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  1. #1

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

    I'm sure we all know the story by now, as I've been talking it up for a couple months: I've never been to WDW before this, have always wanted to in the back of my head but never felt like I should, felt like DL was some kind of crummy second-place prize of a park, etc. And now I finally get to go despite warnings and proclimations that it's diry, there's creepy bugs, I'd have a better experience in Tokyo, etc.

    So here's the TR. Since a lot of people don't care for the TR stuff, most my opinions on certain issues are labeled in bold as Controversial subject ( for things that have been discussed on this board lately) or If I may say so... (for just general opinions on certain things that remained true throughout the trip.) Look for these if you don't want to read the whole thing.

    Keep in mind that I live in a resort/tourism town myself and tend to compare common elements to what I'm used to back home, where I was quite a tourist before I moved here (and I sometimes still get free rooms regardless.)

    Also, this TR is huge, so I'll probably do one day at a time.

    Day 1:
    I arrive at MCO in the local 6AM hour after getting no sleep on a direct red eye flight from McCarran Intl here in Las Vegas. This has the unfortunate effect of making me a little terse for the remainder of the day, and maybe some of the next. DME goes well with no wait.

    I chose POFQ because of it's reasonable bus scheduling and a reccomendation from our own WDW1974 that I was less likely to walk into a Housekeeping Nightmare at this hotel than the other mods. Check-in was fine, I was immediately given a room, and got a top-floor corner room in building 3 which filled all the requests I wanted to make but didn't have to.

    Controversial subject: Room Cleanliness. Well I call it a controversial moment because it's something we've talked about here in great discussion before. I pulled the comforter down before using the bed just because you don't know where it's been, and all the sheets on the one of two beds I used were clean and dandy. No mysterious bottles of liquid left anywhere, although there was a strong cleaner scent in the air after housekeeping went through a few times. The only thing this room had that was consistant with what we've talked about is quite a bit of dirt under the bedskirt, but it wasn't a big enough deal to spoil my mood or complain about. I have a bug phobia and was jumpy for the first few hours, but never encountered any snakes, monster spiders, or flying cockroaches of doom. It was enjoyable to have four squirrels running around the tree and grounds outside the room, though.




    Port Orleans French Quarter: Clean enough.


    All in all, back home I've seen luxury hotels here that were dirtier and mid-range hotels much like this one that were cleaner. So it's no big win, but no big loss, either. It was pretty had to believe that I was here and one park was already open on early hour (Epcot, but no thanks.) I went out to check on my bags which had not yet arrived (it would be a few hours) and pick up a refillable mug.

    If I may say so... Refillable Mugs: I'm not quite so sure what makes this refillable mug such a bargain if you're completely uninterested in it as a souvenir. I did take it home but the hotel gift shop sells 2 liter bottles for about $3, that don't require constantly refilling at the soda fountain, that you can access in your room 24 hours, etc. Furthermore, I ended up eating at the hotel's greasy spoon a lot of the time (well, I ate at greasy spoons all but once anyway, but kept running back to my hotel) in order to save $3 on drink and get my money's worth out of the cup. Maybe if I had a large group of people this would save money, but if it were just myself again, I'd buy the 2 liter.

    So it's time to head out to the old bus stop and load up for one of these parks. What'll it be? Maybe I'll go visit the old favorites, or try out Epcot because it's huge or...




    C'mon, big bucks, no wham-awwwww....


    So, yeah I started off at the Studios. It was the first bus to a park to pull up (I think), I kind of enjoyed the look of it I saw on TV when it opened (I remember so well the old special with Smokey Robinson singing down Hollywood Blvd as stuntmen shot each other and fell off of buildings), and TOT and RnRC were not up my alley so I could easily knock off a lot of park very quickly.

    I took in the atmosphere of Hollywood Blvd and the hub for quite a bit before settling on the Great Movie Ride as my first attraction at the World. The Mickey on the ball at the entrance of the park is missing. The theater is nicer on the outside and inside than I thought it would be, especially after all these years and all this talk of maintenance neglect.

    TGM is an alright ride, although the shootout is way louder than everything else and would have been a good cause for earplugs if I had them (oh yes, that's another thing, I have sensitive ears.) I wound up sitting on the far right end of the rather large car (I was kind of suprised at the size of the road this vehicle uses up. It looks like it could have been a flume ride) and it seems like everything happens on the right. First came the Alien AA which scared me half to death because I was waiting for it to pop out of anywhere except for right next to me. If it actually fired, it would have sent me all the way to my early demise except it did not, and instead I was suprised to see it's head and hands tucked away in the dark corner right next to my head, waiting to spring out. The cute mobster-girl driving the car shouted "Look out!" as nothing happened. Goes to figure, I guess. In general, I was suprised at variety of studio's films presented in the ride and how few of them were Disney's. I figured that Fantasia would get a little more recognition than it did. But, the wicked witch AA looks like it could have been a person. Does anyone know where else the AAs this advanced can be found?




