i'm very unfamiliar with these parts of the forums because i'm always in the Disneyland Resort forums since i'm a local there.
also, this is my VERY FIRST trip report! AND it's the first time i've ever posted a picture of myself on these forums!
all images, when clicked, will open a new window to its corresponding flickr page.
please bear with me: this is LONG overdue and i'm far from knowledgeable about the Florida parks because i've only been there twice, and my most recent trip was back in July 2007. three of my friends and i decided to take a trip to Florida and check out the parks. i believe our trip was from July 16-20, Monday to Friday.
MONDAY, JULY 16
leaving LA late Monday meant this day is really just a travel day, nothing really much to do with the parks at all. we bought our plane tickets separately but as fate decided, we were all in the same row! since we were flying through the night, i decided i'd be able to get a few hours of sleep on the plane. didn't happen. the plane ride was smooth and i can only sleep on a plane when there is minor turbulence (rocks me to sleep!). we were all talking about this quite attractive wannabe movie-star looking girl that we spotted at LAX and on the plane. i noticed everyone reclining their seats on the plane. our entire row was trying to do the same. pulling levers, pressing buttons.. everything. and our chairs wouldn't budge. we asked the attendant, and she told us our seats didn't recline because we were next to the emergency exit. fail on us!
TUESDAY, JULY 17
it's already Tuesday by the time we land in HOTlanta, GA. our transferring plane ended up NOT being at the gate that we were assigned to, so we had to run as a group with all our luggage over 15 gates through the airport Home Alone-style. this next plane ride was a lot shorter, and our seats reclined. we finally landed at the Orlando airport (such a beautiful airport!). we noticed the attractive girl was getting off our plane also, and she ran to her grandfather waiting for her at departure.. so sweet! but then things turned sour when he came up behind her and started massaging her neck and shoulders and kissing her ear ever so sensually.. he was not her grandfather.. ewww!
we took a taxi from the airport to the Royal Plaza Hotel near Downtown Disney, where we would be staying for our trip. a very nice and classy hotel that seemed to be away from all the families and screaming children. we coudn't check into our rooms yet since it was so early (about 11am), so we went to our first part: Disney's MGM Studios (which i now think is called Hollywood studios?). it was then where i was really out in the open to soak in the weather. call me a little SoCal wimp, but it was HOT and the humidity felt like 2389%!!
we were hungry, so we made reservations for the 50's Prime Time Cafe.. it was a very 50's TV-family style place, themed to be in a house, and the servers/characters were like big brothers/sisters who were slightly mean. while waiting for our reservations, we rode the Aerosmith's Rock n Roller Coaster. which was awesome. then tried our hand at Florida's Tower of Terror, which is heaps better than California's. we then got to our reservations at the restaurant. and had fun with the servers being mean to us.
at the diner. the channel wouldn't change. we were really stuck in the 50s!
loved this nod to the Anaheim location! woop woop! disneyland represent!
after our meal, we were all pretty drained from the heat and craved more air-conditioning. so we looked at our n00b pamphlet maps and saw what looked like a cool show called "Sounds Dangerous" the description sounded exciting, so we strolled on in. turns out 99% of the show is pitch black. with the food we just ate + not sleeping at all the night before + the heat exhausting us.. we all passed out. only to be awaken by some random water spray at the end of the "show."
we rode a few more rides, of which i cant remember for the life of me..
OMG HELP A BEE!! .....A BEEEE!!!
because toys are always gigantic and take over water/power buildings...
also liked the fact that there's an actual Pizza Planet here or did i just like the A/C!
we finally finish our day pretty early since we still haven't slept.. and get back to the Royal Plaza at around 5pm. two of our party falls asleep FAST. my friend and i go downstairs and have a swim at the hotel pool. it starts getting dark, and i guess Florida's known for having random thunderstorms, because a storm was quickly approaching.. with lightning on steroids. we figure we'd stay in the pool for a while, up until the lightning looked like it was wayy to dangerous to be in a pool. head back up, have dinner at the hotel.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
park of the day? EPCOT Center (which i think is just now called EPCOT?)!!
my group in front of Spaceship Earth. some kind of construction going on though. BOO RUINED THE MAGIC!!
our first mission of the day was to ride Mission: Space. we've heard nothing but good about this ride so we knew we had to experience it. we picked the "Intense" version. and we had a good laugh (even though we know it's serious) at how they really let you know what you're getting into.. there's warnings ALL OVER the place about the Intense version. the ride.. was simply AWESOME. one of the best and most immersive experiences i've ever had on a ride.
