Magic Kingdom: hopped there 3 days and day 4 to pick up a single attraction
By far the best security bag checkers. Nice, quick and seem to know how to efficiently inspect guests bags. Also noted management, ďshirtsĒ out everywhere up front, town square and Main Street. Answering questions, picking up trash, filling guide and map holders. I like management that leads by example.
The new mini trees in the square just donít cut it. The area and main street to the hub is now just concrete. It lacks the warmth of Main Street USA. I miss the Firehouse.
Caseyís and the Plaza Ice Cream area look great! The Bakery was a major eyesore lapping over to the street. Still the smells piped into the street.
Loved the Pirates as usual but noted even in the big rows they often only had 2 people in them. Explained the longer wait but both sides were open so it moved quickly.
I used the train several times to move around the park. It never gets old.
The Tiki Room had nobody in the queue so I skipped it. Awkward. Thinking Adventureland could use another attraction.
I missed Thunder, down for a refurbish, one of my overall favorites. Rode Splash several times, boy does she need a long overhaul. So much that didnít work and the dancing water areas all broken just looked horrible water free. But we did get through the ride without interruption and I still enjoyed it.
Hall of Presidents was being used several times for a private event. Interesting. Finally caught it when it was opened for Guests.
Haunted Mansion still my favorite and the queue just added to it. An excellent example of how an attraction can be updated and turn out better. Though coming out the stretch room, the pushing middle age group behind us was annoying. The ride did stop many times to accommodate all the guests using electric carts.
I never walked through the castle. Hmpf.
Small World still makes me smile.
I refused to wait in an hour queue for Peter Pan or Winnie the Pooh. Donít care if they have/will have a cute queue, still not waiting there for that.
Mickeyís PhilharMagic was as entertaining as ever. Love that Duck.
I rode Snow White because I figured I should. I felt like I was at a wake. The ride was a suffering long couple of minutes. While glad the classic has been put out of her misery Iím annoyed that it is being gutted for a meet and greet. Gutting for a creative new attraction Iíd be onboard for.
The expansion in person is so cool. From everything you can see popping out it all appears to be quality work. I canít wait to see it pulled together because the Under the Sea area still looks like Holy Rock! Like I said from the 1st day, Circus is full of details meant for the adult eye to discover. Excellent.
Wishes was perfectly fine. I am boring with it. Skipped every parade. Magic, Memories and You on the castle was so much better than I anticipated. I was critical of the original concept, I was wrong. Yet this one is difficult to find a place to view. It is getting way too difficult, too many areas roped off for special groups. It is a show you have to see most of the castle and most areas are not open to the general guest.
I rode through Space Mountain on the People Mover. SM was down, as it was many times while I was at the MK. But the PM stopped for a while we were inside SM. Got a good long look with the lights on. It is amazing how close that coaster comes to the roof line. Iím not a fan of this spiel on the People Mover. I did get a fast pass to SM on one of days I was on my own and a kind man gave me an extra one so I was able to board right at the beginning of the window. I gave mine away later that morning.
I skipped many things in Tomorrowland. I enjoyed Buzz and I am a fan of Monsters Laugh but wasnít appreciative of the folk from Brazil making spectacles of themselves, it ruined it for the balance of the guests which seemed to be the goal. Errr.
CoP was nearly empty while we viewed it. Makes you wonder what will happen someday. It has a great deal of land around it. Who couldnít love A Great Big Beautiful TomorrowÖÖstuck in your head for hours?
Overall the MK has cleaned up pretty nicely. The construction walls are a minus along with the themed tarps but all and the entire park is looking much better.
This double posted so I'll stick something here later.
Lovin' the report, Gabe! :yes:
Can't WAIT to get there! :mickeykid
LOVING the report, cant wait to hear more!!!!! :yahoo:
Gabe, this is an excellent summation of all the changes/needed changes at the park.
i am not a BTMRR fan, but I LOVE Splash.
Hope it all ends up really good.
I think part of the problem at WDW is how much they had to spend to correct the mess they made at DCA, if I read this story correctly, nearly a Billion dollars. No wonder park prices are out of control.
BTMRR is said to be running much smoother now after its track replacement and the last part of the queue finally has A/C! They fixed most of the broken theming. If they didn't fix the deadly moving rock this time I wonder if that is ever coming back.
