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  1. #46

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb
    Dear god Disney just can't win.
    Hehe. I would not be suprised if the trash cans started off looking like they fit in with the surrounding area, and guests kept throwing trash on the floor since they couldn't see the cans. These cans look a lot like a reaction to that type of scenario. I think the bright color is fine, they should just look a bit more... Rusty? They must have some old rusted trash cans hanging around backstage somewhere.

    Either that or switch up to something a bit more ivory/cream. Trash cans in Asia are dark green with a bright orange symbol on them. They are immaculate, too, but their color lets them blend in, and thus I didn't even notice them and had to scour my pictures to see if one was in there.

  2. #47

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    The only problem is, for a message about saving the habitats for the animals that live there, there is nothing presented about what happened to the animals of the swamp that your theater is currently sitting on. I know that some of the WDW land is currently a nature preserve, but if it was my movie there would be a little more about what's being done nearby and less glorifying protesting and demonstrators.
    I don't mean to sound like a WDW spokesperson, but 75% of WDW is nature reserve. A whole three quarters of the land is untouched and will have to go through rigorous checks before anything is built there, and that is soley Disney's decision. Too good to be true? Thats what I thought, but facts are facts.

    Plus, look around the resort. Maps, napkins, all recycled papers.
    Disney sends the trash of the entire resort underground to a central plant, which cleans the trash. There are many things that Disney does which doesn't exactly help the environment... but the things they do do more than make up.
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  3. #48

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Speedway, I'm just saying they should actually say that in the movie. For those of us who don't know WDW operates.

    Day 5

    "Today, gusty winds and a 60% chance of rain."

    Joy.

    Our family has a stuffed bear that travels everywhere we go. It's a rather odd thing to explain, but there it is. The bear has traveled to DLR with us and got it's picture with Mickey (and it's own "I met Mickey Mouse today!" sticker) and watched the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown. He's been on many visits to the Strip as a tourist when I was in California, etc.

    My goal was to get the bear's picture with Pooh. Of course, Pooh is a superstar and as far as stuffed bears are concerned, he's like Bill Gates and Oprah and Michael Jordan all combined. It makes sense for a stuffed bear to meet a character that ought to be his idol.

    So, the bear was stuffed into the bag my shirt came in as his raincoat/travelcase, and we headed out to Animal Kingdom. It had yet to rain. Balloo the Bear was out front, but he was swamped with visitors, so I headed to Camp MinnieMickey thinking I could get Donald or Pluto or something.

    And there they were. Bears. The bears from Brother Bear to be more precise. I hadn't seen more than 15 minutes of that movie, but all that really mattered was that there were bears. I had to get a group shot with our bear.




    Animal Kingdom: Our bear was just thrilled to meet Cast Members other bears!



    I wandered over to the Everest area. The ride was running, and I looked in the merch shop and talked to one of the CMs about the ride. He said if I wanted to ride, I better get in line quick, because they're closing the line at 2PM (about 30 minutes.) Of course, I have a bear in my hands, and I'm not wild about stuffing him into a $7 locker to go ride Everest. Besides, it's only day 5! I'll have plenty of chances, right? (smell the sarcasm!)

    Back to the hotel to put back the bear, and off to MGM to look at things I've missed. By the time the bus arrives to MGM, it is now dripping mist. I wander through the stores on the left side of Hollywood Blvd to see if I can find a coat I like, but aside from a $40(!!) sweatshirt, nothing stands out. By the time I make it to the old Superstar Television building, it is now a stronger drizzle. I find shelter under the Big-*** Hat, proving that even the worst ideas can be good for something. At the hat, I ask about the Mickey parkas I see busted out all over, and the woman there tells me they're $7.

    I decided that there's too much concern about this. I've walked around in drizzles like this with no cover in Northern California all the time, while people from other areas it seems tend to panic and seek shelter the minute a drop hits the cement. And of course, Disney is all too happy to pull out the parkas at $7 a pop for this afternoon's light drip. I'm proven right, as pretty soon the rain goes away leaving dramp grounds and a lot of people carrying parkas bundled under their arms.



