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Yoshi

Disney World December 2016

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Yoshi    96

Last month I went to Disney World and even though I didn't go to any non Disney parks, there were some new places I visited during the trip that I'll get to later in the report.

 

Day 1, 12/19. Unlike trips in the past to Florida, we didn't pick up I-95 until Virginia and drove through other parts of PA and MD, skipping Delaware entirely and were a few minutes away from Hershey. Driving past Kings Dominion again when it is closed makes me want to get there in the next couple of years. We go to Fayetteville, NC at the end of the day.

 

Day 2, 12/20. After driving past some other Orlando parks, we got to All Star Sports and checked and were in the baseball section again (5 years ago was the last time we stayed on site and also got baseball). I prefer staying off site but we had free quick service dining. I don't remember Disney ever offering free dining so close to Christmas before with the last day to check in for the offer being 12/21.

 

Day 3, 12/21. Part of the free dining requirement was to get either a park hopper ticket or Waterparks Fun & More. We went with the 2nd option and started the day at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf. Even being the first ones there, it still took about an hour without any waiting which seems to be about twice as much time as mini golf at other places like in Ocean City. Some of the motorized obstacles were not working but the course was still fun.

 

After mini golf, we went to Disney Springs to have lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express since don't like the quick service options at Hollywood Studios too much. It's probably the best value to use a quick service credit on property with some entrees as much as $20. In addition to that, quick service pricing has really gone up in the parks. It used to be Great Adventure was much more than a similar meal at Disney. Now it's actually the opposite with Great Adventure actually costing less.

 

Getting to Hollywood Studios we went to The Great Movie Ride first. One change is the cast member at the front of the vehicle no longer narrates all of the ride and a pre-recorded spiel now mentions many of the things the cast member use to say. The film at the end of the ride has also been updated.

 

Next was the new version Star Tours since my sister wanted to try it and as expected I didn't like it with the combination of 3D and the simulator. If I were to go back, I'd probably close my eyes most of the ride. Only 4 out of 6 simulators were running.

 

With Streets of America closed and the Backlot Tour area closed, the park really feels more congested with more people on the walkways and the dead ends.

 

Muppetvision 3D has some new signs in the pre-show room.

 

The 3rd track at Toy Story Mania really helped bring down the wait times.

 

Rock N Roller Coaster was great as usual. The launch still feels like tame compared to other coasters like Kingda Ka. Only 1 pre-show room section was being used and I would like to see Disney copy Six Flags and add queue rails into the pre-show room like at The Dark Knight since everyone tries to rush out of the room and I prefer to just wait in the back waiting for the room to clear out compared to The Dark Knight where it everyone just stays in line.

 

After riding California Adventure's version of Tower of Terror, I see why the Florida version is preferred with the 5th dimension section. I still like Zumanjaro the best but Tower of Terror is fun too. I hope they don't re-theme this version too.

 

Magic Kingdom is next.

 

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I'm still not used to the name change and still call the park MGM.

 

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I'm determined to eventually get over 200,000 points.

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I've never been to WDW for Christmas Eve/Day. I have been there during the first week of December and from the 26th on for New Years and at Disneyland as late as December 20th, but never Christmas itself.

 

Curious, did MGM (I still call it that too) even seem like a park? With so much of it closed and even fewer attractions than normal, it has to seem REALLY small.

 

Looking forward to more of your report!

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Yoshi    96

It really felt like a lot more was needed. We only spent about 7 hours there and that was enough time to go on all 5 rides, watch Muppet Vision, Beauty & The Beast and Fantasmic. On a really crowded day it must be horrible to walk around with so much closed. The area where Muppet Vision exits was a little difficult to walk around in after the show lets out since everyone was forced to go in 1 direction.

 

This was the first trip we were there on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 10 years. We try not to go to Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day to avoid the crowds and that usually works. On Christmas Day during this trip we went to Animal Kingdom and Kilimanjaro Safari had a 10 minute standby wait at 2:00.

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The Master    38

I am surprised that not all four parks would be overflowing on Christmas day.

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They only had to close the Magic Kingdom for part of New Years Eve this year. Ticket pricing has surely made an impact on attendance but Disney might say that is what they hoped to do with high season surcharges.

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Yoshi    96

I originally wasn't happy with going to The Magic Kingdom on the same day as Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party except that was the only day we could get a reservation for Be Our Guest for lunch and the park closing at 7:00 for non party guests did seem to help keep crowds lower.

