Disney World: An enthusiast's perspective.

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, June 24, 2004 9:19 PM
Note: This trip report is 9 pages in Microsoft Word and it took me four days to write. I categorized things so you can hopefully find what you’re looking for. I’d like it if you have the patience to read through the whole thing, I really tried to make it fun to read and I have made a lot of observations that I think many of you will appreciate.

Since I was five years old it has been a tradition for my family to take a trip down to good old Walt Disney World every four years. This was a fourth year, so last Sunday we boarded our Northwest flight direct out of Milwaukee to Orlando where we would kick off possibly our last traditional Disney trip.

Day 1 Animal Kingdom/MGM Studios
We stayed at the Disney's Coronado Springs resort, a Moderate resort by Disney's prices, but still pricey. Still I do highly suggest staying on Disney property when going to Disney. Anyway, a perk of staying on Disney property is an hour early admission to a selected park every morning. Monday's early opening was Animal Kingdom and we missed Animal Kingdom during our last trip, so my brother and I decided to head out there and see what it was about.

We took a short Disney bus ride to Animal Kingdom where we were greeted by a long line to enter the park, but a line that went by swiftly thanks to Disney's security set-up and efficient ticket machines. Animal Kingdom's tree of life is truly magnificent and we headed there first upon suggestion from a security guard to see A Bug Life 3-d movie before the lines got unbearable.

Unfortunately, after waiting a good 15 minutes, we were told the ride was down and the wait was probably far from over. We waited it out though, and, then the fire alarm went off and we were all forced to evacuate. By that time though, Primeval Whirl was operating so we headed over there and took a spin. It was a descent ride, not as much spinning as I would have preferred, but definitely better than an ordinary mouse. One side of Primeval Whirl was not operating, a pattern was developing. I do give the ride a 4/10 from an enthusiast perspective.

We met up with the parents and decided to take a spin on Dinosaur. I hadn’t heard anything about the ride before and was completely open minded to it. The story was corny, but much better than others I would encounter in the next week. The ride is a simulator meets a dark ride, probably similar to Spiderman at IOA, but without any 3-d movies, just animatronics. Very cool ride, the best ride of the trip, I was scared crapless and tried very hard to squeeze further and further inward, away from the dinosaurs, they were very realistic. Excellent ride, 9/10 from an enthusiast perspective.

We decided to make the trek to the park’s star attraction, the Kilimanjaro Safari. We were greeted with an 80 minute wait, but the fast pass was issuing passes for a good 2 or 3 hours later, and we weren’t sure what we would do and if we wanted to stay that much longer. The wait dragged by, but we did finally make it. There was a really corny story behind it, and it would have been more enjoyable without the story. Basically there are these people who are killing animals for the wrong reasons and we have to go catch them with the help of our tour guide and driver and the help of the person on the other side of the radio which is pre recorded and kicks in at different locations. The person on the radio had an African accent, but it was overdone and I didn’t understand a word he said, and it really detracted from actually seeing the animals. The ride would have been good, but the line was just too long, and my family and I were very disappointed that we waited that long. That was our last ride at Animal Kingdom, so the bro and I headed back to the hotel and waited for our parents to return before heading out to the next park.

That night, after a break at the hotel, my brother and I headed off to MGM Studios. While we were waiting for the bus though, it started to rain, and then it started to pour, and then it started to flash flood. The bus finally came, and my brother is afraid of storms, some how I convinced him to get on the bus, telling him that we can decide when we get to MGM whether or not we want to stay. We got to MGM and it was lightning and thundering. Again, somehow I got him to come with me. I bought us ponchos and we headed into the park. The rain did not slow, and the rides were closed. My brother told me that he was not going to stay, but I kind of ignored him, not wanting to let the rain prevail. The lightning had to have been within the park as the thunder was horrific. But we stuck it out and I convinced him to get on Tower of Terror 4, that’s right, they made it worse with 4 random drops, different every ride.

Tower of Terror was my favorite ride last trip, but I’m pretty sure it had a lap bar at that time. After exiting the Library prep room, we discovered that only one half of the ride was operating, and that that half of the ride was temporarily broken down. So we had another line delay due to ride malfunction, it seemed like lots of bad luck. I liked the random drops, including a double drop, which I was not expecting at all, but the seat belts didn’t let me get that stomach wrench that makes me roar with laughter. Still a fun ride, but not what I remember it. It gets a 7/10 from an enthusiast perspective.

