ULTIMATE Orlando TR day 4: MGM

Associated parks:

Thursday, July 11, 2002 10:52 PM
Well now the next collection of parks had arrived and I was very exicted to be back at WDW! And for the first time entering, probibly thrill ride junkies favorite Disney park, MGM! The park thank the Lord was open till 10, and not 9 like the Universal's. So I got there a little after 9 and was happy with what I saw early on, I thought Universal's city style theming looked great, but MGM's was better! Very cool, and the " Keep our city clean" trash cans were cool! So I grabbed a map, entered the park and found my way to TOT and Rock N Roller coaster!

I heard eariler that this area was very crowded, and rightfully so, Fantasmic! The amazing night time show, and TOT and Rock N are right here! Well, I saw TOT had a 30 minute wait, and the fastpass time was already into the afternoon, on the Rock N Roller Coaster to check, HOLY CRAP! 70 minute wait! The plaza was also filled with people ! But, the Fastpass time was soon, so my sister and I resevered a time. Went to TOT. My sister was flat out scared, I she wouldn't believe me when I said the biggest drop was about 130 feet. The Queue surpirzingliy mostly snakes it's way in the outodoors in front of the ride, but it's still very cool, it offers great visuals of the Tower, and the riders scaraming for thier lives, I also love the elevator 'ding' win the riders are about to drop. Just as we entered the queue attraction attendent added a little more by opening up another section, but the line moved VERY fast. Speaking of ops for this ride, THEY ARE AWESOME! They all speak with werid, 1930's style accents, and seem to know what your fate will be. I love the queue attenedent when you enter as he greets you," Velcome to the Hollywood Tower Hotel" With there loong red trench coat style button down uniforms, and those beriae style hats, very good! The queue is very nicly shaded and that 1930's style music is just freaky! They could of hid the speakers though There are signs pointing to the pool, and tennis courts ect. As you enter near the hotel lobby, you pass a small pool, witch is basically a foutain. It was very dirty, I think it worked though when Flordia was not in it's current drought conditions. Anyway, it added to the theme greatly showing you, this was no ordinary hotel! A turn around the corner outside the hotel and we are in the lobby, wow is this all out theming or what? Just indiscribible, a lot of "oos and ahhs" then almost as soon as we enter, an employee will direct you you left or right to enter the library behind autumatic doors, left from right seperated by a book case. You enter the small library, which looked like a home office with no desk, and see the old tv in the corner of the room, there are windows and you can tell it's nightime, as the attendent explains some last minute preperations are bing made my the maids ( what an interesting phrase) The room goes dark with a loud clash of thunder and the Twilight Zone theme hits, the short pre show explains a night where a family was in an elevator going to there room and the hotel was struc by lightning and something crazy happened. He says it's a night like tonight and we are the stars of the show. He said we will be in this ( pointing) service elevator and it leads to... THE TWILIGHT ZONE! DUN DUN!!!!! ( His voice gets much loud and echos, and through the windows you can see the clash of thunder and lightning outside) now were in the boiler room. Very good theming in here! The service elevators are agiants the back wall and I believe there are 4. The chicken exit is in the middle and guess what? It's an elevator! Anyway as service elevators go up you see the floor nimbers, climbing and can see the machinery lifting them, at work in the room( it's fake) and the ops assign seating ( staying in full character of course) we enter and the elevator goes black ( seats about 20 with a row along the back and 2 small rows on the sides an and aisle in the middle, there is a lap bar for each row to share and one seat along the back row only has a seat belt) So now we move, bell rings elevator opens, looks like a normal Hotel halway from a 1930's 5 star hotel to me! Then the lights go off, and the room is pitch dark, except for the window at the end of the hall, and the little tiny fiber optic lights that look like stars( their increbile there so small, you couldn't notice them if you were looking right at them if they were off) Then we see the family and elevator attendant looking very ghostly, looking at us with a blank stare, And that window is coming off the wall and right at us! Holy crap that's cool! Then it closes, music builds and this elevator is heading up! Now were in this very dark hallway, the floor is some cool mirors that look like those one way ones, where you can't see what's behind them, and the room is basically light by black light, and some more fiber optics, not much in here, but were moving out of the elevator shaft! Wow, this is shure cutting edge, we head to the dark space and well it's dark, it makes a noise similar the Intamin 1st Gen free falls make when they put you in the drop shaft. Then it gets dead silence and the man from the pre show informs us we are now going to expierence what those people did on that night, then,.. drop! The ride doesn't come to a stop though and pulls us up very fast and drops us agian, it does this a couple more times, higher and higer, each time the doors open and we see out over the WDW resort, then we get pulled to the very top, droped only a little, then pulled near the top agian, then AHHHHH! Big drop! and we finally come to a reast right infront of this projecter screen, that is showing a bunch whriling lines and the Twilight Zone theme plays, mean while we back up through the dark ride portion and and the man comes on agian and says these words " A warn welcome back to those who made it, now remember this, when you check in, to fill a vaccancy, just know what vaccancy your filling" ( somthing to that extent) Then the lights come on, an old man tells us to exit and remember our luggage, then a attendent is right in front of the opening doors and informs us check out is to the right, were the on ride photo is. A sitting area is in here to, a good place to rest and find refuge from the weahter. It's Rock N Roller Coaster time!