    Disney-MGM Studios: Though most merchandise was disappointing throughout the trip, I do love these ovoid plush so. I had to buy a Donald later.



    After this, I went to the Disney Animation exhibit and saw very little more than a movie which was just more of Eddie Murphy doing more of his interchangable Mushu/Donkey shtick. There was a woman coloring a character in a glass box near the Chicken Little exhibit. I have no idea if she is a real animator or just pretending to be, but I'd like to apologize to the faux pas I made, walking past the box and muttering "I guess there's not many left of the crew that hasn't been let go" as I passed. I did not think she could hear me, and I could hear in the background her saying "Hi there!" over the speaker to the crowd that was still there after I was gone. Oops.




    Disney-MGM Studios: Incredible work here, with the flowers coming out of the bucket like pouring water. I love it.


    The attraction celebrating the life of Walt was a wonderful way to end this visit to the Studios. The models under glass are incredible, especially the Disneysea fortress one, although I'm not really sure how wild Walt would be about connecting Desperate Housewives and various Touchstone flicks to his legacy. The movie was worth the long wait, as it did not gloss too much over Walt's failures, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (which would become a non-issue for the company only two days later) as well as less family-friendly subjects like Walt's time in the military. There's a lot of talk from the man himself that I had never heard before, and while I'm beginning to think that Julie Andrews will jump for the first dollar TWDC will hand her, her presence here is just right. I could not have dealt with Eisner reading the script, sorry.

    If I may say so... Videotaping: I'm confused about the number of places that CMs explicitly ask for no videotaping, as I'm not aware of most videotaping using any kind of unusual lighting that could damage a show. They ask for no videotaping before the Walt movie, and before the CoP, and before the Lion King enviro-movie, but not before PhilharMagic which is pointless to videotape and may interfere with effects anyway. The man opening the Walt movie asked us not to videotape the movie "because some of this film is 50 to 75 years old." I know they have to give a phony reason for the people who inevitably ask why, but in my mind I thought "And I imagine that the projection of said film is over 100." :P

    Anyway, I got a larger taste of the old days at the Walt exhibit than I have at anything in Disneyland in years, and the pictures of things like old Tomorrowland were a nice touch. Leaving the Studios and trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B, I noticed how little shade there was outside. This was a comfortably warm day and not too hot or too cold, but the sunlight beating down on you is obvious. In fact, I did not find a lot of shade at WDW parks much of the time at all. Odd.

    I left the Studios and took a friendship to Beach Club, where I got lost and did far too much walking around trying to find Beaches & Cream. I figured out after way too much pacing that you have to go indoors then back outdoors after the hallway. Beaches' burgers were certainly nothing special, and I was disappointed that it's menu was regular fare. I had heard so much about these single/double/triple/homerun "Fenway burgers" or something to find out they don't exist. I am a sucker for those giant meals where you have to challenge yourself to finish the whole thing, so the burger selection was a downer, and even I am not insane enough to try the kitchen sink on my own, unless someone else was paying.

    I took another friendship back to MGM, then bussed to POFQ to go unpack my main bag and call the relatives.




    It appears the Dolphin is getting a much needed paint job.


    All in all, this was an okay experience, nothing like what I would have expected out of WDW, though.

    I got back home to find out what I had forgotten to pack: A USB cable connecting my camera to another device, such as a laptop or (in my case) camera link to iPod. Thinking I could solve this with a camera store, I set off to Magic Kingdom.

    Ah, now this is what I wanted. That classic sound of the train arriving to the station, the Monorails criss-crossing just over my head, the walk through the tunnel and..... WOW!


    Magic Kingdom: Holy %$)#!!!

    I just wasn't anticipating simply how massive this thing would be. Actually, I was anticipating it, but it still floored me upon walking in. Critics be damned, I had a great big ol' smile on my face walking in here and kept it for the rest of the night.

    Although I did get accustomed to it in time, the castle is huge and beautiful and visible from wherever the heck you are in the park. It's odd seeing it glow at night above Frontierland, but there it is. I walked around Main Street, ducking around into stores and looking at merchandise that was much the same as a I saw at MGM. I did get that USB cable by the way, and the camera store had that same musty scent as Main Street stores in Disneyland, which honestly suprised me. Then, I went off to Tomorrowland.

    Controversial subject: Tomorrowland. This is my favorite of the current Tomorrowlands, without a doubt. HKDL's could be better in time if given more chance to grow, and some of the little touches are just beginning to wear out, but it's otherwise maaaaahvelous, dahling. If you're really going to stop trying to accurately predict the future, then you should put a lot of imagination into the fiction like they did here. It's also a depressing statement about what COULD have been done at DL if certain executives weren't total morons.