After Tower of Terror, we went over to Rock’n Rollercoaster to meet our parents, but I couldn’t convince my only coaster riding partner (my brother) to wait for it, so we had to choose a different direction. The rain had let up and it was sunny out, so waiting it out had been a smart move. We decided to ride a family favorite, The Great Movie Ride. I really like this ride, unfortunately, I’ve had better tour guides, and this one sounded like he was just reciting lines, I didn’t really believe him, so it was good, but not spectacular, so I’ll give it a 7/10 from an enthusiast perspective.

To wrap up the night, we headed to Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, PLAY IT! The showing wasn’t for another half hour, so we checked out a tribute to Walt Disney, it included models of all the Disney parks and a few models of specific attractions in the parks. It was really nostalgic and nice to see how it all started. Unfortunately it was tucked away in a back ally and was not being attended by anybody. I really think they need to get that in prime territory, all the visitors owe their trip to that man, and we were disappointed to see the placement and attendance.

After the tribute to Walt Disney, we got to the Millionaire show, which was very entertaining, but the rest of the family enjoyed it better than I did and each went to see it at least two more times. I thought it was fun, but not much of a show to do over and over again. It gets a 4/10 from an enthusiast perspective.

Day 2 Magic Kingdom/Epcot

Our second day of Disney started at Magic Kingdom. We got to the park at probably 9:30 and the park was busy. We rode the Jungle Cruise first and I found it very entertaining, lots of puns that I know several people on this site would LOVE. It was obviously scripted as our guide made it obvious, but I really liked it. It was much better than I remember from visits past. It gets a 6/10 from an enthusiast with a wicked sense of humor’s perspective.

The second ride of the day was the famed Pirates of the Caribbean. The attendance for this ride surprised me as well. It’s decreasing. Unfortunately, I think the line is too dark and creepy, and it scares a wide variety of potential riders away from the charming ride. I do love the ride because nothing changes in it and you remember different emotions you were experiencing the last time you rode it. Unfortunately, the ride went down twice during our short ride and the boats got seriously backed up, so we saw some scenes more times than one would prefer, but it still gets a 7/10 from a nostalgic enthusiast’s perspective.

Up next was Splash Mountain. I hadn’t ridden this in 8 years and I was ready for another ride. My mom, a horrified thrill rider, came off Turn of the Century hyperventilating and in tears, decided she wanted to try it. I was really scared for her, because she doesn’t like drops. I don’t know if she didn’t see the drop from the front or if she ignored it, but she still got on. The whole way she was freaking out and the first two drops did not lift her spirits. She was praying in her on-ride photo and ducking, hoping what she was seeing wasn’t real. She decided she’d rather give birth than ever attempt anything like that again, still, I like it and I give it a 7/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

My impatient little bro was sick of the lines by this point and was not willing to wait 45 minutes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMR). I didn’t want to pass it up though, so I took my dad on it, who likes Splash Mountain, and claimed he liked BTMR. The line was long but they moved the trains fast, so, when there weren’t hundreds of fast passers skipping you, the line moved swiftly. The ride was not what I remembered it though, and I certainly wouldn’t wait 45 minutes for it again, it sits with Primeval Whirl at a 4/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

After some wandering, my dad and I went to Peter Pan’s Flight where we would meet my mom and brother. My mom and brother came out of the new 3-d movie Phil HarMagic before meeting us and they said it was spectacular. Coming from my brother, it must be, because he doesn’t think anything at Disney is spectacular. But we wanted to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, so we headed into the line marked with a 50 minute wait, hard to tell apart from the VERY long Fast Pass line. We got in line and stood. We didn’t move, we stood, in one spot for probably 15 minutes before we moved. And that was how the line went. My dad, who is patient, wanted to get out of line because we weren’t getting anywhere. We couldn’t figure out what was taking so long. By the time we got to the loading platform, we found out what the problem was, it was the Fast Pass line. The Fast Pass line was so long that the ride operator couldn’t get rid of it. But she tried. She would let hundreds, not even exaggerating, hundreds of Fast Pass people through, and then about 10-20 stand-by waiters. Fast Pass has certainly ruined that ride. We used to love that ride, but the 50 minute line turned out to be 90, and a 1.5 minute dark ride is not worth that wait. I like the pay to skip systems better because then the park has better control over the number of cuts the line will have. Peter Pan’s flight has the capacity to handle a 50 minute line w/o turning it into a 90 minute one. Limitations need to be placed on the Fast Pass system because it is out of control. Fast Pass really hurt this ride; I give it a 2/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

