Walt Disney World 4-30-11 - 5-5-11

Monday, May 23, 2011 2:32 PM

I recently spent a week at Walt Disney World. I know many of you know these parks so I will just hit some highlights. This was my first full-blown Disney trip (I had been only to the Magic Kingdom before). We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort. I did this trip with my mom who had never been to the state of Florida let alone any of the parks. I thought she would like Disney as she likes milder rides and shows.

Epcot –
- Lunch at Le Cellier was phenomenal. Because we had lunch and not dinner we only had to use one table service for the same portion you would get for dinner so that was awesome. I think one of the reasons it is hard to get a reservation here other than the awesome food is it is a lot smaller than I thought. I had the cheddar cheese soup, New York strip with scalloped potatoes and “Chocolate Moose” for dessert. Best meal of the trip.
- I really liked the Canada and UK pavilions
- Figment was a very cute ride although they could have choose a more pleasant smell than a skunk
- Soarin’ was my mom’s favorite ride in the park
- My mom also really liked Mission:Space, she rode the light version. I rode the intense version and got off with a massive headache.
- We saw Paul Revere & The Raiders at the American Gardens Pavilion, I loved that they had stuff like this for free
- Really enjoyed the backwards section of The Maelstrom
- We both thoroughly enjoyed the American Adventure
- Dinner at Garden Grille with Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto was great. I don’t know if we timed it right or what but Mickey came over to our table no less than four times and we got at least two visits from each of the other characters
- I liked IllumiNations but didn’t think it was the greatest thing ever like many people do, I guess I’m just used to seeing fireworks on what feels like every night of the summer at home

Magic Kingdom –
- We had breakfast at the Crystal Palace before the park opened, it was awesome seeing the park and the castle with not too many people around it, the characters were wonderful, very interactive especially Piglet
- I got to ride Dumbo finally, although it doesn’t really do anything, I’m glad I got to ride it and now I never have to wait in line for it again
- Mom’s favorite ride was the Haunted Mansion until we rode Splash Mountain and that instantly became her new favorite
- The Haunted Mansion actually had a line for some reason about 25 minutes so we went through the new queue which was pretty entertaining
- The Move It, Shake It, Celebrate parade was much better than the Electrical Light Parade, people were actually able to interact with the characters, dance, sing, take pictures with whatever characters they wanted without big long lines
- Pineapple Dole Whip was delicious
- Pirates of the Caribbean actually had a line
- Mickey’s Philharmagic didn’t have that bit with the instruments dancing on the walls, when did they remove that?
- We rode the Indy Speedway at the end of the day and it was only a fifteen minute wait
- Are there ‘special targets’ in Buzz Lightyear? My mom somehow got the full score of 999,999.

Animal Kingdom –
- We ate breakfast at the Rainforest Café before the park opened and our waitress Stephanie was hands-down our best server at WDW. She took the Disney service to a whole new level even telling us how best to do the park (Start in the back at Africa and go clockwise to the front), bringing us maps and times guides and just being as friendly as possible.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris was a fun ride but I prefer the safari at SFGAdv, probably because the animals can come right up to your car instead of being so far away
- Everest was awesome, single rider line is the best thing ever invented, I waited less than 5 minutes both times I rode
- Kali River Rapids is the worst rapids ride I have ever been on, it lasted what felt like 30 seconds and we got maybe two waterfalls, I was still pretty much dry when I got off, even my mom hated it and said it wasn’t as good as some others and she is in no way a seasoned rider
- Finding Nemo musical was good, Festival of the Lion King was awesome
- I liked the train back to Rafiki’s Planet Watch just wish you could actually see some animals along the way instead of their night houses
- My mom loved the Dinosaur ride, her favorite ride in the park
- We both enjoyed It’s Tough to be a Bug and we taken by surprise with some of the effects

Disney’s Hollywood Studios –

- The first thing we did was get a Fastpass for TSMM, then we got in line to ride it right away with a wait posted of 35 minutes. We got there right at opening stopping only at the bathroom and to take a look at the Grauman Theater on our way to the ride. The ride was awesome although a little bit shorter than I expected and definitely glad we got to ride twice.
- American Idol Experience was much better than I expected although it really shows you how scripted reality shows can be
- My mother loves Indiana Jones so she loved the stunt show
- I didn’t really know what to expect from the Backlot Tour but it was OK
- Lunch at Mama Melrose’s was excellent
- Single Rider Line for Rock’n’Roller Coaster took around fifteen minutes, again awesome.
- My mom rode Tower of Terror with me, for some reason of all the thrill rides out there, drop towers are the ones she will ride, and she really enjoyed this one, and then proceeded to tell me everything about the Twilight Zone show
- We really liked Fantasmic, more so than IllumiNations or Wishes. Although I can’t say I was able to follow the storyline completely and I didn’t know who half the villains were.

Typhoon Lagoon –

- Awesome wavepool
- I really liked Crush’N’Gusher, although I wish they would let single riders on more than one of the slides (Coconut Crusher is the only one that allows single riders)
- Swimming at the shark reef was really cool and something unique attraction at a waterpark. The water was cold but not that bad. There are also fish and stingrays in the pond.
- Not very busy, we got done everything we wanted to be 1:30

Blizzard Beach –
- Summit Plummet was neat to do once but now that I’ve done it, I don’t ever feel the need to do it again. Your bathing suit definitely rides up on you.
- I liked how all the exits for the lazy river had the different summer/winter animals on them
- Downhill Double Dipper gives you some great air
- Runoff Rapids & Snow Stormers were very fun
- Although the wave pool was really lackluster, I liked that you could bring tubes into it

Winter Summerland mini-golf was really fun to play. We did the “Snow Course” and it was neat to see all of the interactive elements for the different holes. It was rather dead when we were there which is a shame because it is really a great course and a lot of fun.

Caribbean Beach – I liked this hotel a lot. It served its purpose for us, provided a nice clean room on the first floor, close to the bus stop, small quiet pool near our room, and a quick breakfast in the morning. I know the hotel is huge, but they really do a good job of getting you around the property and we never walked too far. From our hotel room in Jamaica to Old Port Royale was probably a 10-minute walk at most.

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Monday, May 23, 2011 2:57 PM

Chocolate Moose at Le Cellier == Best dessert I've had at Epcot.

Another vote for Fantasmic. I just don't get it.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:52 PM

Clearly you two have not had the maple creme brule at Le Cellier. Imagine mixing maple syrup with creme brule, its amazing.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:15 AM

My wife did... she liked my Moose better. :)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:31 PM

That's what sh... oh, nevermind.

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