 

Buzz Lightyear's Spaceranger Spin was the first ride of the day. I like Disneyland's version better with guns that aren't attached to the car although this version is still fun and I am looking forward Justice League and having a high quality dark ride closet to home.

 

It seemed like Fastpass lines were shorter and moved faster compared to past trips. It took 7 minutes from entering the Fastpass line to boarding a ride vehicle. I'm glad I rode the Alpha side a few times years ago because it looks like Omega is now for Fastpass with the Alpha side having switchbacks in the station area. The standby wait was posted at 90 minutes yet was barely at the old merge point and 2 days later it was posted to be 70 minutes with a line much further back to where the video games area in the queue. Space Mountain seemed to be running smoother than the last time I rode the coaster and it's a lot of fun. It is difficult to believe it only goes 28 mph considering both Harley Quinn Crazy Train and Runaway Mine Train are both faster.

 

The People Mover is another ride I really like with the model of Progress City and taking a tour of Tomorrowland. I hope the ride isn't removed like Disneyland's version was.

 

Tomrrowland Speedway used to be my favorite car ride, now it's Autopia. I like how there are 4 lanes to add to the "racing" aspect.

 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was another ride I was glad to have Fastpass for since the standby wait was 110 minutes. After getting the front row on the last trip, I was happy to get to try the last row this time and it made a big difference with the cars rocking more compared to the front and middle of the train making it a slightly wilder ride. I still would have liked to have seen more of a coaster section since the ride is really short.

 

We went to Fantasyland to go to our lunch reservation. After entering the line, you go to a kiosk or regular register and then select 1 of 3 dining areas and your food is brough out to you on a push trolley. The theming of the restaurant was really well done with each room different and I liked how in the main room it looked like it was snowing outside. I'm glad we had a chance to try the restaurant but wouldn't go back so fast unless we had the dining plan and could get a reservation easily especially because for a counter service meal, it took probably around 40 minutes from getting in line to getting the food at your table.

 

Peter Pan's Flight was next. I had heard that the Fastpass to Standby ration was 70 Fastpass to 30 Standby. That really didn't seem to be the case here or any rides as they let a lot of Fastpass people in past the merge point and only 1 group from Standby before going back to the Fastpass line. It made the wait around 5 minutes for Fastpass but on some popular rides, I don't think I would want to wait in a line that barely moves.

 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was fun and about equal to Disneyland's version except I thought the dynamite effects on the 3rd lift hill in California were better. I still prefer mine train coasters like Runaway Mine Train that have 1 lift so you constantly aren't hitting brakes to slow down for another lifthill.

 

After watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade we went to It's A Small World and then to The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh that I had booked Fastpass+ for while waiting for the parade. After that we went to The Little Mermaid ride and to Adventureland to ride the Jingle Cruise. There were presents floating in the water and some of the audio animatronics had some differences like wearing Santa hats.

 

It was around 6:30 and we decided to leave since we were going to return on Saturday. We took the monorail to the Contempo Cafe for dinner and the monorail had a breakdown while waiting to get back to the Ticket and Transportation Center. After about a 30 minute delay, we got back to the car and went to Disney Springs. World of Disney was very crowded although not nearly as crowded as it would be 3 days later.

 

Epcot will be posted next.

 

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Yoshi    96

Thank you

 

The hub looked nice with the grass areas and and fountains. I would have liked to have seen the grass areas remain as Fastpass choices for Wishes.

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GAcoaster    80

So, on Christmas day (which was the busiest day MK had in 2016), the park never "phased" (turning guests away). From what I understand the new VP in charge of Magic Kingdom doesn't want to phase the park unless it's absolutely necessary citing the increased area n the park with the new hub and the backstage bypass road behind Main Street. Never mind there are no more attractions for those guests, there's just more physical space for them. I heard several cast members got yelled at because of the crowds. Later in the week on New Year's eve, the park phased with no where near the same number of guests in it, so I have a feeling he may have learned a lesson.

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Yoshi    96

I thought it was strange Magic Kingdom didn't even get to Phase A on Christmas Day. Maybe that was why the other parks were less crowded that day?

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Mr.Six    33

I like the waterfall picture the most. The next time I'll be in Florida is on a cruise. Hope to go down again in the coming years.