Yep, DCA rehab really cost them dearly. Animal Kingdom has cost Disney dearly also. Retrofitting all those buildings that did not have A/C originally because they said Guest would enjoy the true Jungle feel...well they were wrong. Add in it is still a park that does not have the attendance draw that Disney anticipated. Plus the statistics are segued because a chunk of guests do visit daily, AK still doesn't have an all day attendance like there other parks do. Still the park is huge, costs a bundle in staff and upkeep, you can fit the MK, DHS and Epcot within the boundaries of Animal Kingdom. So ya, some costly blunders.
DHS multiple days, all less than a half a day
As I look back this is actually the park I spent the least amount of time in, go figure. Other than the head banging I do every trip as to why the imagineers made the streets all so narrow and the general lack of good and creative food offerings, I am fond of DHS name change and all.
I also thought this is a park that can basically use some updates to their offerings IF the imagineers could pull off the quality tweaking they pulled off with the Haunted Mansion.
There are some attractions that I donít do often basically because Iím a bit bored with them after a few decades. Others I just love and never miss.
I am a groupie for the Muppets. I loved the attraction when my kids were small and have yet to outgrow it myself. This trip I actually didnít enter the theater because I missed the pre-show and frankly I laugh even more at the pre-show than the actual Muppet Show.
Star Tours. I donít do Star Tours. I use to be able to handle Body Wars however Star Tours always made me nauseous. DS loves this attraction and barely convinced me that the screen was much smoother since the mega refurbishment. And aboard I went. Actually I did fine. I did cheat, experiencing these rides for many years Iíve caught onto what messes with my equilibrium so when I hit those scenes I picked out spot on floor and stare. It worked. Iím happy I decided to experience it, once.
Rockín is yet another ride that messes with my equilibrium. My DH and I rode Rockín shortly after her opening. We both were cashed for the balance of the day. That trip we were at a bus stop with a neurologist and he explained the G-Forces and the mini brain sloshes that can occur on these types of rides. Yeah! DH never rode again but I had to with children. Oddly every time I ride Rockín it seems to effect me less. This time it didnít bother me at all! I love pulling out, such a rush.
The Tower. She has always been one of my favorites. From the architecture, outside queue, inside queue, preshow and the last queue, theming was one of Disneyís best accomplishments. Even if someone is never to going to ride TTT with their family Iíd suggest accompanying their family and using the chicken exit at the end of the last queue.
Sadly, since ďthe dropĒ now involves a lot of teasing up and downs, I can only ride TTT once. The second time really messes with my equilibrium, one of the reasons for several visits to the studios.
Now Toy Story, I canít say it is my favorite, yet I really do enjoy it. Another wonderful queue that sails me back to my childhood days. At one point DS who has ridden TS frequently, glances over at my score and canít hide his stunned look at my beyond pitiful score half way through the ride. By the end I gained a glimmer of skill and ended with a respectable beginnerís score to which my DS graciously compliments me on. I could not help but think, I have hit that age where role reversal has kicked in. I had flashback of encouraging words when he was small on Buzz. Oy. My review for the actual ride, better than Buzz but not as good as Men In Black.
Now waiting for a friend to drop off some FP for Toy Story that friends got for us for TS earlier in the day, we sat on the benches across from TS. It was around 930pm on an EMH evening, crowded. Startled my DS as I screamed like a girl and leapt from the bench. There was an extended family of cockroaches playing and having a party under our bench. No wonder this bench was empty when all others were full. Heebie-jeebies.
GMR-I did a few times mainly because I was trying to stalk out our fellow member and CM at this attraction, besides always enjoying the ride. Never did trip across her. Sadness. I love to chill out at this ride, sit back and enjoy the actor CMís. Yet I do wish they would change up a few of the out of date areas and edit in some newer classics at the end.
Now the highlight of DHS and one of the best memories I have from this trip is Animation drawing. My DS insisted he wanted to take me here to experience this. He has forwarded me many photoís of his drawings through the year that he has created. Now I can paint but I cannot draw. The group decided upon Jiminy Cricket. Lots of laughs and Oh Myís happened in that short block of time. Iíve got to find the photo we took of our pictures. Hard to say which was better, note, I said better, not worse. Lol.