    Being that I am too tired at this point to ride anything that is not a walk-on, I got to see CoP for the first time in a long time, ride the Peoplemover of course, and just walk around happy. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed my Dad just to blast the CoP music into his ear because we've missed it for decades.

    I rode the train to Frontierland and wandered through that for a while before leaving around 7PM to avoid the crush.


    Splash Mountain: I'm not sure how I took this shot, but it came out rather artistic for a clunker. Somehow, my camera ended up capturing the moving object as a still and the rest of the scene in motion. I guess I was moving the camera at the same speed as the log.

    And that ends Day 1.

    Next update, assuming anyone cares for one, will have a lot of Epcot impressions.
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 02-15-2006 at 06:36 PM.

  2. #2

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

    Oh that was a great trip report. I hope you continue!

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

    Veryenjoyable read Mickeymania, thanks for taking the time to post your first day impression... We'd love to read the rest ans see some of your fav pictures...

    BTW... about those round plushes... congrats! Now you own a plush that was actually sold at HKDL on opening day.

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

    I'm not sure if I should be proud or not (your comment makes it sound like they're big non-sellers,) but it's a gift for a friend who likes Donald and has a soft spot for what the Japanese call "chibis."

    Amongst the other merch I bought was those Mickey Mitts, which was an irrational purchase that I'll just have to mark up as another guilty pleasure. I have no idea why, I couldn't see anyone else buying them and they had no use at home, but they're just so cute. Maybe they'll be hung on the wall or added to my large collection of Disney souvenirs from over the decades.

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

    I see you opted for the long trip report instead of the short one (and I'm very glad). Can't wait to here the rest.

    As for video taping, part of it is copyrights & the other part is basically the same reason they don't want you videotaping movies at the theater.
    “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

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

    Interesting read.

    And glad you (apparently) enjoyed FQ.

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

    Awesome TR. Yeah, our castle is huge... but we're missing a mountain next to it.

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

    Hell of a report there chief.

    To comment on the mugs, I find they are worth it, because $12, even if once per night you go get a drink after the park, after 4 nights you've spent the same amount, plus you get a souvenir. I eat at hotels less and less now but I still go for mugs. When you are leaving...fill it up. At the pool? Fill it up. I've always found they are great.
    French Quarter, beautiful isnt it?

    As far as the witch A/A...Stitch, the Yeti, Ellen (in UoE) are all the same advanced A/A. The auctioneer might have been updated to that style too (dunno though).
    In other parks, Indy is that advanced too.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb

    As far as the witch A/A...Stitch, the Yeti, Ellen (in UoE) are all the same advanced A/A. The auctioneer might have been updated to that style too (dunno though).
    In other parks, Indy is that advanced too.

    Also take a look at the Chief in American Adventure. Incredibly fluid.
    People aren't successful because they have never failed.....they are successful because failing hasn't stopped them.

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

    I can't wait for the next part of your trip...

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

    Awesome trip report!
    Thanks man!
    Can't wait to here day 2.
    Makes me excited about mine coming up in May!

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

    Day 1 I basically was somewhat blitzed from staying up too many hours without sleep, so I just wandered around admiring how huge the whole place is. Today, I get serious.

    Day 2:
    Get ready! This one's huge!

    The plan at the start is to check off most of Future World. But first, breakfast. If you go to Disney, you have to have breakfast at least once. There's something unique about almost all Disney breakfasts that a trip isn't complete without one.

    I've never really bothered to look that deeply at Epcot, it's always kind of been just there. I sort of knew about the World Showcase but it was always pretty much SSE and Test Track in my head.

    I'm suprised just as soon as I get off the bus stop, however, that the place maintains that older 1985 high-tech future look, and seeing some of the more recent signs like the ones that explain the new entry system with the finger scanners, it seems they aren't desperately shoving out this theming in favor of something new for once. Good on 'em.




    EPCOT: Comfortable about it's age.



    I'd also like to say that I'm nuts about that music loop at the entrance. It almost sounds like a John Williams score.

    Just inside the entryway, Disney has bought enough marble to furnish a downtown casino and is putting metal plates engraved with people's faces on these massive blocks. I get the feeling this is either a love it or hate it thing, and a lot of whether you love it or hate it depends on whether you feel the price to have your face immortalized there is worthwhile. The price doesn't seem too unreasonable but I couldn't find anyone selling this (maybe I was in the wrong place) and I likely won't be able to come back and find my picture anyway.

    Regardless, I don't mind the big marble rock garden itself. It's shadows can provide some useful shade, if nothing else.