Disappointed, angry, and weary, the family headed to Tomorrowland where we rode the people mover. The People Mover is a nice relaxing way to see Tomorrowland inside and out with almost no line and it’s a lengthy ride too, I really enjoy it. It gets a 5/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

After a nice ride on the People Mover, we went to ride Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin for my mom, it is her favorite ride. She’s very competitive and likes to get the most points. I like it too, it’s a very elaborate shoot’em up dark ride and the Buzz Lightyear in the line is just too cool. Love this ride, 7/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

We ended Magic Kingdom with a ride on the Carousel of Progress, a nice animatronic show/ride where the entire theater rotates around all different scenes taking you through the 20th century. I always liked this ride and it was closed the last time we visited so we were glad to see it up and running again. This was one of Walt Disney’s favorite projects and it mad its debut in the New York World’s Fair. My dad took a ride on it back then, so it’s very nostalgic for him, for me, it’s just plain fun. Definitely a must see, wholesome attraction. It gets a 6/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

At that point, my brother and my Dad went back to the hotel and my Mom and I headed toward Epcot. My brother was done for the day, and I wasn’t. Upon getting to Epcot, we hopped on another personal favorite, Spaceship Earth. I thought I had heard that this ride was closed already, but it wasn’t. There was not a line at all, in fact, very much unlike Magic Kingdom, Epcot was slow. Spaceship Earth is what I remember it; I just think it’s fascinating how far we really have come as human beings. And I really like the glittering lights and inspiring music. This is one ride I will miss forever, but the lack of attendance on the ride proves that I am one of a very small crowd. This attraction stopped twice during our ride, one I think was just for a handicap rider, but the other one was much more prolonged and must have been a mechanical thing. From my sole point of view, this ride gets a 7/10, I just can’t give it from an enthusiast’s perspective.

When we exited, the attractions that once dotted the exit room were gone and the room was empty. They must be preparing to replace the ride inside the great dome. It was so slow at Epcot that night though, that my mom and I decided to call my Dad and bro to join up with us again and try out Spaceship Earth. They agreed, so we decided to go get Fast Passes for my brother and me to ride Mission Space while we waited for them to come. The line turned out to only be a 15 minute wait, but we got them anyway because we were sick of other people skipping us in line. Then we headed back to the parking lot where we met them and my impatient brother was very happy to hear how short the line was. By the time we got back, the line was only 10 minutes long, so we waited it out, telling ourselves that if we like it, we can get back on with the Fast Passes. The prep room was very cool, but the story, cornier than all the others. It supposedly takes you three months to get to Mars, but don’t worry, they put you into hyper sleep, the hyper sleep is lame, the ride just goes black, would have been much better without the lame hyper sleep. The g’s were very forceful, and I could not feel the spinning of the centrifuge, which was good. As for the tasks that everybody is responsible for, well, you aren’t responsible for them. If you don’t hit the buttons you are supposed to, it “computer overrides” immediately. Now, I don’t expect them to have it crash whenever anybody doesn’t push a button, but it would be cool if you would get a score at the end on how well your team did with promptness of pushing buttons and the steering with the joystick, otherwise, it really doesn’t make you feel obligated to do anything. We did enjoy the ride enough to return with our Fast Passes to skip the non-existent line and ride again. This ride seemed to be a great addition except for the incredibly lame script, but, some 5 hours later, when I went to bed, I closed my eyes to bed spins. This really turned the ride off for me as I could not close my eyes, I did eventually have to leave the hotel room and purchase nausea drugs before being able to fall asleep, and I’d think twice about riding it again. It is fun, but not a coaster, and it gets a 6/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

Excited about the light crowd, we ran over to Test Track, but were greeted with a 45 minute wait that nobody else was willing to try. So we went back to Spaceship Earth and rode it again with Dylan and my Dad because they like it a lot too. On the way, we noticed some of the tiles at Epcot literally sparkle at night, they must have fiber optic threads in them and it really was a whimsical touch. Spaceship Earth ended our second day at Walt Disney World.