We gave our fast passes and waited, waited , and waited, while the rock music the plays in the queue and surrounding plaza, filled the air. Speaking of which, I wish were much louder! Not Hulk loud, I know people would hate that, but Louder! They play good music and judging by what I saw have ONE HECK of a sound system in the area ( I am a audio system fiend ) Well, this ride brought fast pass, to us all and unfortinally, the theming suffers. You wait in this covered swtichback area, after some switchbacks under shade trees. Once at the end, the attenedent will let you through and you go up the path along side the building. This part of the queue sould be used a lot more! They have it covered, it's got much better visuals and I think the people waiting out in the heat/rain would appreachiate it! Then we enter the small lobby to G Force records ( FP should of entered here,) Wow, this is so cool! The music from the outside still plays which consitsts of music from the likes of The Spin Doctors and Lenny Kravitz ( I can't think of anyone else but nothing like Metallica or Nirvana) And there are some cool lights, and a GIANT CD makes the floor, next you enter pass a glass case full of studio props through these doors, that have a bunch of marbles instead of windows and everyone has to feel em and make a huge racket! Then you enter the last area, Were there are Studios A, B, and C, here is another section of unsed queue! Theres a small section of switchbacks, right near a very large and nice display case, why not let more people in the move the line outside! I guess, they want everyone fitting the preshow, yes next is the pre show were your in a studio and there are a bunch of guitars, drums, amps, mixers, everything lying around then there is a screen displaying aerosmith with there producer mixing up a song ( the beat to Walk This way is playing, ,LOUDLY!!!! ) Then their manager comes in and says they are late for a concert and they gotta go! But Steven Tyler won't leave his fans behind! So she arranges us a super streach limo after trying to do a head count, so then it ends the doors open and we enter a back alley behind a cyclone fence and under some boards from s scaffholding, were you can see a limo aka train waiting to launch and beyond them on the wall is a rockn' nightclub! Then you enter the station, themed a little like a parking garge, as the ride control booth looks like a big ticket booth. People don't here ethier, there is a platform for that, and when the trains come srecchin around the corner, you really hear it! The sound effects are great as well as the limos the trains protray, well, the op asks, " How many" I say "2" He replies, "Row 1 please" holy crap! My first ride would be up front! Well we load real fast and were off and our limo tunes in to a classic rock station blaring over ouer 50,000 ( yes 50,000) watt sound system! And there is a dot matrix baord like you see on freeways saying stuff like " Prepare to merdge, like you have never merdged before!" and " All Roads Jammed-- YEAH RIGHT! " Well, as the car engine you ear, tones our to the sound of a loud crowd Steve Tyler says 4..3.. 2... then Launch and the first song starts up. It vary's from train to train but it is all Aerosmith, on all my ride " Back in the Saddle" sounded the best. It seems like they remixed songs for this ride, and maybe even made a couple. Well, the lauch... wow! Disney claims 0-60 in 2.8, but I think it's 58 Anyway, its crazy! You zoom by the on ride photo and think" Did I just see the light of heaven or what" But then it dies... yes dies.. there is this straight section of track that feels slow, as you merdge onto the freeway, but then you feel that awesome Cobra roll. This launch isn't better than Hulk, I guess cuase Hulk is going so fast and gaining so much speed going up hill, your body isn't used to it! (The zero G roll helps to!)

Then the ride goes up and down a curved drop were you pass through the " Hollywood" sign and the song changes. The ride after this is preety un eventful and would be boring if not for the theming, there are numerous signs you would see on free ways, then you get to the corkscrew and see the " corkscrew ahead" sign if your lucky enough to catch it. This was a great inverision of as usual, and the ride kinda wanders around agian and you go down a small drop into the brakes, and here is when you can finnally here the soundtrack loud and clear! The break run is themed very nicely as is the exit platform with the red carpet laid out for you to enter the concert! You go straight ahead and Aerosmith is performing!!!! ... on a big screen below are your onride photos. Then a nice gift shop and a path to the plaza.

The ride was still great to me, The theming and music ( I love Aerosmith!) made it awesome, plus I have never ridden a coaster I didn't love ( yeah includes SFMM's Flashback, and PGA's Grizzly) The line was still huge! So we got a fastpass and went to the other side of the park and did Muppet Vision 3D

I loved this show when I saw it in DCA, everything is the same except the theming in the queue, DCA's is bigger and better, but it's always a walk on so no big deal! Well, the show still pleased the crowd and will get you to laugh out loud for shure.