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Yoshi    96

After getting to Epcot, the first ride we went to was Test Track. The ride is still fun although I liked the original version a lot better with more see during the ride than blue lights. Even though the cars moved slower, I liked Radiator Springs Racers better. Test Track is my favorite ride at Epcot even with the changes to the ride.

 

We went back to Spaceship Earth to use Fastpass. It's a shame this is the last of the classic Epcot Omnimover rides left that hasn't changed that much except for the backwards portion of the ride. I hope the ride stays as it is for a while and doesn't get removed for something like a coaster inside the ride building.

 

The Living Seas was next where we also had Fastpass. It really wasn't needed but thanks to the tier 1 and tier 2 Fastpass options, there wasn't anything else we wanted to use Fastpass on. It's nice to have a ride back in the pavilion. After the ride, we walked around the aquarium area and went up to the 2nd floor that I hadn't been to in at least 4 or 5 trips.

 

Journey Into Imagination With Figment is ok and better than the Journey Into Your Imagination version and I really miss the original version of the ride. The Imageworks area is in bad shape with around half the computer stations broken and not much else to see. The original Imageworks with the rainbow tunnel was a lot better.

 

The 3rd Soarin' theater seemed to help with lines since the posted wait was 45 minutes when we went into The Land pavilion. After lunch we went to Living With The Land. There was less narration in the beginning section of the ride and the live alligators were removed from the section of the ride right before the greenhouses.

 

The Disney Visa character meet and greet was moved from Innoventions to the Imagination pavilion. The meet and greet room is now a lot smaller with less background scenery. Surprisingly, there was only 1 group in line. Instead of a voucher for a free 5" x 7" printout of a picture from the meet and greet, you now get all the pictures available to download from PhotoPass for free. Minnie and Pluto were the 2 characters that were in the room for the meet and greet.

 

Universe of Energy was closed earlier in the day and closed again when we were going to stop there before going to World Showcase. I didn't care that much to skip the ride except for the rumors it might be closing for a new ride.

 

The Gran Fiesta Tour was ok and the final scene that has been updated with Donald and 2 other characters from the Mickey Mouse Revue made the ride better since they are audio animatronics and not just more screens like their appearances in the rest of the ride.

 

The Frozen ride was the next stop. Like Universe of Energy, it also had multiple breakdowns throughout the day. I liked Maelstrom and don't like seeing Frozen everywhere in the parks and wasn't happy to see Maelstrom close. I don't think that a ride based on a fictional place really fits in World Showcase and would have been better for Hollywood Studios were there are so few rides. The posted standby wait was 130 minutes. The Fastpass line was almost outside and took around 20 minutes. With how slow the standby line was moving and the line not even outside, it looked longer than just over 2 hours. I'm going to use a spoiler tag to post about the ride since it's new and someone doesn't want to read about it.

 

 

Unlike Maelstrom that turned out of the station and went to the lift hill, there are some curved sections of track with Olaf and then you get to the lift hill. After the lift hill are Anna, Elsa and a moose and where the trolls were that send you backwards is now Elsa and "Let It Go" plays with screens all over to I think be a castle. The polar bears were removed from the ride and when you get to the turn around before the drop, the cave opening is closed to the outside. After the drop there is a short section where you see Anna and Elsa again before getting to the station. There are very few audio animatronics and unlike older dark rides based on Disney movies, it was difficult to understand what was going on if you hadn't seen the movie (I haven't seen it and don't plan to).

 

 

I don't feel it was worth a tier 1 Fastpass and would only go to the ride on a future trip if the wait was 20 minutes or less which I know probably won't happen even if 4 or 5 years.

 

We walked around the rest of World Showcase stopping at Canada to see the Circlevision 360 film. I wasn't expecting to see a reminder of the Phillies losing the 1993 World Series to the Blue Jays because of a walk off home run in the film.

 

After stopping at Club Cool to try some Coca Cola products from all over the world (Beverly wasn't as horrible as I was expecting although still bad) we went to The Polynesian to have dinner at Captain Cook's.

 

Typhoon Lagoon which was a new park for me will be posted next.

 

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Even the fish get a reindeer and Christmas Tree

 

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Mr.Six    33

Fantastic Report! Looking Foward to seeing Typhoon Lagoon's!

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Yoshi    96

Thank you, I'll probably have the next section posted on Monday night.

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The Master    38

Typhoon Lagoon is one of my favorite water parks. Shame they closed down Shark Reef.