Day 3 MGM Studios/Epcot

Our third day at Walt Disney world started at Disney’s MGM Studios, sometimes referred to simply as Disney’s Studios now. I was ready for a ride on Rock’n Rollercoaster. The wait was already an hour long and I knew my brother wasn’t willing to wait that long. So we Fast Passed it, and then we cheated the system by fast passing Tower of Terror with our parent’s tickets, I was sick of Fast Pass taking advantage of my trip so I decided to take advantage of it.

While we waited for our Fast Pass to come to time, we headed over to Star Tours, mainly for my Dad, this is his favorite Disney ride. We were boarded and they left the doors open for a prolonged period of time. I told my dad something must be wrong with the ride and, sure enough, once again, the ride was temporarily out of service. Luckily it was just our simulator, so we had to switch our Star Tours pods. The ride is fun and entertaining, I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I still like the ride. I’d say it’s a 6/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

We still had about 45 minutes until Fast Pass time, so we went to the MGM Back Lot Tour. I really like this ride, but I remember it being longer that it is now. I remember going through subdivisions with make-shift television houses. That is no more; however, they do have the pre show with park guests taking part in a special effects Pearl Harbor recreation which was VERY cool. After the tour, it was Fast Pass time, so my Mom and Dad went to see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire again, and the bro and I went to Rock’n Rollercoaster.

Fast Pass had a line for this ride too, not as long as the stand-by line, but we still waited between 10 and 15 minutes when the idea behind Fast Pass is you should be able to cut the line. It turned out great though because, without even asking, we were assigned the front seat. I remember liking the ride last time but hating the launch because it knocked the wind out of me. This time was different however, because I found the launch to be very exhilarating and a knockout only in fun. The rest of the ride kind of dragged I thought, but I still like the decorations and stuff, it really adds a lot to the ride. The launch really makes this ride, I give it a 7/10 from an Enthusiast Perspective.

From Rock’n Rollercoaster, we headed to Tower of Terror 4 for another trip, same as before, fun, but not as great as it once was.

My brother was beat again and wanted to go see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire again, so we split up again. I went with my Mom, and Dylan went with my Dad. My Mom and I headed to Epcot via the boat (yes, there is a boat service between MGM and Epcot). The ride was a good 45 minutes with several stops along the way at the Swan/Dolphin, The Boardwalk, and The Beach Club/Yacht Club, we had gone to the Beach Club the night before for The Kitchen Sink, an ice cream sundae so big, they serve it in a Kitchen Sink, it was my birthday cake because my birthday was Sunday, June 13.

When we got to Epcot, we realized that we were at a private entrance! It wasn’t the main entrance, it was a side entrance that I had never seen before and our group on the boat was the only group that was taking advantage of it. It was really cool to enter on the World Showcase side. I headed to The United Kingdom right away for some Fish and Chips, they were really good, but I still prefer Red Lobster and their Sam Adam’s Fish and Chips *hangs head in disappointment*. From there, my mom wanted some Chinese food, so we went to China. She was unimpressed and said she’d rather have Harvey Moy’s (a very good Chinese restaurant not far from my house, he has one customer that comes from Texas to eat there, and I’m not even kidding.) While waiting for my brother and dad, we hit the two rides in the World Showcase.

First was in Mexico, it’s a slow moving boat ride indoors (but looks like a night sky) with sites such as cliff divers, and a volcano, it’s really a nice ride. Then we went over to Norway to ride Maelstrom, which was plagued by Fast Pass like several other rides. Maelstrom is a boat trip through Norway with trolls and sudden forward and backward drops. I like the forward/backward idea, and it works very efficiently on this ride. It gets a 6/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

