So I had decided back in August that I was going to take a vacation in October. It was going to either be a long weekend in Vegas or a 6 day vacation to Disney World, and if you are smart and read the title of this blog, then you know where I went.
I decided on WDW because it was actually cheaper, and I was just in Vegas last year, and hadn't been to WDW in a couple of years. So WDW was the clear winner.
I booked everything through their website, as I had decided to stay on property. I decided to stay at the Pop Century Resort, which is themed on pop culture icons from the 50's, 60's, 70', 80's and 90's. Each building had something akin to that era (ie. 50's had a bowling pin, 60's had Play-Doh, 70's had 8-trax, 80's had Rubix Cube, and the 90's had celphones).
I was staying in the 60's building and so this was right outside my room. All in all the hotel was great. It was cheap, had a great theme and was close to most of the parks via the Disney transportation system.
Anyway, enough about the hotel... lets get into the heart of this trip... the theme parks.
Day 1: Disney Hollywood Studios
When I got to Florida, I decided to hit up DHS first, because I figured that park would be the least crowded and I would be able to see everything the park had to offer.
My first stop to the park was the new Toy Story Mania ride, which is a 3-D shooting game based on carnival games with Toy Story characters as your hosts.
The entire queue area is made to look like a giant toy chest filled with games, and toys from our past, and present. Toys like Candy Land, Spin Art, and they even had discs from those old Viewfinder toys...
The queue also has a really cool animatronic Mr. Potato Head that interacts with the guests who are waiting. This was very impressive.
The ride itself is fun, with you basically riding through different zones of a Midway. Some games were ring toss, balloon pop, and plate smashing. Your ride vehicle is equipped with a gun that fires its virtual ammo via a slingshot-esque firing mechanism. This was fun for the first few seconds of the ride, but by the end my arm was killing me, and I had wished they opted for the traditional gun trigger (PS. They got rid of the single riders line... man that really annoyed me).
Anyway, skipping along so that this blog is not as big as War & Peace, I hit the other usual rides in the park (Great Movie Ride, Star Tours, Aerosmith Rock n Roller Coaster and the Hollywood Tower of Terror).
And so ends my first day at WDW. Thanks DHS for a good first day...
Day 2: Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center
So for my first full day in WDW I decided to hit up Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center.
Animal Kingdom is the nicest of all the parks, and one of my favorites because of Expedition Everest, a cool dark coaster where you go face to face with the Yeti.
One of the other cool rides that they have in the park is the Kilimanjaro Safari's, which takes you around a pseudo-Savannah where you can gawk at animals that are so hopped up on Valiums that they just kind of stand there...
There was much more I saw and did at the park, but I want to move on to Epcot Center...
I went to Epcot basically for the Food & Wine Festival which is a collection of lands in the World Showcase, some that are there permanently and some that are temporary and are there just for Food & Wine.
The food was amazing. Some I have had before and some I was trying for the first time, and each thing I tried I loved. If you ever want to eat some amazing food, try to plan a trip down during this Festival, as you will really enjoy it.
Epcot was fun and I enjoyed the Food & Wine so much that I went back on my 4th day there.
Day 3: Magic Kingdom and Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party
Day 3 saw me hit up the original "theme" park, the Magic Kingdom. This park holds the most memories for me and every time I step onto Main St. USA I feel like a kid again, and I challenge anyone to not feel the same way.
The park was decked out for Halloween, and they really did an amazing job with it.
Disney has the most amount of rides for all different age groups. My personal favorite is the Haunted Mansion, which recently underwent a rehab, and is even better than what I remember.
I made sure to hit up the Magic Kingdom on this day because it was also the Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party. Basically they close the park at a certain time and then reopen it an hour or so later for guests who purchased a ticket to the event. Parents and kids come dressed in their favorite costume and the park has certain areas setup for trick or treating. I left the park with a full bag of candy, which is now all gone.
The park also puts on a special version of its nightly fireworks show "Wishes", called "Hallowishes." This is more or less a fireworks display based on the more popular Disney Villains. Unfortunately this was my frist attempt at shooting fireworks with my Rebel XTi and without the use of a tripod or shutter release button, most of them came out a little blurry.
After the fireworks show was over I decided to head back to the hotel, because I was utterly defeated by this park, and tomorrow was another big day...so I needed my sleep.
Day 4: Universal Studios & Halloween Horror Nights
One of the main reasons I decided to come down to WDW was because Universal was putting on its amazing Halloween Horror Nights. Which if you have never experienced is a sin. If you like to get the **** scared out of you and you love Halloween, you need to visit either Universal Park (Orlando or Hollywood) and experience this.
My first stop was to Islands of Adventure where I had to ride Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk Coaster. Both of these rides are A+ in my book and should be experienced by everyone.
After walking through all the lands they have...
most of which are not pictured I went over to Universal Studios to hit up the new Simpsons ride.
I have to say that the Simpsons Ride has to be the funniest ride I have ever been on. I was laughing from the Pre-show all the way through the entire ride and as I walking down the exit ramps. If you are or have been a fan of The Simpsons, you definitely need to check this out.
At about 5pm the park closed so that they could clean up and setup for Halloween Horror Nights. Any guest who had a ticket already for HHN (like me) was able to stay in the park in a roped off area until the park was ready to go.
I have to say this was a great event. The park is done up so well that every little thing they do just adds to the overall theme.
Once again my hat is off to Universal for putting on an amazing event. If it was possible I would go every year just to go to this event... thats how much I like it.
Day 5: Epcot and Magic Kingdom Pt 2.
This was my last full day in WDW, so I decided to hit up Epcot again and try out some food that I didn't get a chance to try the other day. By the time I was done I was not only full, but I was so ****faced from all the beer, that I couldn't walk a straight line... FUN TIMES!!!!
At night I went back to the Magic Kingdom for the sole purpose of checking out the "Wishes" fireworks display. Its a great 15 minute show, and they really do an amazing job with it.
After the show ended, I headed back to the exit and hopped on the bus back to the hotel, where I passed out in about 5 seconds... that's how tired I was.
Day 6: The long road back to reality!!!
This was my last day. I packed up my stuff and headed out. All in All I had a great time and enjoyed each day I was there, even though I couldn't feel my feet anymore and I was so shot that I couldn't wait to get home...but alas I will miss it.
Well I hope you enjoyed my report of my trip down to Disney. If you would like to see all the pictures I took on vacation (all 220 of them) head over to my flickr page...
Disney and Universal 2008 - a set on Flickr