    The Great Movie: Sometimes, maintenance does slack and us casual visitors can notice.

    Muppets 3D was cute although the film is beginning to look like it needs to be replaced with a new copy. Something I couldn't understand was that in the back of the Muppets theater, and other theater, is an LED lightboard that seems to display backwards letters that say "Walt Disney Entertainment" or something close to that. What's that about? Anyway, the theater is cutely decorated and make sure you don't miss the penguins in front most the time unless you sit very close up to them.

    The New York area is under work. The New York facade is somewhat torn up and being redone, and a CM at some point mentioned that they're going to add Chicago to the current NY and SF streets. We'll see if they get around to it. Otherwise, there's not much going on back here since LMA is closed due to weather.

    A bunch of noise and commotion down the street reveals a Power Rangers character location. Like anyone who spent time with kidlets for the past few years, I've been exposed to this series sooner or later, although all I know is that the Pink one is always a girl but the Yellow one sometimes isn't, and there's always a bigger robot unless there's a whole new robot design. Anyway, the costumes are rather spiffy and the people inside seem to actually have seen their on-screen character, as they have all the little poses and gestures down great.

    Which begs the question: Why don't we have this in DCA? I seem to remember that the whole plot of the show used to be a bunch of California-based teens saving LA from various friends of Godzilla. If the show is somehow popular enough to keep going today under Disney, then I'm suprised they aren't at DLR, too. And it's not like DCA doesn't have a lot of empty space to experiment with. Some kind of stage show followed by a character encounter would give kids something to do other than Monsters and Bug's Land.

    I took the Backlot Tour, which wasn't much of a tour. Maybe because it was Saturday? Anyway, I know that nothing has been done at DMGM for a long time, which is pretty obvious when the most they have to talk about is Pearl Harbor and how Britney/Justin/Christina all performed on the same stage here when nobody cared who they were. Not exactly like what Universal Studios is doing on any particular day. I'm not sure how much of a working studio is left here, but you'd think Disney would do at least some scenes of throwaway films here like Tim Allen's Shaggy Dog remake just to be able to promote something recent.

    Most the departments looked closed, but I don't know if this is the weekend effect or the same fallout that happened to the Animation building.

    After gawking at the varoius props, I got on a bus to Epcot. You see, Epcot is tonight's extra-opening hours night, and I figured this was my big chance to knock off some remaining attractions and see IllumiNations. In hindsight, I should have rested, come back later and seen IllumiNations.




    Epcot: By the time I arrived, the weather was misbehaving again.



    The first stop is Club Cool to keep trying more flavors that I missed the first time. The Japanese health drink is quite good. The Israeli citrus drink Kinfey was good, but I couldn't get the full flavor because of the vegitable drink. As I looked around and saw a girl making her own mix, pouring these flavors into her cup. That can't have any kind of happy result. Well, aside from the fact that she was spilling a bunch (the dispensers are automatically set to fill up one cup) she also punched the button for the dreaded Beverly. Being a humanitarian, I warned her that she just ordered up a really awful concotion and how bad Beverly is and how she should just throw it out. Fortunately for my appeal of entertained, she took a drink of it and made the most unbelievable sour face ever.

    Well, with that warning, here we go. Bottom's up!

    Beverly:
    Fun: .5 of a *
    Pain Risk: *****

    To my family and friends: If I ever pass out, enter a coma, or somehow you don't know I'm alive, please hook me up to the statistical machines and then pour a little Beverly in my mouth. In the deepest of comas you should notice some kind of irregular reaction, and if I'm just lightly konked out it should be enough stimulii to wake me and make me slap you. In fact, even if I really am dead, I might return just to complain about you giving me Beverly.

    So, without out of the way, I made the mistake of trying Mission SPACE. That's right. Chickens out of Soarin, gets in line for M:S. You see, I came up with a method: Get in line behind an attractive young woman. This way, even if you don't enjoy the attraction, you get to spend time looking... Well, you get the point. What I didn't expect was that in M:S I'd be spending time scrunched VERY closely to the person in front of me in a small capsule. Plus, there's no real heights involved in this attraction, so....

