Disneys Animal Kingdom
we went to animal kingdom first. It was my first experience of Everest, It was mid build last time we visited. It was an excellent experience, but I definately feel the Yeti being in B mode detracted from it. I was forced to imagine how good it could have been and I hope they fix it soon. I did particularly like the cavern where he bounces across the wall in silouhette, and feel that for the best first timer experience you need to sit nearer the back of the car if you can. I also liked how the ride went in and out of the caverns more than once. Using a combination of single rider lines and the start of magic hours we managed to get 3 rides back to back and had our fill for the trip. Excellent ride, definately on my repeat list next visit.
Kilimanjaro Safari's was as good as ever, with some reasonable pictures of the animals. The river rapids we did last thing at night, and my daughter who is almost three and only just tall enough to ride got absolutely soaked, with some loving from Mum she enjoyed the rest of the ride.
We all enjoyed flights of wonder, which was better than I remembered, it was a weather reduced show, but I think that was due to caution as there was not actually any visible impact of the weather and I couldn't remember any of it that was missing, but it had been a while.
It's tough to be a bug was not as good as I remembered, I can't recall whether there were effects that I remember from last timewere not working, but I wasn't impressed, the base of the tree and the passageways on the approach were as good as ever though.
The lion King was excellent as always with the acrobat monkeys and singers being the stand out stars.
Finding Nemo the musical - First experience of this as well, Whilst it works as a show and is quite good. I definately think it suffers because it has an original score. You are not able to sing the songs before you go in, as you can witht he Lion King. Personally, I preferred Tarzan rocks.
Primeval Whirl was every bit as Back jarring as I remember. I won't be in a rush to ride again, though I did see a moment where a "lost" item was retrieved from a car and the look of happiness on a youing girls face, when reinuted with her pins or whatever it was similar, was nice to see.
I skipped Dinosaur, I remembered the bone jarring qualities it has, but didn't remember the ride itself being worth putting up with the discomfort. All I remember from last time was thinking "I wish this was Indy". The Boys enjoyed it though and came out with suitably impressed faces.
Not a lot in the way of Pictures...
Doesn't that plate look a bit mickey shaped :
Random Shot of Tree of Life.... I'm hoping that "it's a small world" and someone recognises themself
Epcot was the only day I managed to raise the rabble for a rope drop at a major park. We did Future world one morning and came back for world showcase on another couple of occasions.
Test Track was a walk on, because we were early, one nephew was impressed, the other was very impressed. I've been there before and found it to be ok. I like how 60+ MPH impresses some Americans, when us Brits do 90+ when commuting. (except me officer, honest!)
Mission Space - Orange of course, This was excellent in what it did in terms of the effects, I like how the boys were conned regarding the importance of the switches being pressed at the righht time.
Turtle talk with crush - My first experience of the technology was a good one, It was a seamless show which was pitched at suitable levels such that both the kids and the adults enjoyed it. It had my partner asking How they did it on the way out.
The nemo ride was good, I was particularly impressed by the way the screens blended with jumping from one to another. The screens do not photograph well :-)
Spaceship Earth was my very first attraction in 2003 and I was not impressed by it then, (expectations were high). This time around however I was quite impressed by it, particularly the animatronics realism, and that I knew the right time of day to ride with minimal queue.
Both lads were impressed with Ellens Energy adventure, and despite it's loudness, my Daughter managed to have a nice nap in there. Ellen was down to 5 cars, with a big hole revealing the fact that it was a car and the tracks. The first time I went on it I was oblivious to the fact that i'd sat in a car (I don't know how either!). I was impressed by the way things just got larger as the show progressed and then developed into a ride. It was the same for the first timers this time, but I definately wish they could have been ignorant of the moving vehicles until they moved.
Soarin - same excellence as previous, we fastpassed it, so i didn't get to see the games in the standby queue.
Journey into imagination was fun, but they don't prepare you for the part where it makes everyone jump. Although they did start singing almost immediiately which made it easy to calm my daughter.
Honey I shrunk the Audience was skipped.
Innoventions was fun with us playing the fire safety game, and the IBM be a character game.
Sunshine seasons was reasonable food, though I missed living with the land and the fountain in the middle.
Klub Kool provided me with a good memory, one of my nephews has Italian roots, which I had been reminding him of in the run up to the holiday. This was in readiness to pull a Beverly stunt on him. As it turned out I didn't need to, he made a beeline for it and whist smiling and saying "Viva Italia", started to down it....it was a priceless face change :-)
Still havent seen the china or Canada shows after a total of 42 Days in Florida.
Gran Fiesta tour was passable for the relaxation. the screens were crisp and bright, but the ride didn't engage me particularly. No wait at all though.
Caught the Voices of Liberty for the first time and whilst the actual songs were of no appeal to me as a brit, they were definately well sung, and I was impressed with the performance if not the material.