We then did The Great Movie Ride, it is themed like the chinese theater, and in the queue you stroll past some things like the cyber chess tabls used in Star Wars 1 ( or 4 however you look at it) Then the last part you enter this movie theater that show clips and preview from the movies your going to see on our ride, you stand through swtich backs the whole time, the ride had a posted 45 minute wait, but man did it move fast! This ride has HUGE capacity, I believe it loaded 2 dark ride vehicles that seat about 100, yes 100! And they came in and loaded about every 5 minutes! The ride is great as you stroll through some classic movie senes with anamatronics acting, then you get to the gangster sences, and your train is taking over by a Mob guy( who gets in a gang fight with anamatronics funny stuff) And we go through some sences of more recent movies like Indiana Jones and Alien, which I thought would be more scary seeing the Alein's hiding but they did not jump out quickly, then back to Indy were our mob friend gets greedy and steals the holy grail and our real guide stops him as a god says" you will pay with this with your life!" And a big ball of smoke comes, out friend is now a sketleton and our old guide, who narrorates the trip, takes over, then we go to the Wizard of Oz were we meet up with the train in front of us, Were in the middle of OZ! The little munshkins get scared though, cuase here comes the wicked which of the west! But she lets of off and says don't come back, and the tram in front asks " How to get out of here!?" And they started singing to us, " FOllow the Yellow Brick Road!" Then with the other train we enter in front of a couple of movie screens and see some shots from classic movies, to a nice classical score playing in the back round, it including some real recent and some real old, then we were done.

Then got some lunch, a super soft pretzyle and pink lemmonade, right outside the Indyana Stunt show, which I knew was great so we had to give it a shot, only problem was, standing room only, but we later found a seat at the very top due to the employee's finding a seat for people, a great show of attitude and commitment! The show started out looking for volunteer's then it really started the stage was this huge temple wall, and Indy comes out looking for the holy grail( what's the name?!) and while walking some spikes come out of the ground and nearly embalm him, then he climbs up the ramp and these statues tr to crush him, then he grabs the grail and here it comes! Yes, the boulder! He dives at the last second to aviod it and is ok, then production managers, cowardinators, producers ect.. come out and explain what happend, while this is going on the stage hands are resesting, and the stage moves, and dissapears to revil the next sence, then after a fight sene, ( a very good one) they explain it, then it moves and the next seen happens with explosives and the whole works it's incredbile and they basically show you how movies in this manner are made a long great show! A must see,

Then back to the rocker using the fastpasses and it was fun agian, better soundtrack this time, clearer and louder. Then picked up a fast pass for TOT for later. We went back to Star Tours for the heck of it, and rode it's the same as DL's of course except the second room is themed differently and the first seemed smaller and missing somthing, but I loved the giant droid outside very cool. It had a bit of a wait, but the ride's fastpass was down so both sides of the line were open and everyone decided to go right, making a left a walk on! Sweet! All in all a good ride but like I said the last time I wrote about Star Tours, and the time before that, I am ready for the new movie! Then to the tram tour

Very cool! Before the ride we were treated to s bit of a special effects presentation of Pearl Harbor and how they created the battle sences, of course they got a few guests real wet, then on through the props where house ( fake props) where the new Country Bears movie pre view was playing, and onto the ride. Basically typical stuff, some props from movies like Star Wars, Armmegeddo, Mission to Mars, and the classics, the cool thing was seeing Walt's plane he used to scout WDW's land. Also, Travel Channel Screts was their, possibly shooting a show on MGM? I hope so to. The coolest thing was the costume making department, that was the only thing really moving, then through the mock neighborhood. Of course the highlight of this was Catastrophe Canyon! It put you right in the middle of a ton of special effects, very loud very much fire, and water! Then you see it reset, and go beind it and see the inside. Walt's vison of the future was also driven by during this ride, pretty close to now! It got done and was very cool.

We used our FP for TOT and got another great ride and had to leave about 6 to meet Mom, but MY night was not done! Look for A night at Sea World, TR!
See THE ULTIMATE in Orlando TR'S! Right now in the TR fourm!

*** This post was edited by Todd on 7/12/2002. ***

Friday, July 12, 2002 3:14 AM
Nice TR Todd!

-Sean Newman
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
Nitro Laps:105
B+R Launches:28

Friday, July 12, 2002 6:56 AM

Great TR Todd.

Yes, the effects and theming are really what makes TOT a great ride. I rode it 8 times in June and never got tired of it (the ding at the top is great). Our group also got on TOT first and it was great... the attendant said, "Remember to tell us if there is anything wrong with the elevator since you will be the first today..."

Rock n Roller Coasters line is usually over estimated. Our wait said 60 and we were on in 45 or so. The ride is fun, but nothing spectacular IMO.

Friday, July 12, 2002 9:08 AM

Grrr... Sean beat me to it again!

Friday, July 12, 2002 10:25 PM
Yeah TOT is so hard to get tired of! I think Stan got the idea of a Space Shot from it, maybe.

Not MLK's words but mine..I have a Dream! I have a DREAM! I HAVE A DREAM!
I have a dream! That SFMM fans will be able to walk hand in hand with CP's!
AND no ONE cares what a coaster is and what a coaster isn't!


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