after mission space, we head over to some Coke factory sampling kind of place. loved the selection of culturally different sodas! i would have to say that my favorite was the Watermelon flavored soda from China. we need to get that imported over here!
we then headed to the Finding Nemo ride. while it wasn't an overwhelming experience for me, it's still a LOT better than our excuse for a Nemo ride. i think what REALLY got me with this attraction was the queue, i was AMAZED at the detail! the closer we got to boarding the ride, it feels like you've gone a little deeper under water! starting at the beach when you first enter, and deep into the abyss when you board. genius!!
we then headed over to Test Track. add yet another attractiong i'm jealous not to have back in California! awesome attraction and quite immersive, really feel like we're testing a cars limits in a factory. i then rode my first Segway in the Innoventions-ish place over there, dont remember the name of it..
finally headed out to the EPCOT World Showcase. now we're talking! our original plan was to visit each country/region and have an alcoholic drink at each one. we started left at the entrance of the showcase and had Corona's at Mexico.. and rode the pirates-esque ride there. then had jager and goldschlager in germany. then a glass of wine in italy. and sake in japan. started getting a bit crazy, so we decided we wouldn't survive if we kept drinking too much, so we skipped the rest and headed over to the UK for a dark beer at the pub. watched i think it was Illuminations on the lake. wasn't really impressed though. (the reason there are no pictures of our multi-cultural world adventures is because.. for lack of better words, we were drunk).
THURSDAY, JULY 19
park of the day... ANIMAL KINGDOM!
our first stop at the AK was Kilimanjaro Safari. i doubt i'll ever get to go on a real one, so this is as close as i'll ever get. i liked it a lot! a bit of a bumpy ride though, as they try to incorporate simulated danger into the ride... eh.. but still enjoyed it!! a few pics from the safari:
i'm a giraffe. licking me lips.
we're baby giraffes and have no idea what we're doing. la la la.
i think these were LION'S EGGS!!!
lazy kitty. i was hoping he would jump at us and cause chaos.
heeeee-poh. trying to look like an alligator
timon #1 says "what's that over there!!"
timon #2 says "i dunno, but i'm cuter than timon #1.
GOO. REE. LAH!
yeah, i went a bit camera crazy on the safari ride..
i actually dont remember what else we did at Animal Kingdom except that it was really hot.. and Expedition Everest. and add to the list ANOTHER attraction i'm jealous of! this ride was simply awesome. it was a roller coaster that wasn't JUST a roller coaster. and going backwards on a different track layout? amazing! and for the record, the Yeti was working on my ride! lucky me!
we ended our day by heading back to our hotel, changing, and we had our semi-fancy dinner as our last night in Florida.. we ate at the California Grill.. it's somewhere on top of a tall hotel building.. with a GREAT view of the Magic Kingdom. a fast moving storm passed as we were eating dinner so we had a few lightning strikes right outside... but it quickly cleared and the skies were again clear and the winds died down. we were able to watch "Wishes" (which inspired Remember here in California i think?) from atop at the restaurant.. and they so conveniently play the music throughout the restaurant in sync with the show! it was quite amazing.
we took a stroll of Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney, which was walking distance from our hotel. it was quite different to see a clubbing/nightlife environment on Disney property. we had some fun with a few drinks, but didn't actually feel like going in any of the clubs.
FRIDAY, JULY 20
i was definitely bummed that we'd already be leaving the parks.. i loved my time here.. it was nice to "get away" as it was my first time out of CA for an extended period with just my friends. one thing i definitely wont miss though? hot weather and humidity. i'm definitely a SoCal kid.. and even then, i still prefer the snow-capped mountain weather of Big Bear and Mammoth!
the only park we didn't visit during our trip was the Magic Kingdom.. because we thought it would be a clone of Disneyland.. but after reading up on it here, we were wrong and i definitely regret it!!
as far as Disneyland vs DisneyWorld goes, i wont be pitting them against each other. they are totally different parks, with different atmospheres, feelings, and experiences. i absolutely love how immersed into the Disney environment i feel when in the Disney World resorts.. even simply waking up.. and walking outside.. i can get that feeling.. that there's magic around me.
well i hope you enjoyed my first trip report! hope i did it right and did veteran TR'ers justice! i know it was text heavy, but i didn't realize at the time i was there that i'd be putting it in a visual trip report in the future... till next time!