 

Frozen is just a ok film, though I found Anna obnoxious and the film is very overhyped.

Edited by The Master

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Yoshi    96

From the videos I saw, Shark Reef looked like it was fun. With Shark Reef closed and the food place closed (maybe because of low crowds), that section of the park was really quiet.

 

Day 6, 12/24

 

It was strange to be going to a water park in December and I was looking forward to it with the water park offseason almost 9 months in this area unless you go to an indoor water park. I had seen Typhoon Lagoon in Disney World promotional videos in the 90s and always wanted to get there.

 

Even though it was warm enough for a water park day, with the high temperature 83 degrees. Maybe it was too cold for locals and combined with it being the last day the park was open before the annual refurbishment, crowds were very low. Unlike the theme parks there were no parking booths and no metal detectors. There was a short walk from the entrance to the main area of the park.

 

Crush N Gusher were the first slides. I have wanted to try a water coaster for over 10 years and finally got the chance. This is the only traditional looking slide tower in the park although there was some theming. All sides allowed double riders and Coconut Crusher allowed single riders and double riders. I wasn't sure if that was for capacity reasons or because of the layout of the slides. Coconut Crusher was first and as soon as we got to the first uphill section I could tell these were going to be my favorite water slides anywhere. It was a lot of fun traveling uphill on a water slide and I liked the drops right out of the station. Dispatches were really fast. I liked Pineapple Plunger and Banana Blaster but Coconut Crusher was my favorite of the 3 slides with the 2 drops and uphill sections in a row. The regular pool near the slides was also nice especially for anyone not sliding and waiting for others.

 

Castaway Creek was a great lazy river that took around 20 minutes for a full circuit. Unlike at Dorney, you could stay in for multiple laps if you wanted and also looked like an interesting way to travel around the park compared to lazy rivers that only have 1 entrance and 1 exit. After going into the wave pool for a few minutes we went to try some more slides.

 

Gangplank Falls is the family raft slide. Unlike newer family raft slides, this one requires you to carry the raft up some stairs although not too many. This slide was just ok. It doesn't move very fast with no real drops and was short. It was worth the close to 10 minute wait although not much more than that. The new family raft slide being built near Crush N Gusher looks like it will be better.

 

Mayday Falls had the longest wait of the day at around 10 minutes. After getting a tube, there were stairs that went up and down like many slides in the park. This slide reminded me a little of Riptide Run at Dorney without the pools in the middle. Both slides had a similar rubber or foam type material and there were some bumps in the slide. It was fun and not that intense.

 

I couldn't tell if Keelhaul Falls had the same material for the slide as Mayday Falls or was concrete. I liked this slide more than Mayday Falls with the long spiral before the end and then going up the side of the slide at the end of the spiral.

 

Leaning Palms was open for lunch and was the only full scale quick service place open and they were out of a few entree choices because they were closing the next day.

 

After lunch we went back to the slides that were missed. Storm Slides are traditional open body slides. I liked the red lights and green lights so you knew when to start sliding without having to have the lifeguard tell you. I liked the middle slide the best and the slide on the right was a little uncomfortable when you slid over a seam in the slide.

 

The last slides were Humunga Kowabunga. I didn't realize they were enclosed and looking it up later, I saw they originally open slides and there were only 2 slides which did match my memory from those promotional videos where the slides weren't enclosed. The drop on the slides was good but the run out was painful although not as bad as the Speed Slides at Dorney. Even with no wait, 1 slide was enough for me.

 

On the way back to the front of the park, I wanted to ride Crush N Gusher again and rode Coconut Crusher as a single rider.

 

I liked that you were allowed to wear aqua socks on all the tube slides and how many of the slides were built into the terrain.

 

The merchandise store at the front of the park had nothing with Typhoon Lagoon on it. Since it was a new park for me, I wanted to get something but couldn't find anything and just got a pressed penny since almost all the merchandise was bathing suit and non Disney shirts, beach toys and regular Disney parks merchandise you can find all over the property.