When we met my Dad and Brother, we rode both of those rides again and then headed to Test Track. Test Track was a 45 minute wait again, but I convinced the family to wait with me. This would be one of the worst waits we had ever experienced. We were probably 15 feet from the briefing room when, you guessed it, the ride went down. Now I’m and understanding person, and I can understand that rides go down, so I was more than ready to wait a couple more minutes. However, even though the ride went down, the lines were not closed and the Fast Pass line was growing at a startling rate. Finally, the ride was back up, but they had to get rid of their Fast Pass lines, so we watch hundreds of Fast Passers go on while we waited upwards of 30 additional minutes after the break down, that made approximately 50 minutes that we stood in one place. Then the ride went down a second time, they couldn’t open the doors to the briefing room, but they fixed that one quickly. Then the line controller let one group through out of sympathy and filled the rest of the room with Fast Passers and the second room with Fast Passers (The third room is for single riders). We had a party of four, but we had gotten two groups of two behind us that we got to talking to and that were as angry as us. Knowing that the line operator would only let one group through, she asked us how many our group was and we replied 8, it’s just not right to make us wait that much longer when the Fast Pass people just got in line. We were waiting for the doors to open, and we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Apparently the station had become overcrowded or something, so they were holding the briefing rooms. We were fed up, but couldn’t get out when we waited this long, we knew the ride wouldn’t be worth the wait, as we had ridden it 4 years ago, but we stuck with it anyway. FINALLY the doors opened and we watched the movie and headed out to the in the station. Not more than 5 minutes later we were in our car and ready to go. Test Track was very fortunately much better than I remembered it and almost lived up to all of the problems we waited through to ride it. I really liked this ride a lot. I wish I could have ridden it again before we left, because it was really a blast. I give it an 8/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

We had had enough so we left Epcot after one last spin on Spaceship Earth.

Day 4 Magic Kingdom/Epcot

After hearing such rave reviews from my brother and mom about how fantastic Phil HarMagic was, my Dad and I woke up extra early to get to Magic Kingdom before opening. We got there just at opening and headed into an already crowded park. Good thing everybody is leisurely though, because, when we got to the theater, there was no line yet and we were going to be in the first show. The show truly was spectacular, effects such as “smellovision” and water and wind and animatronic combinations really brought you into the movie and made me a believer of 3-d movies. This really is a must see, unique and fun for the whole family. It gets a 7/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

After the show, I wanted to ride The Haunted Mansion which I rode for the first time four years ago. I’ll be honest, this ride is corny, and if you aren’t a Disney fan, you probably won’t appreciate it as much as I do. Still, I find the ride very entertaining, and I think we need a Walt Disney of today to restart his creative thoughts and outstanding dark rides, like the rest of the park; this must have been unbelievable when it opened. Thanks to the leisurely crowds, we again had no wait. I give this a 6/10 from my perspective, not sure how it would stand in an ordinary enthusiast’s perspective.

I only wanted to ride one more ride in Magic Kingdom, and that was Space Mountain. I don’t remember enjoying this ride as much as the rest of Magic Kingdom park goers usually do, but something has changed in me. The line said it was 25 minutes long, not bad, my brother wasn’t with me, and I was willing to wait. My dad isn’t real fond of sudden drops and turns, so he opted out. It turned out that they were waiting for people at the station and sending empty trains on the circuit, so, again, no wait. The ride really was much better than I remember, and the utter darkness really adds to the suspense. I kept thinking if there were any head choppers, I wouldn’t even be able to duck. The 1-across seating isn’t a good idea though, IMO. If they do redo this ride like Space Mountain in Anaheim, I won’t be disappointed, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to ride it. It gets a 7/10 from an enthusiast’s perspective.

Now, we had accomplished all that I wanted to in an hour, and we still had 3 hours until my mom and brother were supposed to meet us at Buzz Lightyear (They went to MGM to do the Millionaire thing again.) Having ridden all we wanted to for the time being, we searched for a place to have breakfast. The search was long and hard to find a place without a 45 minute reservation and that we could get under $15/person. Eventually, we headed back to the front at the bakery where they offered a few breakfast foods that were suitable even for dieters. At the bakery we ran into the Mayor, he had a banner across his chest that said so. I’m not sure what the name of the town is recreated in Magic Kingdom, but the Mayor going around and waiving to everybody was really a classy touch on Disney’s part.

We still had 2 and a half hours before meeting the other group, so we headed to Tom Sawyer’s island. I haven’t been there in 12 years, and I wanted to see if it was what I remembered. By the way, it was getting VERY hot.

We took the boat over to the island, and went and looked around. The cave that defies gravity was cool, but they were missing several other gravity defying attractions they once had. In fact, they were still on the map that greets visitors as they get off the boat, but they were nowhere to be found. We did go over to the fort though, where I remember getting quite a kick out of the guns that made real sounds, and disappointed, and very hot and tired, we headed back to the boat to go on the other side.

