Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share the things I saw in my trip...from good to bad etc...just a LONG summary basically!
Well I just got home from a day trip to Disney World and thought I would share some of the events from my trip. I haven't been there in a year so somethings I noticed changed, or didn't notice it change last time. So here goes.
First I got a Florida residence discount package deal and wasn't that bad at 200$. I got a room for the night, park ticket with park hopper, Disney dine and wine plan. It was only for one day and the 2nd day I went to downtown Disney and then drove home....so a quick one day trip really.
The Hotel: All Star Music. I have read the complaints about the all star franchise so I was a little hesitant. As a Disney quality nut I will agree the decor inside and out is quite vulgar to Disney standards but I was only there to sleep so Ill leave it at that. I'm not sure who green lighted these awful looking hotels but they are quite the eye sore. I hope they eventually plan to re theme these in the future. But as a room to shut your eyes...Ill take it. The cast members were a delight here! There were several as we waited in line to check in to help us and the woman that checked us in was very friendly and talkative...was nice! Impressed my friend on her first visit, but all I could think of is the decor is not Disney standard, more like the best of Six Flags...oh well.
First stop, The Magic Kingdom. It started raining the moment we got there so took a quick left and went into Adventureland. Decided to go on the Jungle cruise since the boats were covered it should be okay. Nope...due to the lightning all outdoor rides were shut down. Bummer. Since it was raining we headed to the nearest indoor attraction.
-The Enchanted Tiki Room: Glad to see it back to its former self. The other show was quite the slap in the face to the original so this was a great change. However, with the refurb change I would think they would have done a bit more to make sure the show was working properly. The birds looked nice and bright, the spotlights were a bit dim on some of the 4 main characters though. I wish they had done better with the speakers or soundtrack as it still seemed pretty quiet. Most of the background birds were working quite nice, and looked like they had some fresh plumage....however the Flowers that sing did not work so well. Their tougnes were warbling they way they should but as they sang the words there was barely any mouth movement, or they would just just open up wide and when they were done singing they would shut again....but at least it was back to normal!
-Pirates of the Caribbean: Waited about 10 minutes for this one and the queue seemed more bright than normal. Perhaps I am wrong but I thought all the lanterns flickered and it had a darker feeling to the queue. I also cant remember if the guys playing chess were seen from both queues but I didn't see it from the left side. The mist effect doesn't do as good with the new character (forgot his name and too lazy to google at the moment)...it screamed "I'M A PROJECTED IMAGE" perhaps because it was a real person with a beard and not makeup tentacles as a beard like the last time. Just seemed to feel flat, luckily my friend who never been to Disney before didn't notice. Ride was working great and most of the animatronics looked nice. Until we get to the burning scenes. The smell wasn't there, thought that added so much to this section so that was a disappointment. The first three singers on the left were not working properly. Their heads moved, their arms moved...but their mouths didn't. Looked really dumb especially since they have speakers right there to give the illusion that they are singing. Not the best. The jail dog scene also had no mouth movements whatsoever from any of them....sorta blew the illusion. Lastly we got stuck for a minute at the end scene with Jack with the treasure. Finally I got to see it better. Usually you go by so quickly its almost as if the scene is an afterthought. I really think they need to open it up more at an angle as you are approaching it to see it better and not fly by.
*KABOOM* Major thunderstorm after that ride and got stuck at Tortuga tavern and had some nachos....just okay...but we had a table and waited the rain out a bit. Once it slowed down a bit moved on from building to building....the park also cleared out a bit...or gathered around fantasyland and made those rides wait times HEAVILY increase!
-The Haunted Mansion: For starters this is my favorite ride in the entire park(s)...and was my first time with the new queue and mirror effects at the end. First off the new queue. Jury is still out on this one since it was raining but it wasn't quite as bad in person as in pictures, but still not the feel of the inside of the house and really out of place. Especially the busts and the fisherman's grave. Next.....BORING CAST MEMBERS! ugh I thought this was where the better performers worked....not today. Only the guy in the stretching room had any character or tried, and I have seen better. At least he told my friend who looked spooked "Good bye, and good luck". The rest just looked bored at their job....total downer, its such a better experience when the cast members get into it. I wish the pictures in the load area were lit up better, they are totally washed out and the only people that would even notice them are mansion freaks like me! Constance looked a bit more phoney this time....her face was way too bright. They need to dim it slightly because like pirates...she screamed "PROJECTED IMAGE"...because of this as well her face was too flat looking...they need to look more at the leota effect and figure out a way to get it close to her....The singing busts looked great. They were so clear and far more real looking then I remembered. Don't remember seeing these were refurbished but if they were great job! The mirror effect was very cool and cute. We got the one where they switched our faces. Our faces weren't that clear so if they could tweak that it would be awesome! The ghosts themselves look great and I approve them! The cast members at the end smiled and told us to have a nice day.....ok normally I appreciate that, but not getting off the Haunted Mansion....shrug...
*rain stopped* walked up to dumbo and was excited to try to peek at the fantasyland expansion but when I saw there was a line for dumbo that meant the outdoor rides were back up. Since the rides in frontierland always have long lines we b-lined it back there before the bulk of the crowds realized it.