    Mission: SPACE
    Pain and Fun ratings can't really be given out here, it varies for the person because some people are going to get sick and some people won't. Me, I didn't need the barf back while I was in the capsule, which was good because it wouldn't be very becoming to my fellow passengers. However, the next ten minutes were spent sitting at the first available place I could plant myself, holding onto my head and trying to make the world stop moving. The headache would not go away entirely until I left Epcot.

    I am now in no condition to spend 45 minutes watching Ellen Degeneres play Jeopardy, and the weather was looking like IllumiNations would be canceled, so I gave up. The line for Port Orleans was far and away the largest, again, so I decided to get in line for Pop Century. I was originally planning to stay here until I talked myself up to spending another $300 for POFQ. I figured I could at least get dinner here and say that I saw the place.

    Pop doesn't really look that bad, at night anyway. I think if I came back to WDW solo again, I would have no problem booking this place instead of FQ, even if the walk to the bus is a deal longer. Depends on the building I get, I guess. Anyway, the food court was sure offering more than the one at FQ or even the one I saw at Contemporary.

    My nausea was over, I got a chili dog (okay, not great) and then looked for desert. Sitting there was the desert I had heard about on this board (specifically, that nobody was brave enough to try it): Tie-dye Cheesecake, sitting to a much more appealing marshmallow chocolate variant. I am a huge cheesecake aficionado (seriously!) and this was my one attempt to try it (which wasn't as many attempts as I got with Everest, heh) so I ordered one up.




    Everything Pop: Here's to good health!



    So, the question on everybody's mind: Does it taste better than it looks?

    The answer: No. It barely tasted like cheesecake at all, actually, because it had been so loaded down with artificial colors and so on. It actually had nearly no taste at all, but if you searched for it, you could find one. Namely, frosting. So at best the description for this cheesecake is "it tastes like a birthday cake made entirely from frosting." Yuck! Why didn't I go with the marshmallow one? Oh, that's right, one-time experience and all.

    Also, the crust at the bottom is colored RED, which makes for an interesting looking plate when the whole thing is said and done.

    I then took a bus to DTD and by the time we arrived there, it was POURING. Thankfully, I managed to get on a bus to Port Orleans but it was the most hellish bus ever. Packed together, children with those flashing red/blue/green toys shoving them in your face, it seemed like 40% of the riders were coughing and siffling, just when we got "full" a wheelchair came on board (no fault of that person, I know,) and all you needed was a screaming child in order to make hell's waiting room.

    This time, I made SURE that I got off at the right stop!

    Most times I come into my room and say "I feel like I'm dead." Not tonight. Tonight, it's "I feel like I'm sick." And then I hear the "BANG" and "BOOM" of IllumiNations. Well, !!

    Next time: Brrr! Last full day!

  4. #49

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    PS: Something I forgot to mention above was the bear's photo op with Pooh!

    Before our bear got his turn, some kid there with his family shoved over Pooh! The poor thing (Pooh, that is, not the kid)! It happened in a flash, and the next thing you know, Pooh bear is lying on his side with an autograph book still in his hand, and making his "oh bother" gesture knocking his forehead he ambles up.

    The parents demanded their kid apologize to Pooh, and he did when I was done, and got his picture with him. But if I was that parent there would have been some more besides demanding he go apologize. Sheesh!

    Quite a few kids were scared of Piglet, by the way. I think it has to do with him being just as big as Pooh and Tigger. I know there's not a lot Disney can do to make Piglet at actual size, but maybe they should rethink the costume a little. Maybe a miniature costume like one of the seven dwarves or Michael Wazowski is called for?

  5. #50

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    Something I couldn't understand was that in the back of the Muppets theater, and other theater, is an LED lightboard that seems to display backwards letters that say "Walt Disney Entertainment" or something close to that. What's that about?
    That is used to help the deaf & people who have hard times hearing. It displays the script of the show in backwards text. The people using it have a mirror in which they'll see the text the right way. This way it is helpful to those people, but doesn't distract anyone else.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  6. #51

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    I always wondered what that cheesecake tasted like. After your report, I'm glad I didn't waste my money on it. But it does look neat.