With a half hour left, we made our way to Tomorrowland after getting some water. When we got to Buzz Lightyear, my mom and brother still weren’t there, so we took a spin on the people mover. I do really like this ride, it’s nice and slow, and I like how it goes into Space Mountain. We got off and I was feeling hotter than ever, and getting a headache too. We got to Buzz Lightyear, and my mom waived to us in the line. Damn, I really didn’t want to skip in front of all these people, and I was pretty angry that my mom was so impatient she couldn’t wait for us to show up before getting in line. I had told her before this how rude I thought it was of people to do what she had just done, so I refused to skip and sat and waited with my Dad for my mom and brother to come out. I was getting hotter by the second, the water was gone, and I was pretty mad. Not a good combination, I later found out. My mom and brother came out and they convinced us to ride again, I was getting sick of Buzz Lightyear and feeling pretty sick altogether too, but I dealt with it because I knew how much my mom liked this ride. When it was over, I was just ready to go back to the hotel. On the way out though, we had to stop at some stores and get souvenirs, so I still couldn’t get in the air conditioned room. We exited the park and saw that our hotel bus was at the waiting line, now the bus only comes like every 20 minutes, so I didn’t want to wait for the next one. The bus doors closed, and my heat exhausted little a@@ sprinted to try to catch it, using the very last of my energy. And it was for nothing, the bus driver looked at me and slowed down at first, but I didn’t have the energy to flag to him that we were for Coronado Springs, so he went on.

By now, I was cooked, literally cooked, and I was getting a migraine, something I was not ready to have for our last day at Disney World. I went back to the hotel and the rest of the family went to lunch. I tried to sleep but couldn’t, all I felt was the pounding of my head. We wanted to head out to Epcot, but I just couldn’t go, I wasn’t feeling good enough. Finally, at about 6, four hours after I got back to the hotel, I sucked it up and said I was ready to go. We really wanted to see the firework show. My head was pounding like hell, but I wasn’t going to miss the last night at Disney World.

We got to the park and heard thunder, a storm was coming our way. Now that was the final straw, I was tired, had a headache, didn’t have enough time to ride anything I wanted, and it was going to rain. I wanted to go back, but my parents talked me out of it, and we headed for yet another spin on Spaceship Earth. Very luckily for us, when we got off the storm had passed us and hadn’t rained on us either. So I was feeling better about that, so we headed over to The Living Seas. I’m not really interested in underwater stuff, but this was pretty interesting and they had some Finding Nemo attractions inside. It was kind of cool, I wouldn’t do it again if I had a limited time in Epcot, but it’s worth a look inside.

I wanted dinner now, to help my headache, give me some energy. But nobody else wanted to sit down to dinner or they didn’t want to pay $100 for 4 people to have dinner. I offered to buy, but that didn’t sit with my parents for some reason. Anyway, so we went looking ALL over Epcot for a descent meal, my brother and dad ended up with McDonalds Chicken Nuggets, which was all McDonalds had left, and my mom and I got some Mexican food from Mexico. We went to the fast food Mexico though which was too expensive for what you got. Anyway, we just wanted hot dogs or some midway food you know, but it was nowhere to be found. And when I heard McDonalds was out of everything but chicken nuggets, I think I’ve concluded that Epcot doesn’t have enough “cheap” eateries. We couldn’t even get a hot dog unless we wanted to go all the way around the lake to The United States, and with my headache and lack of energy, that wasn’t happening. We stayed for the firework show, which is what I remembered it, it’s very cool, a must see. And on the way out they had all of the people from all the different countries put on Mickey Mouse hands (four fingers) and wave us goodbye. I thought that was very classy and nice to see on our last night in Disney.

All in all, I’m still a big Disney fan, didn’t make it to Universal, I really think you got to choose one or the other, because it’s just too exhausting to do both. Disney’s most serious problems were Fast Pass, and mechanical flaws. The lines just didn’t move the way I remembered them moving. I do think just limiting the number of fast passes daily per guest could really improve line conditions though. I guess fairytales and pixie dust ARE my thing.

Edit: Bold categories, and mentioned error. *** Edited 6/25/2004 2:07:30 AM UTC by SFGAMDie HARD***

+0
Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:04 PM
Fantastic trip report!

Your "enthusiast" rating should be "your" rating though. I am an enthusiast and think many of the scores you gave should be one point, sometimes two higher. Your a tough scorer! I mean stating the Phil HarMagic was spectacular, and then giving it a 7/10. Tough, lol.

