Nice start V.... I'm so stinkin jealous...
Wonderful few days of your trip, Veri.....
Day 8, 01FEB09: Der Tag, it's our Anniversary! We decide today to head back to Animal Kingdom. Againa quick ru to Dinosaur and finding another 40 minute wait to Primeval Whirl. We skip it and wander over to Expedition Everest. I wander into the single rider line 20 minutes (am i the only one amazed that it's a shorter wait for EE than PW?). The yeti is still in B mode, but it's still a great coaster. Off EE and time for Nemo the Musical. Great show, I ended up with "Go with the flow" running through my head all day. We decide to grab lunch at Rain forest and again take advanatge of immediate bar seating, very convieneient fort he adult beverages i might add. At this point Kim mentions she feels a bit tired and has a tickle int he back of her throat (uh oh). We go back to SSR grab a nap and then get ready for our 6PM ADR at Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge. We catch the sites at the Lodge, the geyser, walk one of the trails, and wander to the boat dock then head to the terriroy bar for libation before dinner. It's Super Bowl Sunday so there is much a buzz about the game. Once seated we are sad to find out they no lonegr have the buffalo steak (our favorite). Kim has the cedar plank baked Salmon and I have the pork chops. As an aside one thing we noticed is Disney has scaled back the menus even further than before. I know cost cutting is important but we had our hearts set on buffalo. Anyway, we have a very nice dinner andecide to head back to SSR. Kim notes she's still feeling tired and we realize she might be coming down witha cold.
Day 9, 02FEB09: it's official Kim has a cold. i wander over to store at SSR and get her some cold medicine. A dse of dayquil and we go back to DHS. Again Toy Story Midway Mania is packed, so we take a turn at Tower of terror and then happend to catch the early afternoon American Idol experience. it was pretty interesting. I liked Who Wants ot be a Millionaire better, but I must have missed the focus group. We go to our 330 ADR at Brown Derby. We had been ther eonce before back in 2001 and were kind of underwhelmed but decided to give it anotehr chance. This time it really came to the top. A great early dinner and the cast memebers werre running around as starlets and talent agents. After dinner we had seating for Fantazmick. We waited in intermittent rain for the 7 PM showing, with a rain call finally coming at abou 650. Back tot ehresort for us and a dose of nyquil for Kim.
Day 10, 03FEB09: Well it's official Kim has a cold and it's doing a pretty good job of running her down. Sleeping in and a dose of dayquil and she's ready to try going soemwhere. of course now i've noticed a tickle in my throat (oh boy). We go to EPCOT and have some lunch at the Italy pavilion. Great eats. We decide to wander slwoly around the show case and decide to take a spin on Spacehip Earth. The re-engineering was quite good. At this point the dayquil is wearing off and it's nap time. a sandwhich from SSR for dinner and we're done for the day
Day11, 04FEB09, Universal Day. Ok to be very upfront about this Kim and I were really looking forward ott he Universal side trip. We had bought those park passes at Shades of Green and though we'd spend a couple of days at Universal. A taxi ride into Orlando and we're at the drop off for Universal. Kim is well dosed with cold medicine and I'm thinking I'm going to need some soon. We walk across the sky bridge to City Walk. it's still early and a bit nippy so no crowds at all. We start out at Universal Studios. Our first non-Disney adventure. We are told at the gate that the Jaws ride is being refurbished and some attractions will not open unitl 10 and 11. We start out at The Shreck 4-D. it's clear that US is going for a more edgy feel, lots of double entendres, not so subtle swipes at Disney (clearly some envy there), but a very good and solid show. from there we go to the Simpsons ride. I enjoyed it alot. Clealry a lot of work went into it. the Men in Black ride was fun, certainly more high tech tnah BUZZ, but agian it's aimed at the teen /Young adult demographic.
Jaws is being refurbished and the fear factor show wasn't open. So we went off to the Mummy Coaster. Here is where I noticed a pattern. Universal clearly has soaked a lot into the theming of its' attractions. They clearly are on par with anything Disney has and in some cases I think exceedds Disney, where they seem to fall short is the substance. I'll get more into that in a bit. The Mummy que was great, they had monitors and props all over the place. the beginning withthe pre-show of flames and scurrying bugs was great. After that it was a roller coaster in the dark, with occassional video screens of screaming mummies. The actual ride was a let down compared to the preshow. from there we went o Twister, and again i was kind of underwhelmed. The limits of the technology showed through. Disaster Studios was next. Here they were clearly a cut above Disaster Canyon at DHS. The audience interaction and multiple experiences were good. A flooding subway si always fun.
At this poitn we had hit about everything that was opena nd seemd interesting to us. Although we had planned two days at universal we were statring to think we'd hit both parks in one day. Graveyard review was not showing yet and termiantor wasn't runnign yet, so we decided to go over to Islands of Adventure
Day 11 continued, Islands of Adventure. Felly slightly disappointed we left The Studios and went to IOA. Once again I have to point out how great the theming was at IOA. If Disney really ever builds the beastly Kingdomme at DAK they need to take some lessons from IOA. We took a look around Suess's landing and enjoyed the sights. Crossing over to the Lost Continet I told Kim thta in my orlando research i had come across a concensus that Lost Contient should be dropped into a Disney park as a land, so we were both really looking forward to the experince. We started out at Poseidens Fury. Once again iwas very impressed witht the theming. The show how ever was pretty lack luster. The final part with poseiden and who ever the villaian was was pretty lame. it felyt schlocky but not in a nudge nudge wink wink kind of way. the graphics looked like someone had whipped them up on a Mac and the "acting" was wooden. I was amazed at the effort put into the physical environment, again REALLY great theming, and such a low quality show.
feeling pretty let down we headed over to Jurassic park (The SIndbad show wasn't running yet,and Kim wasn't feeling up to the Dueling Dragons with her cold) The Carnivore paddack was being refurbished, so we took a look around at the static displays and headed into the Popeye themes areas. neither of us felt up to a water ride so we skipped past into the marvel Heroes Area. Kim was starting to feel run down and i was still trying to fight off the nascent cold, so we skipped the Hulk and Spiderman.
Now to be fair had we felt better I'm sure we would have done more. Over all though i have to say i wish universal would have put as much effort into subtsance as style. IOA felt like it was all icing and very little cake. Some tremendous theming and clearly some top notch rides, but it seems like they skimped on the other areas such as show quality.
heehehehehee, what do i know HA!
PS ~ HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!