    I think the bear photo-op is neat! A fun family tradition!

  7. #52

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Great TR. Are you going to put all your pics on another website as an album?

  8. #53

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    I was going to make a thread with high-res/desktop pictures. Probably organized by subject (castle, Space Mountain, Monorail, etc)

  9. #54

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Oh, I like that idea! You take really great pictures!

  10. #55

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Day 6 & 7 in a nutshell:

    - I rode the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway ride. I know it gets a lot of flack here, but you need to have grown up going to Disneyland driving Autopia cars during your childhood to enjoy the puttering sound of those old motors, which have left the building at DLR. Oh, the day when you're big enough to reach the pedal! Anyway...

    - What's with all the Grumpy merchandise? How am I supposed to tell that a shirt that just says "I'M SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS" is a Disney shirt? Maybe the point is that I'm not supposed to? Are they finally conceding to their uncoolness with many young adults, and making Disney souvenirs that don't look like Disney souvenirs?

    - Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary was my one fancy sit-down meal of this trip. It was wonderful. The buffet line moved a little slow, but the food was of higher quality and the wait staff was far more attendant than even some of the best buffets here in Vegas (the much-ballyhooed Rio and Paris buffets, for instance, have slipped in quality since Harrah's took over both. I have never tried Bellagio, which is Vegas Buffet King, since I'm not into foo-foo food like roast duck and seasoned cooked rabbit in my buffet.)

    There was some sort of stupid audience participation game that the CMs looked really tired with, but I was fortunate to be in the buffet line while it was going on. Since I was right near the entrance at a table for four, eating by myself amongst the families, the characters actually came over and paid attention to me for the most part. Minnie gave me quite a bit of attention, Goofy the least (I think he just waved and moved on), Mickey and the Chipmunks were inbetween.

    The problem with the characters is that a lot of pushy parents don't know to just sit at the table and let the characters come to them. I watched a line instantaneously form for a Donald who was just trying to move from one side of the dining room to the other and stopped for a small child. Suddently, BOOM, a line right there in the middle of the room.

    - I wound up buying myself Mickey Mitts because the Imagineering book looked like more of the same stuff I've seen before. What a pointless novelty gag purchase! Oh well, I guess they can go hang out with my shelves of Disneyland stuff.

    - I also found some simple, ride-specific shirts, the three-panel series with Mickey and Goofy figures in a ride. They were alright, but not as good as I had hoped for. Merchandise is far too bland!

    - Speaking of merch, in the Emporium, a cart full of plush was rolled out and being stocked. Inside was a letter with instructions signed, "The Plush Crew."

    There's an actual Plush CREW?

    - On EMH nighttime at the MK, they were giving the wriststraps away at the Timekeeper exit, so I went in and took some pictures of this exit, then came home to find out the whole thing is being scrapped. Whoa, good timing.

    The guy giving straps away told me what this exit was and seemed to generally "get it" in regards to Tomorrowland. He did not know about TL98 so I shared some stories about that and he was just as frustrated about it as I was ("If they shut down the Peoplemover here... I will quit!") and was utterly confused at the thought of our formerly-brown Space Mountain. Oh, if you only knew...

    - When I was younger and more regularly went to DL, my Mom forbid me from going on Astro Jets because she thought they were unsafe. So, of course, I had to ride the Astro Orbiter at WDW just to finally ride those rockets on the roof. Unfortunately, I did so on the coldest night ever, right after eating. And I didn't know just how much faster than Dumbo they were until I was on the roof. I didn't throw up, but I did have to focus at the center of the machinery to keep myself from doing so. And I didn't move my rocket any higher than the lowest position at all. Urp!

    Mom, you were right. Sort of.

    - I rode the Monorail up front to the TTC and went to Epcot one last time, going to the Living Seas to finish my trip. The Nemo retheming there is actually not all that bad, and it probably entertains kids more than the dry presentation that came before. I'll kind of miss the whole SeaBase idea, though, just because it's so very Walt.

