Random observations in lieu of a trip report
I got back home at 12:30am this morning after my most recent 10-day trip to Walt Disney World. Here are some random observations and opinions:
* Toy Story Mania is awesome. Ride it first thing, and get a fast pass to ride it again. Mr. Potato Head, however, is still a work in progress. He had to be rebooted while we were in line.
* As a result of TSM, Tower of Terror is virtually abandoned at park opening.
* Baggage transfer from Pop Century to Beach Club, and later from Beach Club to Carribean Beach, worked flawlessly. No issues whatsoever.
* I finally worked up the courage to put and keep my hands up for the duration of Space Mountain. I STILL feel like I'm going to hit the track, though.
* No YoaMD prizes for us this year. In case you're keeping count, that's 2 in one trip in 2006, 1 in four trips in 2007, and 0 in three trips in 2008....
* Something screwy happened to the Animal Kingdom welcome ceremony yesterday (8/17). After Minnie and Goofy realized they were forgetting their guide, and "we can't leave without a guide!", the ending music started ... and they left. No Guide Mickey popped up near the tree of life. Minnie and Goofy kept pantomiming the skit for about 15 seconds as the music played, then they just shrugged and started dancing. Then the cast members started the rope walk. That was weird.
* The Wishes Fireworks Cruise is rivalling the Keys to the Kingdom tour as my best WDW experience ever. Phenomenal, in every way. Watching Wishes on Main St or on the Tomorrowland Bridge is going to be a let down from now on.
* Ohana was by far the best dinner of the trip. I have to see if I can get another reservation there for my trip with my parents next month.
* Stormalong Bay is awesome. Not awesome enough to justify $200-300/night to stay at the BC for a full trip, but close.
* After staying at Carribean Beach, I may start shelling out the extra $$ for a moderate rather than always staying at Pop Century. The differences between a moderate and value are significantly more impressive than the differences between a deluxe and a moderate.
* After visiting Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach on the same trip for the first time, I'm completely convinced I like Typhoon Lagoon more.
* We had no problems with the busses at all, even though we frequently left the parks and hotels mid-day, and not just during peak hours.
* We noticed a significantly higher percentage of British accents than I've encountered on previous trips. More anecdotal evidence about the weak US dollar bringing in oversees tourists, I guess.
* If you're planning on using Resort Airline Checkin, do NOT pre-checkin for your flight online. If you do that, the Disney people at your resort can't print your luggage tags and you have to take your bags with you to check them at the airport. Oops.
* Verizon's celphone reception in the Animal Kingdom is absolutely awful.
* The Frontierland Bridge is down for refurb, and as a result SpectroMagic is not running. Instead, Disney Dreams Come True is running twice. Starts on Main St, loops around the hub, and goes back down Main St. To fit the entire parade on Main St, they have to squeeze all the floats and perfformers real close together. I'm not sure, but I *think* one or two of the floats may have been omitted as well. Was the Fairy Godmother always located on the last float? If not, her float was eliminated.
* When we got FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear on Saturday, we were surprised with extra FastPasses.... for Carousell of Progress?!!? They were good immediately when we got them, and there was a little A-frame on the entrance directing fast passes to the left, standby to the right. Of course, it's Carousell of Progress, so there was no NEED for the fastpass.... but it was still weird as all heck. The CM at the turnstyle didn't even collect them, so I still have mine. Maybe they were just trying to drive people over there to that attraction, either as a way to spread out the crowds or in the hopes of making it more popular again?
* Apparently some former Adventurer's Club CMs visited on Friday Night. Samantha Sterling kinda/sorta broke character to welcome them back, and remarked "Oh my.... you know it's closing when ---" referring to seeing the old CMs again.
* I heard the Voices of Liberty sing Old MacDonald for the first time. That was a treat. I love listening to them, but I've only rarely see them put as much "performance" into a song as this one.
* We also watched Miyuki do her thing with candy. Very impressive.
Overall, probably one of the top two WDW trips I've taken. It was a wonderful week, even if it was cloudy and rainy for much of it. And now I'm back in my little cubicle, just thinking about the next trip.... 31 days and counting!! :-)
Take care, all,