We did skip the stunt show, Lights Motor, and the playground. Iíve seen the shows enough and dream of upgrade to the Stunt show. The playground holds nothing but good memories and great photoís from yesteryear however, playing on the playground without a child makes you a target of CMís and security scrutiny so I opted not to visit.
I did go on the Back Lot tour my last day but I will leave that experience for my trip wrap up as it ties into how a little rain may fall but floods the World with bad karma.
Animal Kingdom 2 days, one with the DS and one without
Iíve never skipped AK but our entire family puts it on the bottom of our bucket list and my DH hates it very passionately. It seems like we are walking forever from the bus to Kilimanjaro to obtain a FP. Now the stand-by was only 40 minutes and I would have likely just stood in it because stuff is just so far from there but DS had a plan and it worked out well.
Off to Everest. Along the way we take the side trail to the left cause I know this is where if were lucky, we would get a peek at Lady DeVine. I was not disappointed. She was off the sidewalk and a group of mid-aged men, not likely American passed by DeVine without noticing her. She lifted a vine and rubbed up to one of the dudes. He turned quickly and she had froze. He turned the other way and DeVine did it again. It was hilarious. We stood and watched the Dudes and DeVine for a few minutes; they were so entertaining, still caught off guard and no clue as to her existence.
So heading to Everest I pass the wondrous Upcountry Kiosk. Yep, there was a LINE.
Iím a cash carrying guest and to our delight we were served first as all the guests in line were waiting on a CM to arrive to fix the broken card swiper. Cash wasnít a problem. We each picked out our favorite frozen (slurpie type) Margarita and our pilgrimage to Everest continued. By this point I was feeling like I had climbed Everest since I had been walking since I got off the bus yet had done nothing. A pet peeve of mine about AK.
No need to FP, we walked the queue right up to the CM loading the coaster. Woot!
I love Everest, my favorite type of coaster; smoothe and I donít have to go upside down.
Last trip my tummy was full, this time only my Margarita so the ride was perfect with no ill effects.
We cut through carnival area and we were being coaxed by many young CMís, I felt like I was at a carnival. Dislike that area. Tricera Top was very crowded, so little for the very small to do at AK. We both looked at Primeval Whirl, DS said Iíll do it if you really want, I did not. Thoughts went to the two CMís that lost their lifeís on that off the shelve coaster. Sad.
We only had to wait a few moments to board Dinosaur, one of my sons favorite rides in WDW. Pixie Dust! Dinosaur experience went without any hiccups, rare I hear these days. Our picture in the end was very funny. Having very long hair, the picture snapped and I looked like a startled Wilma Flintstone.
And now a long Pilgrimage back to Kilimanjaro. Lordie a lot of walking. By this point in the day there wasnít much of a stand-by queue and it seemed we merged with our FPís earlier in the queue than previous times. This was one of our best Safariís, although I miss the zebras, for the time being they are only viewed by the $180 private tour. Donít like zebras that much. Side bar, my son has done the tour and did enjoy it. Then again he didnít pay $180. For the first time ever we saw the Lion and the Lioness up on top of their mountain and moving around. Mr. Lion actually got up and moved over to court Miss Lioness while we were holding to move on. I was proud of Miss Lioness; she walked about six feet away from Mr. Lion, turned her back to him and sat down, looking up at the sky. The whole Safari was cracking up and clapped for the lady. Little Red was still running so I was able to hear that one last time. The rocking bridge was out of order. Not unusual.
And with all the miles put on my feet, we were done with AK and made that long Pilgrimage back to the bus, we were off to Epcot.
Day 2 at AK was part of my final day, so forthcoming.
Sounds like a great trip!
They are adding Zebras to the safari.... Right before the exit. We rode it twice this trip and both times that is what the cm said.
WOO! Ok I'm caught up! Sounds like you definitely were getting your fill this trip! We too dislike AK simply for the walking factor. I'm sure it's no more walking than any other park but because of the loads of trees and not a ton to take in scenery wise, it just feels like it's forever on your poor feet!
I'm so glad you took this trip Gabe... so glad!
This sounded like the trip you so needed! Glad you decided to go!
Great report!! As far as wishes goes, I try to find a place far far away from the castle to enjoy the show.