 

Overall the slides were fun and I liked the park but felt like there should have been more slides. There are only 10 unique slides or 12 slides total if you count all 3 Humunga Kowabunga slides even though they are the same. On a crowded day, I can see the place a lot less fun if you have to wait 30 - 45 minutes for a 20 second slide and I wouldn't want to wait close to 2 hours to try all 3 Crush N Gusher slides. The new family raft slide will help but if Shark Reef is closed then it really doesn't help much. That was my main complaint with Blizzard Beach when I was there too. If you only count unique slides, Wildwater Kingdom has 22 slides and that is a regional water park. I don't know if Typhoon Lagoon needs that many, just that they could use at least a few more slides. I'm glad I was able to go to the park and would return again if I had the Water Park & Fun option since I don't think it's worth the $60 admission cost.

 

I don't have any pictures from this part of the report since my phone was in the car. The 2nd half of the day at Magic Kingdom will be posted next.

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The Master    38

Keelhaul Falls is a concrete slide. If you check the underside of its tubes, you will see they are worn smooth from the concrete. Inner tubes usually have a texture finish. Many of Typhoon Lagoon's slides are older style slides you do not see much anymore. In the picture for their new family slide, it looks like guests will ride the rafts up the lift belt.

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Yoshi    96

I thought it was concrete and then started to question it when I looked up the slide names on an unofficial site so I didn't get the names confused and they stated it was foam and then started to question if I was remembering correctly. Riding up the lift on the new slide should be good since 100+ stairs like at Aquablast might be too much for little kids or older visitors.

 

Magic Kingdom was more crowded than 2 days before but that was to be expected with it being Christmas Eve.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean was the first ride. The standby line was 45 minutes and around 10 with Fastpass. I would like to see these high capacity boat rides go back to standby only like in Disneyland where the line never stopped moving and what would have probably been 30+ minutes in Florida was under 10. Pirates of the Caribbean is good with a lot to see and after riding the Disneyland version feels a little incomplete with parts of that ride missing in Florida.

 

Splash Mountain was next. 80 minute standby wait, Fastpass was only 2 or 3 minutes which was the shortest wait I have ever seen other than right at opening. This is my favorite log flume with the multiple drops, up hill section and dark ride sections and one of the few rides where I prefer Disney World's version to Disneyland's version.

 

We had time before the next Fastpass and went to Hall of Presidents. After that it was time for our Haunted Mansion Fastpass. It's a fun ride although I think it the Doom Buggies move too fast to see all the scenery and theming in the ride.

 

After booking Fastpass for Space Mountain (even with crowds, I found that if you booked them separate with overlapping times for everyone it was still possible to book many rides even later in the day) we went to Mickey's PhilharMagic and then back into Tomorrowland. Cosmic Ray's now has the same food at all the bays compared to years ago when each bay had different items.

 

Space Mountain had a posted 70 minute wait with the line much further back compared to Thursday when it was a posted 90 minute wait. Like 2 days ago, it was under 10 minutes for Fastpass.

 

Before going to Wishes I booked Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear's Spaceranger Spin again booking everyone separate rather than everyone in the same Fastpass group. It wasn't until 10:45 so I wasn't sure if we were going to stay that late or not.

 

We went to see Wishes and I regretted it. Normally there is some crowd control near the hub area. Tonight other than a few people on the bridge from the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland border maybe 30 feet from the hub it was a free for all. There were way too many people in the area and almost at the edge of the hub and realizing I didn't want to stay, I didn't have a choice since a few minutes later there were so many people you were basically trapped and unable to leave without forcing your way through the crowds. I have seen fireworks in Magic Kingdom many times over the years and never saw it this bad to the point you barely had enough room to stand even away from the center of the hub. After the fireworks ended, it took around 15 minutes to start moving back to Tomorrowland. Lots of people were annoyed and rightfully so. Next time, I'm either going to watch the fireworks from Fantasyland or skip them all together since I would have ridden the People Mover a few times than deal with that again.

 

Getting back into Tomorrowland we went to Carousel of Progress and then the People Mover. As soon as we entered the Space Mountain building and saw lights I was hoping that meant we would get to see Space Mountain with the lights on. Unfortunately, by the time you get to the ride area that isn't blocked by walls, the ride starts to speed up but it was still cool to see the ride track with lights even if it was only for maybe 10 seconds.

 

Buzz's line was barely out of the building and had a posted 25 minute wait, in the pre Fastpass days, that probably would have been 10 minutes. The ride was fun as always. It was after 11:00 at this point and knowing it would take an hour by the time we got back to the room and it being too late to book more anything else on Fastpass we went to the Emporium and then back to the monorails.

 

Animal Kingdom will be posted next.

