Walt Disney World, Part 3 MGM Studios 12/25/06

Associated parks:
None

Friday, January 12, 2007 11:34 PM
Day 4, 12/25/06

Today the forecast was calling for 70 – 80% chance of rain and it was supposed to rain all day. Had we not gotten 7 day park passes and had reservations in the park today for dinner, we probably would have not gone to a park today. We wanted to get to the park early to try to get in as much as possible before the rain started.

The park was somewhat empty when we arrived, probably because everyone wants to go to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas for the parade that is shown on TV.

The first ride of the day was The Great Movie Ride. The line was only in the last theater room and the wait was a little over 5 minutes. They were only loading the back cars running at half capacity which I sort of understand as if they loaded at full capacity, the cars would be probably going out with tons of empty rows. It’s a fun ride but I have been on it so many times that it isn’t that exciting anymore. The parts with the live actors are always fun but we always seem to get the Gangster scene rather than the Western scene. I also found the hidden Mickey and Donald in the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene which I was not able to find last time.

After The Great Movie Ride we went to see Lights Motor Action! Extreme Stunt Show because in the event it rained, we wanted to make sure we saw it (since there was a chance it could be cancelled if it stormed later in the day). We arrived about 35 minutes early thinking it would fill up fast but the arena never got completely full. This show is amazing and probably my favorite show at WDW. I had known ahead of time how they did the backwards driving but learning how they did the other tricks were really interesting. It was just so amazing to see that kind of stunt driving in person and with the jet skis and motorcycles it added some variety as well. It started raining during the show and they did not perform 1 act (I can’t remember what it is) but since the arena was somewhat covered it wasn’t too bad.

It was raining on and off at this point so we went to Muppetvision 3D. There was no line right into the pre-show room. This is my favorite 3D show at Disney because it was the first one I remember seeing and really watching it (I did see Magic Journeys at the Magic Kingdom but hardly remember anything about it other than a few scenes) and because I used to watch the Muppets when I was younger. Great show as usual.

I wanted to stop at Pizza Planet quickly to play the DDR USA machine since it has a lot of songs that you cannot find on the newer DDR machines in the arcade. The pads were in ok shape, but could have been better. An employee came over and was impressed (he said something to me after I was done playing) which made me think not many good players stop at the machine as I was only playing 7 footer songs (didn’t want to get overheated playing anything more difficult). There were a lot of interesting games in the arcade that I would have liked to have tried but I didn’t want to take the time to play games as the rides were more important.

After having lunch at the Commissary, the skies opened up and it down poured. We went to the Magic of Disney Animation since it was indoors. Everyone else had the same idea as the line got crowded a few minutes after we got in line. I think the tour is very disappointing as there is no animation being done there anymore so you don’t get to see animators at work like you used to. It was still a fun way to kill some time though. It was still raining so we went to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid next. Other than the Under The Sea part of the show with the black lighting, I don’t care too much for the show.

Seeing that One Man’s Dream was right down the path, we went to that next. The museum part of the exhibit is always interesting but they had some parts covered like the layout of Peter Pan’s Flight from Disneyland. The film was interesting to see the first time but this was my 3rd time seeing it and was a little boring remembering most of it.

The rain was starting to let up a little so we were going to see Beauty and the Beast next. Before going to the theater, I grabbed a fast pass for Rock N Rollercoaster. I haven’t seen the show in a few years and it’s impressive since it’s broadway style and with all the actors and actresses on stage with so much going on the stage at once (dancing, the costumed characters and the backgrounds) it is always fun to watch.

After Beauty and the Beast I wanted to try the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I had just started to ride drop towers in September so I was a little nervous about the ride but after riding Dominator at Dorney 9 times in 1 day I figured I would have no problems handling the ride. The posted wait time was 20 minutes but I walked right into the pre-show room followed by about a 5 minute wait in the boiler room. The first thing I noticed about the cars was how cramped they were. There wasn’t much leg room and being somewhat tall and sitting in between 2 other tall people, there wasn’t much room.

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the ride other than seeing the car drop from the top of the tower where you look out into the park. I was surprised when the doors opened on the first floor and the ghost family appeared but not as surprised as I was when the car moved out and starting going forwards at the next stop. I had no idea the car moved on any type of track. I also was not expecting the drops to be the way they were. I had though the drops would be 13 stories but seemed very short and not intense. I barely got that stomach drop feeling that I get on the Turbo Drop side of Dominator. I didn’t think the ride was bad or anything, just different than what I expected. We got 4 drops as well.

By this time, it was time to go to Rock N Rollercoaster. The standby was posted at 30 minutes so I thought with fastpass, there would be a minimal wait. By the time the fastpass line got into the building, waiting through the switchbacks in the building and got through the preshow room, it was close to 20 minutes. I was surprised at this as I know fastpass doesn’t guarantee you will get on the ride right away (it says little to no waiting) and I have waited 15 minutes on past trips to WDW for rides like Space Mountain when the standby was over 100 minutes but it didn’t seem right for the fastpass line to be almost 2/3 as long of a wait time as the standby line. I think the problem was they were letting too many standby people in at once. It wasn’t a big deal but I thought it should be mentioned.

I was also nervous about Rock N Rollercoaster as I had never been on a launched coaster before and on past trips to Hershey, had not wanted to try Storm Runner. I figured that this was a good launch coaster to get started with since it was only 57 mph and didn’t sound that intense. Years ago it was the inversions that stopped me from trying Rock N Roller coaster but that wasn’t an issue anymore as I love inversions now.

