be a great relaxation track.
Sounds like fun! I wish I could go tomorrow!
Sounds like a great trip! Can't wait to here more.
Sounds like you had an awesome time!!! Can't wait to hear about day 3
First Trip- Jan. 07, POFQ Second Trip- May 08, Pop Century
This is great! Love your perspective (especially the backpack and rear-end "tale")! And day 3????? Were the crowds building for spring break?
Samantha October 2005 - All Star Movies, October 2006 - Pop Century, October 2008 - Pop Century, October 2009 - Pop Century, October 2011 - Pop Century
We were again up by about 8 or 8:30, and showered and packed to checkout. There was no Magical Express packet on our door, likely because of the confusion in moving us from Sports to Movies. So our first stop was the Checkin desk in the lobby. The CM there called Magical Express on our behalf and got everything straightened out within about 5 or 10 minutes. Then over to the airline resort checkin desk. This is the first time I've flown something other than Southwest since this service came around, so the first time I've used this. We had no bags to check as we did only carryons, but we were each able to get our boarding passes, which is very cool. I hope Southwest becomes a participant soon, so we can use them in August.
We stored our carryons with Luggage Services, and then took off for Epcot. It was an EMH Morning day, so when we arrived at 9:45, it was already very crowded. Our FastPass for Soarin was already for 11:53am, a good two hours away. Over to Mission: Space, orange team. Posted 30 minute wait, actually about 15-20. I found it interesting how many young teens and preteens (11-15ish) there were in our boarding area who had clearly done this attraction many times over. They were even directing their mother which position to stand in so they could be the Commander or whatever, long before we got to the hallway.
====Spaceship Earth Spoilers ahead, skip to next paragraph to avoid=====
Next up was Spaceship Earth, for the first time since the refurb. I am thoroughly amazed at how fluid and natural looking some of the new AAs are, specifically the Greek lecturer. Oh man. Even more realistic looking than the new Jack Sparrow over at PotC. I miss a couple of the old scenes, specifically the family watching the three TVs, one of which was an episode of Disneyland. In it's place is a family watching one TV, showing the moon landing. But I like how it was made more current, acknolwedging that we are NOW connected worldwide via the internet, not that "an information superhighway is being built". On the way back down, the touch screens were used again and we took turns choosing which options we wanted to "build our futures". It was an amusing diversion, but would be FAR better suited to the new post show area, not take up the entire second half of the main attraction. To see absolutely nothing there except the strings of blue lights is disappointing to say the least. We spent about 10-15 minutes in the Post Show area, playing with a couple of the games and sending ourselves our future postcard. I will say that I'm impressed with the technology that let's them identify just the two faces from the photograph that's taken, to splice into the postcard picture/video.
Next up, I went to get FastPasses for Test Track, but they were already at 3:20pm, and we'd be back on the busses by then. With an 80 minute wait, we decided we'd forego TT this trip, and save it for August. So instead we just went back to the Land, and had a really good lunch from the Asian counter of Sunshine Seasons, and then over to Soarin'. As always, we requested to wait for B1 so we can be in the middle and not see any feet dangling. It is far and away well worth the extra 5-10 minute wait.
By now, it was just about 1:30, so we headed over to Innoventions to get our free Disney Visa character photo. This time around it was Minnie and Goofy waiting for us. We took some time to wander around both Innoventions buildings. My friend is always fascinated by the music playing robots. We started doing the House of Innovention, but the "One Voice" system in the living room was malfunctioning, so our tour was cut short with the CM's apologies. Ah well. Last in store was a new game show-like presentation by the Velcro company, which came *very* close to being overpoweringly like an infomercial. Probably won't do that again.
We left Innoventions and headed down toward the exit, picked up our photo from the camera center, and walked over to the busstops. As the bus dropped us off at Movies, we got our carryons from Luggage Services, and the Magical Express bus was there waiting for us. Oddly enough, it picked up Movies and Music, but not Sports, and then went over to Coronado Springs for the final pickup.
Back to MCO, I was in at Terminal A, my friend at B, so we said goodbye on the bus, I flew back to Hartford via Newark (with about a 2 hour delay overall, due to high winds), crashed on my parents' couch for about 3 hours, woke up, and drove back home to Albany just long enough to shower before taking off for work yesterday morning. Whew!!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. I'm going to Disneyland for the first time in just 15 days, so you can bet there'll be another trip report coming soon!
Other than that last day, with the 80-minute standby wait for Test Track, we really didn't notice any crowds at all. I was pretty surprised about that, because I figured all of mid-March would be packed due to Spring Break. My college's SB was the 10th-14th, and I can't imagine we were the only ones. But we really had no problems. I don't think we waited in a line more than 20 minutes the entire time. Of course, we made good use of FastPass, but it's even more surprising to me because we didn't arrive at park opening on either day, which I'd always believed was vital to avoiding the crowds...
Originally Posted by smith913
That was a great report, I can not wait to read the DL report. DL is awesome and a lot smaller then WDW, but I love the IASW facade and the original attractions. Have a great time. Thanks for sharing.
P.U.S.H.-A mantra MOST will not understand.
Disney rocks, Walt was a genius.
Awesome TR, definitely looking forward to your DLR one!
When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
Wow, that was some packed three day trip. Nice surprise though!