Your mom is a horrified thrill ride? (3rd paragraph in Day 2) Hehe Again, thanks for taking the time to write such a nice report, glad you had a good time. Hope I get to visit more often when we hopefully make a move to florida next year.

+0
Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:41 PM
Fast Pass people skipping past you in line?

One observation: Those people who had fast passes at Peter Pan's Flight waited 6-7 hours on average before showing up with their fast passes at the ride. I don't think you waited 6 to 7 hours in line to ride it.

Sorry, but I had to point that out. Its a big misconception about Fast Pass. People seems to think people get Fast Passes and get back in right away. In the case of Test Track at Epcot, I've seen cases where people got fast passes at 10:30 to come back at 7 pm. On the stand-by side, waits vary between 60-90 minutes on average. *** Edited 6/25/2004 2:44:02 AM UTC by Absimilliard***

+0
Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:44 PM
6-7 hours? The park hadn't even been open that long yet. The line was never unbearable before this trip. Fast Pass is being abused.
+0
Thursday, June 24, 2004 11:08 PM
Peter Pan's Flight has always been at least an hour for me every year and that's even before the FastPass days. You can't necessarily abuse FastPass... Although it was nice to get FastPasses for RnRC and TOT at the same time for my sister and I at Disney Studios since my parents weren't riding those. ;)

And maybe I missed it, but what kind of enthusiast are you? You're allowed to be more than one type of enthusiast: theme park, roller coaster, dark ride, Disney, waterpark, Six Flags, train, flat ride, etc. ;)

+Danny

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Friday, June 25, 2004 4:01 PM
A couple of questions:

Why did you not see a single night show (they are the best Disney has to offer)?

Why didnt you buy an E-Ride Night ticket? For $12 resort guests can ride the 3 mountains, peter pan, pooh, philharmagic, buzz and the haunted mansion for 3 hours after the park closes with little or no wait.

+0
Friday, June 25, 2004 8:56 PM
I did see Illuminations at Epcot the last night. We were always too wiped out to stay for the show all the other nights.

Also, I looked into that $12 thing and, three extra hours was until 1 in the morning, and not something anybody but myself was interested in. An extra $50 is an extra $50, and with food and entertainment, this trip was more than expensive enough.

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Saturday, June 26, 2004 12:21 AM
Next time you go, dont miss the night shows! Illuminations is amazing but Spectro and Fantasmic beat it hands down.

The trick to opening and closing the park is to leave in the middle of the day, take a nap, skip the long lines and come back refreshed. The only days we did not do this were one day at Epcot and MGM (due to the shows). I opened and closed a park every day.

As for the $12, yes its more money but think of it this way, one of the nights I did it I went on 16 rides in 3 hours (5X on Space, 2X on Big Thunder, Pooh, Philharmagic, and Peter Pan and 1X on Splash, Buzz, and the Haunted Mansion) 12 devided by 16 is $.75 a ride, better then what you will find at any carnival or fair. Next time I recomend looking into it (even if you fly solo) its just too much fun.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2004 3:10 PM
Great report :)

Don't forget about Wishes! I feel that is now the best night show they have. Amazing stuff...

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Sunday, July 4, 2004 10:56 AM
A truly awesome trip report. Good details, in-depth descriptions, interesting reading.

And that's from ANYONE'S perspective!

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Sunday, July 4, 2004 11:03 PM
I was just got home from WDW a few days ago, and boy did I have a completly differnt experince. Thanks to working the fastpass system, I think my longest wait over the 7 days I was there was about 30 min. I also did everything in the park that I could possibly wanted to (including re-rides) each day I went to the park. I suggest before you go again, buy a guide to the disney resort and read the entire thing. Your next trip will be soo much better, and you will wait less. Also as mentioned before, the night shows are awesome, almost worth the addmission alone, and E-Ride night was awesome, with the longest wait being 5 min for splash. One more thing, there isn't just 4 drop programs for Tower 4. There are countless drop programs (I counted 9 at least when I was down there). Tower 4 is just the name for the 4th complete overhaul of the drops.
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Monday, July 5, 2004 12:56 AM
Oh, good to hear you had a better experience (not saying mine was bad by any means.) I'll have to do that next time, thanks for the tip.

And I didn't think there were only 4 different drop combinations, it's 4 random drops, meaning your elevator drops four seperate times (although a double down is one drop).

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