The fife and Drum parade was good, as werethe Japanese drummers. I was a bit uncomfortable with the advertising of "talented children" in China, the name grabbing my attention more than the act did, though we only saw the back end of the show.
With a new Recruit.
Talented Chineses children ... or something close to that. I must admit I was a bit disturbed by the description, we only caught the very end of the act so I'm not sure how good they really were, but the last 2 minutes doesn.t suggest much!
Songs had nil cultural reference for me, but the singers were clearly good.
Some Spaceship Earth/Monorails pics...taken as we were leaving !
The great movie ride - skipped, I've been previously, and the kids weren't going to get most of the film references.
Sounds Dangerous - No, it Sounds Boring and shut !
Indiana Jones - This was as I remember, but it did provide a nice moment when my youngest nephew was genuinely scared for the safety of Indy when they called cut on the first scene, he thought he'd been rolled !
Star Tours - As you can Tell I'm not a fan of the bone shakers, left this to the kids, as with Dinosaur, they liked it.
Muppet 3d - The only one of the 3d shows that came anywhere near to living up to memories. Still my favourite.
Lights motors action - we had a breakdown (Stering Rack) which provided a bit of variety. The 2 boys were very impressed by this, one is a car nut.
Toy Story midway mania We weren't prepared to queue for ridiculous times, so only did it once via a fastpass. It was a good attraction. I'd like to have a few rides and give it's lasting appeal a decent appraisal. Whilst the technology is still new, it's a definite hit, I fear it's not got real staying power once the technology is put to a more story based use elsewhere though.
Backlot tour - It's a shadow of "my" previous experiences, so what it must be like to those that saw it's heyday.....well lets just say that it seems it's not being looked after as it could be.
Tower of Terror - This is absolutely my Favourite attraction in any of the parks, theme, story, physical effect, all blended into a superb piece of Imagineering.
Rock n Rollercoaster - Another hit, but then I like Aerosmith, which does add to it. A hit with both the boys who would have been happy to spend a day going between this and Tower of Terror. We did get some fastpasses off a CM when we got our timing just right (we enquired about the single rider line, just as it went down).
Playhouse Disney - We had a 2 year old remember, Good for the tots, my daughter loved it, we let the lads miss it.
Seats for the oldies please. We don't care if it lets you see the stage and spoils the effect, I think we are on balance probably wise enough to understand how the show works without having to actually see the stage floor. I'm in my thirties, it wasn't comfy, but I could sit on the floor for the duration of the show, but lots of these kids get brought by grandparents, chairs please or exit to a gift shop selling muscle rub.(more of that later!)
One of my favourite memories of the studios was seeing the animators working when the place was a studio, I guess that will probably have been in 03, but I was impressed because we took the tour at about 5:30 and there was just a single bloke in the office on his own, on the phone, with his feet up on his desk. whether it was genuine or not it certainly made the theme of the working studios seem absolutely authentic. I miss that, and It's only 6 years since I first went.
I did notice the speeder bike photo opp opposite Star Wars was gone, bit disappointed.
Having made an early visit to the magic kingdom, to watch spectromagic and wishes, we managed to get round the rest of the Magic Kingdom in a single day which was a considerable increase in pace compared to other parks. Highlights are commented on.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin go round in circles, tilt youself or rise and lower yourself, What more is there to say.
Swiss Family Treehouse My first look at this. It was ok, but not one to go out of your way for. It made interesting viewing to look at the tree properly, particularly the way the branches put down vertical support branches that are about the thickness of a steel girder.
Tiki Room again another first time experience, It was again ok, but not worth deviating for.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Better than I remembered, also got to ride it at night which adds another interesting element.
Country Bears Another first time experience, Its described as an audio animatronics show, yep, the animatronics were definitely making audible noises, clicks and clacks as the 3 heads on the wall were operating.
Haunted Mansion First time since the upgrade, I was impressed with the improvements. The footprints on the staircases were particularly impressive.
Small world Same old hypnotic torture.
Philharmagic Good show, better than I remembered, one I would recommend.
Laugh Floor First visit to this show and I was flashed onto the screen during the theatre load, I liked the show overall, It would need to have elements of difference between show to show, but we only went once, so Im unsure how it bears repeat viewing, unless of course you wait at least 2 years before you can return.
Carousel of Progress another marvel of Imagineering, I never fail to be impressed by the way this was conceptualised as a theatre to cope with a volume of people. The show itself didnt seem too bad, but definitely needs a total revamp to cope with the fact that the family age about 20 years when the story goes forward about 80 years. Does the daughter in the last scene remind anyone else of Mariah Carey ?
Somewhere along the way we needed to visit a resort to transfer between Downtown Disney and a park, This gave us a chance to look at the wilderness lodge, which was very impressive for the parts we saw.