The limo pulled up and I was assigned row 9 (I wish you could wait for any row you wanted but all Disney coasters seem to be like this). I pulled the restraint down as far as I could since after the op at Morey’s stapled me in on the boomerang I had little to no head banging and figured it would work well here too (though I hadn’t heard many complaints about this coaster being rough). As they counted down for the launch I wished we could launch already since the anticipation was probably going to be worse than the actual launch. Once I actual felt the launch it was powerful but not as forceful as I expected. I thought the inside of the ride building was cool with all the lights and signs but the only one I really remember is going through the Hollywood sign.

Overall, I thought the ride was a lot of fun but my shoulders hurt a little after the ride probably because I had the restraint too tight. The ride seemed a little on the short side but that was probably because there was no lift hill.

After Rock N Rollercoaster we went to the Prime Time Café where we had dinner reservations. I really do not like this restaurant as I am a somewhat quiet person and kind of shy (and don’t like calling attention to myself) and as anyone who has been to this restaurant knows, that’s kind of difficult here. Everyone else in my family likes the place though so I figured I would deal with it. From the waitress or waiter telling you “no elbows on the table” or them asking you to set the table as your “chores” if you don’t want to get in trouble, you have to follow all the rules. Someone at a table near us didn’t finish their food so everyone in the room was instructed to yell to them “Shame on you.” Someone else didn’t finish their vegetables and they played the “airplane game” to make them finish their food.

After everyone was finishing dinner, the plan was to see Fantasmic next. I had not yet been to Star Tour so it was decided I would leave a few minutes early and meet up with my family at a store near the Fantasmic entrance. Star Tours had a posted wait time of 10 minutes but the actual line only had about 10 people in it and I was boarding a car within 3 minutes. This is probably my favorite simulator that I have been on despite never seeing Star Wars. It’s somewhat intense but not intense enough to make me dizzy.

We got to Fantasmic about 30 minutes early which isn’t too bad since in past visits during this week, if you didn’t get there an hour or more before the show started, you were shut out as it was filled to capacity despite some nights having as many as 3 shows. It was drizzling on and off they made an announcement that the show was possibly cancelled tonight. This was disappointing as we were not planning to come back to MGM this trip so if we missed the show tonight, we wouldn’t get to see it this trip. Luckily, the show went on but had about a 5 minute delay. Fantasmic is very impressive with the projections onto the water and the fire effects. I wanted to ride Rock N Rollercoaster again so I planned to leave Fantasmic a few minutes before the show ended to beat the crowd out of the amphitheater and hopefully get on the ride with little to no wait. The plan worked as there was no wait to get into the building and only about a 5 minute wait to get into the pre-show room. This time I asked if I could wait for the front despite it being an extra 2 train wait and the grouper said I could wait for the front. Normally I won’t wait longer for the front of a ride except for B&M inverts but because they load the cars so quickly and were running so many trains it was only an extra 2 – 3 minute wait. I didn’t pull the restraint down as far this time and had a much better ride.

I met up with my family at one of the stores and we headed out of the park. It was another great day with minimal crowds but as the next section will show, that was unfortunately about to come to an end.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 12:30 AM
Having just came back from a WDW vacation (26th-Jan 2nd), I must comment on the whole Tower of Terror thing.

Like you, I wasn't expecting the car to actually move on a track. That was freaky as it was, since it went into pitch blackness before the drops actually started. However, I found the drops much more intense then I thought it would be! Comparing it to Power Tower drop side at CP, I found ToT much more intense due to the random up and downs of the ride. When you think you're done going up, you're pulled down.

Oh, and words of advice: never take a non-thrill seeker on the ride. I got my sister on it, and she doesn't like roller coasters or thrill rides. It took 6 months of convincing to get her on Expedition Everest the week before ToT. She ended up riding ToT, but freaking out all the same. The on-ride photo is good though.

By the way, lucky on riding RnRC. When we went, the 2nd, it was down for rehab until the 20-something of January. Oh well, one day.

-nesdude

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 1:12 AM
You've never seen a Star Wars movie?

Nice tr's

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 8:51 AM
Great choice in going to a non MK park on a holiday. Believe it or not, that parade is not live, they film it before hand. For the Easter Parade, we were in the MK on the Tuesday before Easter, and saw all the video cameras recording the parade. We were intially suprised that it wasnt live until we thought more about it, when do those parades air: morning, when do those parades happen everyday at the MK: 3:00 pm. So anyways, while the MK filled to capacity on Easter Sunday we enjoyed Epcot, which was dead, Test Track had less then a 30 min wait (it was brand new that year) and everything else was a walk on.
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Saturday, January 13, 2007 12:40 PM
^Yeah we learned the difficult way not to go to the MK on Christmas day. We tried to go a few years ago and they weren't even letting anyone else in and it was around 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, after this day, the parks got jam packed (I'll get into that more when I write the next sections).

^^ One day I'll see one of the movies, I never really had any interest in it but the way some of my friends are really into the movies, I guess I'll watch it to see why it is so popular

^^^ After reading up on it, I think ToT runs different programs randomly and maybe I got one of the weaker programs which is why I didn't find it that intense. Agreed about taking non thrill seekers on the ride. I ended up riding all the coasters at WDW and a few other rides alone because I am the only one in my family who rides thrill rides and coasters. *** Edited 1/13/2007 5:41:26 PM UTC by YoshiFan***

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