 

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The Master    38

One is foam and the other concrete, but I can't remember which name is which off hand, but the rough bumpy surface slide is concrete. Both are old designs as most modern slides are fiberglass. That ride up lift sounds cool. Shame WDW does not do Christmas layovers for Haunted Mansion and Small World like Disneyland. But with both being close to each other, and SW right across from Peter Pan, the traffic in that section would be very bad. Plus in the South they would have to worry about fundamentalists raising a fit over a Haunted Mansion Holiday. Also a shame they no longer do the Country Bears Christmas layover either.

 

Out in Disneyland their hub gets jammed too for the fireworks, it is why I do not bother watching them form there. For Mickey's Halloween Party at WDW, I watched the fireworks from the Tomorrowland bridge, the dock bypass in Frontierland is good too. I really hate that trapped feeling. Neat you able to ride Space Mt with the lights on.

Edited by The Master

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Yoshi    96

I liked how at Disneyland they had projections for the fireworks on It's A Small World and I think the Matterhorn as well. It was much better watching the fireworks in Fantasyland with low crowds.

 

Day 7, 12/25

 

After leaving All Star Sports for the last time this trip, we drove over to Animal Kingdom.

 

Dinosaur was first and having Fastpass didn't make the line shorter since there was only a few minute wait. After the pre-show, only 1 staircase was open causing the line to be backed into the exit of the pre-show area without the rope queues normally setup. The ride is fun and almost difficult to believe that Dinosaur and Indiana Jones Adventure share the same ride layout and vehicles since Dinosaur has too many areas in the dark and the theming doesn't seem as detailed.

 

Primeval Whirl was 10 minutes. I thought maybe this trip I would finally ride the left track to add it to my coaster count except it was closed so I rode the right side again. I like that there isn't that much spinning compared to Sierra Sidewinder.

 

Expedition Everest had a 35 minute standby wait and with the single rider line kind of hidden away, not many people seem to know about it and there was only a 2 train wait. I would have liked to have taken advantage of the short single rider line and ridden the coaster a few times but the backwards section makes me a little dizzy so I only rode the coaster once. I can't figure out why that happens since it doesn't go upside down and on a boomerang that goes backwards, I don't get dizzy. The rest of the coaster is great and even with the Yeti broken, has otherwise good theming.

 

Kali River Rapids was skipped since no one felt like taking the chance on getting soaked.

 

After lunch at the counter service Yak & Yeti location, we went to Kilimanjaro Safari. The standby wait was 10 minutes and another ride where Fastpass wasn't needed. The cast member at the entrance was saying how it was a Christmas Miracle that the line was so short. I would have liked to have tried the new night time safari except we weren't staying that late. There are a lot of animals to see although I always thought Great Adventure's Safari was better (or at least the drive through version since I still have yet to try SORA). Since it was near the exit to the ride, we walked through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

 

It's Tough To Be A Bug was another attraction that didn't have a line that we had Fastpass for. It's a fun show and I like at the end when everyone starts to scream because they are surprised when the bugs exit the theater first.

 

DisneyQuest is going to be the final part of the report.

 

 

 

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Every time I am on Primeval Whirl I get this image of a reporter talking about how stress fractures were the cause of our car crashing off the track. It's not until about half way through the ride and the rails are only a few feet off ground that I think to myself that I can survive the car coming off here... hopefully!

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GAcoaster    80

I do the same thing on every wild mouse. The words "metal fatigue" and "stress fracture" just always run through my head. I guess because they seem so insubstantial compared to a major coaster.

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Yoshi    96

I guess that is one benefit for an enclosed mouse ride like The Dark Knight. With all the theming to look at and the supports in the dark, they aren't as noticeable.

 

Disney Springs was the opposite of Animal Kingdom, extremely crowded with both the orange and lime parking garages having full signs. There were a few spots in the orange garage and the walkways in Disney Spring were full of people. The movie theater had a very long line maybe locals?

 

I have wanted to go to Disney Quest ever since it opened. The one time during a past trip we considered going it was raining and the person at the ticket booth warned us it was very crowded inside so we decided against it. On other trips it never seemed worth the cost when to add another theme park day was $10 or less (or even now at around $15 after the 4th day). Disney Quest wasn't crowded at all for the crowds at Disney Springs. Even knowing the technology was out of date, I still thought it would be fun since I really like video games.