    So, that pretty much sums up my trip, look for big highres/desktop pictures soon.

  11. #56

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Sounds like you had a great time. I can't wait to see more pictures!

  12. #57

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    Of course, I have a bear in my hands,
    The bear could have gone into the pouch on the ride. This is Everest we are talking about.

    The New York area is under work. The New York facade is somewhat torn up and being redone, and a CM at some point mentioned that they're going to add Chicago to the current NY and SF streets. We'll see if they get around to it. Otherwise, there's not much going on back here since LMA is closed due to weather.
    Oy. They've been working on BCS since summer 2003 when Residential Street was demolished...we'll see if they ever get to 100% finished.

    After gawking at the varoius props, I got on a bus to Epcot.
    Keep in mind for next time you can get the Friendship Boats outside of MGM and take them to EPCOT. It might take longer since you have to stop at the hotels (Swan, Dolphin, Y&B and Boardwalk) but its a nice diversion.

    (the dispensers are automatically set to fill up one cup)
    Thats too bad...I myself liked mixing a shot of everything in the old place.

  13. #58

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Oh, you can still make a mix if you like, but you'll waste a lot of soda. The dispensers don't drop a cup and fill it, I'm saying that you push the button and it keeps running until it's approximately filled up the cup. So you have to pull away and let a fair amount of soda run down the drain.

    Look for a high-res picture thread later today.

  14. #59

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    Although I live way up in Maryland, I've managed to visit WDW 5 times in my short 26 year lifetime (thus far.) It seems to me you skipped a LOT of stuff. Either that, or you just aren't including everything in your trip report. With a scant 7 days, I don't understand why you skipped around so much. I mean, when I first went to WDW, there was nothing there except MK and EPCOT. (It was still an acronym back then) and seven days was barely enough. Seems at EPCOT you missed eating at the grill on the top level of The Land. The rotating restaurant is an attraction in itself. Did you skip over the whole Nations section? There are many great old fashioned attractions in Mexico, Norway, Japan, Germany, and the best singers in WDW are in the American hall. Did you skip the Indiana Jones show and the Backstage Tour, and Star Tours, and Muppetvision?

    I may be jumping the gun, it's just I never found parkhopping to be an efficient way of covering the parks, with the exception of coming early to whichever park opens early for park guests and staying late at whichever park in open late.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your report.

    Thanks!
    LB

  15. #60

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    Re: My big ol' 7 day WDW TR - with pictures and more!

    See, when I go to WDW, parkhopping is reserved for the last day of the 'vacation' (holiday when we wanna rush around and repeat the 2/3 rides from each park we loved the most, and finish up at Wishes/IllumiNations/Fantasmic. But for the other majority of the holiday, it is one park a day. I think last year, the only odd occasion was when we wanted to see Wishes again, and we went to the Magic Kingdom from DAK, which, closing at 5pm, gave us plenty of time at MK until Wishes.

    But while we are on the subject of parkhopping, I would just like to share the fantastic military planning I took charge of last year for the last day.
    9AM (our earliest time at a Disney theme park! Us Brits like our sleep)
    Arrive at Epcot
    Soarin', brisk walk around WS (the parks were all dead, it was two days after Wilma), Spaceship Earth
    12PM
    Monorail to Magic Kingdom
    Tiki Room, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, meet Mickey again
    Lunch at Pecos Bills
    4PM
    Bus to Disney-MGM Studios
    Tower of Terror, Rock n Rollercoaster
    Coffee at Writers Stop
    GMR, Muppets
    Fantasmic!
    LATE
    Friendship to Epcot
    Catch the end of IllumiNations
    Leave Walt Disney World for another twelve months!
    BACKPACKING REALNESS

    DISNEY TRIPS
    October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
    April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2004 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
    October 2007 - Walt Disney World Resort
    December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
    July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
    July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
    July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
    February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
    February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

    (VERY OLD!)
    TRIP REPORTS


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