-Splash Mountain (waited 10 minutes). The first few boats went down the flume with no water jets and no water going down the main falls...not cute....By the time we got there they were back up. Overall this was a bad show. I saw some things I read were fixed but others were not and looked REALLY bad! In the How Do You Do section the first bird figure fishing on the left was not moving and slumped over. All it reminded me of is a cheesy murder mystery where someone would pat him on the back and he would fall over with a knife in his back....the bird looked dead, bad bad show and bad first impression of the characters in the ride. Off to the right in the steamboat 2 other birds not working. One was a bird doing jazz hands just standing there, and another was slumped over. *GASP* Its like there was an animatronic murderer on the loose in splash mountain! Most of the brear fox characters had no mouth movement as well....still. One of the 3 possums were also not moving. The water was working for the turtles (was looking out for that) so that effect was going good. Also the hopping brer rabbit was also working. This wound up being my friends favorite ride after all (glad I didn't point out all the disasters that I saw). Just sad that this ride is in this state, STILL, when it always has such long lines and is a big crowd pleaser!
-Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. By now Frontier land was filling up as expected, but still only waited 20 minutes for this one. No falling rocks...sigh, isn't that part of the reason its called big thunder? The geysers were working...wow haven't seen that effect in a few years! The cast members running this ride were great! They waved with big smiles and all seemed to be enjoying what they were doing on this one! Nothing else really to report on this one...
*because of the rain we lost about an hour and a half in the park and had dinner reservations at Epcot so this was all we did in the magic kingdom....bummed out that I totally forgot to check out the fantasyland expansion before leaving....my bad*
Now Epcot (rode monorail peach and lime?) Lime's airconditioning was working so well the hand rails were all wet. Peach, not so much...but at least it wasn't hot in there...just not as cold as peach. Monorail cast members were also very helpful and enjoying themselves! Walking in the stupid monoliths still there...groan. We had 7:50 dinner reservations and it was now a little after 5pm. Decided to check out the walk on rides only before heading to world showcase.
-Spaceship Earth. Short line but never stopped so we walked right on. Everything looked great in here. Didn't see one dead person in the place. Guess just splash mountain had the serial killer. Noticed some of the figures were A100...or at least the guy in Greece that used to have the Theatre Scene...the video going backward was quite funny and enjoyed that...either forgot about that or hadn't seen it yet. Still miss Tomorrows child. The music after the signing is very epic and fits so much better when looking at the stars than the current soundtrack. Very Enjoyable.
-Journey into Imagination w/Figment. Sigh sigh sigh sigh sigh. Was hoping it would have been closed for Refurb but alas no, probably never will. The original used to be my favorite (a tie for HM) and this horrible version is all I get for my nostalgia. I really only go on this ride to see my old friend figment...even the bratty one. The Figment animatronic with the phone had no mouth movement....guess that fix didn't last long. Last year riding this ride he didn't even pop up at all....just a black room with a spotlight where you can see his ears sticking out....not sure which is worse. The rest of this ride was working fine, but the skunk smell was diminished thank god. Really want a 4th refurb of this closer to the original, just a bad ride but I have to give Figment my patronage so they don't decide to change it to a crappy thrill ride like test track or mission space.
-Mexico. Had the margaritas from outside. Way too strong, but that didn't stop me from drinking it. Got quite buzzed from it as well. Didn't ride the grand fiesta tour, its line was actually full and its a cute little ride...but I wont wait in line for it more than 5 minutes.
--Norway. Oh maelstrom....such an underrated attraction. This time however its going into major disrepair. The 3 headed troll had no mouth movements so they felt like a broken down Showbiz pizza watching them....just had to shake my head. The film at the end surprised me. Granted I'm one of those that would rather skip it since I have seen it enough times when they made you wait to see it, see it, then open the doors. It still isn't updated. What surprised me is that the exit doors are open and there were at least 30 people sitting down to watch it. Cool! The cast members here were the best overall. They all were smiling, those passing us by all said hello....overall the best cast members we encountered.
-Africa section... The new beads are pretty cool (the ones made from the park maps)...check them out!
-Italy. Time for Dinner. Had 7:50 reservations ad Tutto Italia. It was bittersweet because I loved Alfredo's so much and have awesome memories there eating with my family for dinner there at least twice a trip. (My dad and the owner were on first name basis and he would even buy a ticket every time he was in Orlando just to eat there and not even do anything else). The food was really really good and was surprised. Had the wine and dine plan so we had a bottle of wine as well. 140$ bill and the plan paid for the entire thing...Id call that a win! Everyone who worked there was also VERY friendly and helpful!
*a bit tipsy now, so took the rest of our wine in kids cups and headed out for some fireworks*
-Illuminations, reflections of earth. The show is holding up pretty well. The globe was working perfectly, however, in my opinion is the most boring part of the show.....impressive for first time viewers though.
*SLEEP TIME* Beds okay, no complaints. No noisy neighbors....just had to walk far to find a smoking spot...grr
-Downtown Disney. Before leaving we went downtown. Nothing really to report at all other than the coffee at ghirardelli was very good. The spitting stitch's pirate hat is a ripped mess and needs to be replaced. Was really sore walking through pleasure island and looking longingly at the adventurers club..
-Disney Dining Plan. I really had no issues with it. It was easy to figure out, and when weren't sure cast members helped us out. With the bottle of wine and dinner in Epcot it was a great thing!
-Cast Members this time around were MUCH Friendlier than last year and held a great impression!
-If your a smoker get to know the designated Shame spot. They are not in the best places, especially the Magic Kingdom (with the exception of the frontierland area...that was nice). Most are not covered and when it rains its sucks!
-The state of repair is still a big downer, especially splash mountain. This really needs to get fixed or a better plan in motion!
-Had a great time and was glad I spent my money.