 

I had heard Genie welcomes you to the building when you get in the elevator and that didn't happen. The elevator took us to the 3rd floor and near the entrance to Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster bumper cars. There was no wait and after a few minutes at the boarding area where the ride operators were trying to fix something, we entered the arena. I was surprised the doors didn't have some kind of lock. The ride seemed fun although was a little difficult to drive and shoot at the same time with only 1 person in the car. After about 45 seconds the ride broke down again and we had to exit the ride.

 

Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam next. It was fun to stand on the disc and lean to move around and try to get the puck past the goalie but I thought with only 2 people playing maybe it wasn't as hectic as if there were 12 players. The rest of the floor was just video games. I was looking for the Fix It Felix machines and didn't see them. I later found out they were removed.

 

The 4th floor had a food place and just more video games. Ride The Comix still had the platforms where you played the game on both the 4th and 5th floor and they were empty.

 

The 5th floor had a closed food place a few video games and Invasion Alien Encounter. This was a shooting and piloting game depending on what role you chose that used some kind of mirrors or projections to make the game area seem larger than it was. It was ok but not something I would rush back to try unless there was no line like on this trip.

 

The 2nd floor was where things started to get worse. Sid's Create A Toy wasn't working with with the controls jumping around and not staying in place making it unplayable. There were booths where you could create your own song and of the 3 booths that weren't being used, 2 had touch screens that didn't work. There was also Animation Academy on this floor and a class was supposed to start in a few minutes. After waiting around for 10 minutes past the starting time, no one showed up either to have the class or to say there wasn't going to be a class. I know the sign said times could change without notice but if they cancelled the class, a cast member should have removed the time from the board or someone should have mentioned there wasn't going to be a class. With Animation Academy gone from Hollywood Studios I was looking forward to trying it again without going to California Adventure. There used to be an area where you could buy a CD of the song you created, the toy you designed from Sid's or a printout of the drawing from Animation Academy. Now this area was just some massage chairs that cost extra to use.

 

Cyber Space Mountain was also on the 2nd floor but seeing the design of the cars and how it looked claustrophobic, not liking Star Tours and it being the only attraction with a line, I didn't feel like taking a chance on riding.

 

Virtual Jungle Cruise was cool with the raft you sit in and then when the game starts, the blue area that is supposed to be water inflates the the game area. Even making sure the wheels on the paddles where rolling along the blue area, it didn't seem that responsive and wasn't expecting the raft to tilt so much with basically no restraints except for straps for your feet to go in. This was another attraction that was just ok. There were more video games on this floor, many of the exact same game.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold was the other major attraction on the first floor and was the highlight of the trip to Disney Quest. 1 person pilots the boat while everyone else fires cannons similar to the pull string controls at Toy Story Mania. This was also an attraction with 3D glasses and the boat moving up and down although we were told they could turn the moving off. It was a lot of fun steering the ship around and also trying to fire the cannons. Unfortunately we weren't able to defeat the ghost pirate at the end. I guess you need 4 or 5 people to stand a chance at that.

 

I did play a few regular video games while we were there but didn't want to spend too much time since I wanted to focus on the unique Disney Quest attractions and we were leaving to drive home after Downtown Disney and didn't want to leave too late.

 

Like Typhoon Lagoon there was no Disney Quest merchandise in the gift shop and just regular Disney World items.

 

If Disney Quest was a local place, I could see spending hours there playing the video games and other attractions and if the Philadelphia location had opened when I was in high school or college like the original plan was before it was cancelled, it would have been fun to spend the day there with a few friends and maybe even worth getting an annual pass for. With the current state of the building with so many attractions either closed, removed or not working I was a little disappointed with the place. I was glad I finally go to see the place especially with the announcement it will be closing this summer and was worth using a Water Park and Fun credit on but not worth the $45 admission it would cost to go in if paying out of pocket.

 

After Disney Quest we went back to Wolfgang Puck Express at the Marketplace and then to some stores in the area to use all the snack credits we had leftover to bring the snacks home. The Marketplace area of Disney Springs was even more crowded than the West Side with it being difficult just to walk around in some of the more congested areas.

 

Overall, it was a mostly fun trip and was nice to try some new places like Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Quest. I'm in no rush to return until some new rides open though.

 

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robertleax    12

The only thing I really enjoyed was Cyber Space Mountain. It was fun building your own coaster and then ride it. Of course had to make it the most intense (I believe they rated the coaster thrill level 1-5, but not sure).

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