    The line for SSE was kind of long, as would be expected, so I veered right intending to go to The Living Seas, which I wanted to see before all the old Seabase stuff was lost to Pixar. I should have gone, instead I wouldn't be there until MUCH later. I wound up at The Land instead.

    This pavillion seems to follow the rest of Future World in having aged gracefully, but it appears there was a massive refurb for Soarin' just recently. Whatever, it looks nice.

    I got a FastPass for Soarin' and then got in the standby queue for Living with the Land.

    Controversial subject: FastPass. I've been a strong opponent of Fastpass since it first arrived, and back in Anaheim it's an incredible headache and managers have found some queues move better without it. Living with the Land has FastPass. I'm not sure why. Pirates at DL reportedly became a much quicker loader when they removed Fastpass, and LWTL sits immediately next to another FP attraction, Soarin.

    In the end of my trip, I used FP a total of three times, and at least two of those times it caused a far longer standby queue than was necessary. In this case, I waited in a queue for LWTL that was marked as 20 minutes, but went on for nearly twice that. It wasn't even a very large line of people, either, it just moved very slowly, probably due to Fastpassers coming off Soarin and entering their line here.

    My opinion of FP is still negative, but I now believe it can sort of balance itself out so long as it is used sparingly and everybody takes advantage of it. The old saying is that if you look around the room and can't find the person being taken advantage of, it's you. The person being taken advantage of here is the person at a park not holding onto an FP. Which was me quite often, since I can only take so many attractions strung together.

    LWTL started out very dry, and I suddently was hit with the realization that I was on one of those OLD Epcot rides, the ones they talk about when the place was smacked around as one large corporate vision of the world. However, once we got into the greenhouses, it got a lot better. That they showed the different kinds of food they were growing and were giving examples about where they end up on people's plates reminded me a lot one of Walt's more educational programs. I was skeptical about how authentic the bio-engineering lab they showed near the end was, there but there was indeed a real person working in there behind the glass, which made it seem more genuine if it wasn't.

    Soarin' is a ride I just can't do, I'm sad to report. A group of two and I decided to be a group of three to get a seat in the very front row, but as soon as I was strapped in and had my camera bag stowed away, I got a good look at what this whole attraction really is, and noticed the lack of a platform under my feet and how high up that screen is, and quickly got a knot in my stomach. I've seen the Modern Marvels show that includes this attraction, how inspiration came from an Imagineer's erector set toy, etc, and although it looked like fun on the TV, I couldn't handle it. Especially in the front row.

    A last second desperation shout of "Hey!" and I got a CM's attention to let me off this crazy thing. Sorry, folks. I know little children ride these things, but I just don't have enough faith in human engineering when it comes to heights. That's the same reason I don't try those rides on the Stratosphere observation deck.

    Somewhat embarassed about the above, I continued northward to the Imagination pavillion.

    If I may say so... Imagination pavillion, Figment, and the fourth wall: I had heard this ride had been worked over a number of times with less than stellar results, but I kept an open mind about it going in and wanted to see this Figment character that so many WDWites like. I went in expecting something like a classic Fantasyland dark ride, except perhaps a little less hokey since it's fairly recently reworked.

    After riding this attraction, I came up with a new hypothesis: No attraction should blast unenjoyable scents in your face as a 4D effect. Stitch at MK solidifies this theorem. Why do I want to be held captive to something unenjoyable?

    Anyway, perhaps the mood WDI was going with Figment was to make him curious with a hint of mischevious, but for some reason the execution didn't work. He seems to have the same bratty attitude as Stitch, without all the destruction. I understood the message of the ride, but it wasn't told very well. Maybe the combination of loud sounds, stuff blown in my face, and a combination of that being used in a jump moment at the end left me kind of sour. But even if I seperate him from the attraction itself, I wasn't very high on the Figment character when I left.

    It's lunchtime now, and I moved onto a building that had an unthemed hallway. I wasn't sure where it was, but there was a character meet & greet with very short lines. I took the world record for WORST Picture With Mickey Ever, forgetting to move or put down my camera bag and having bad posture (well, I was tired from walking around) and just generally looking really fat. Boy was that a suprise to see when I got back to the room!

    I also encountered Club Cool, although I didn't try anything other than the Chinese watermelon drink, which was quite good. I scared away from Beverly, and eventually had to make a seperate trip back here just for it, but that'll come later.

    I wandered through one of the Innoventions halls. This attraction was fairly popular at one point in the 90s and although our west coast version is horrible, maybe this one...

    Nah. Innoventions is just as lousy here as it is in Disneyland, it's just got more people inside. I got in line for an exhibit called House of the Future, simply because of the name reminds me of the Tomorrowland classic. This is completely different, and I basically spent over 30 minutes waiting for a 15 minute experience wherein I am pitched (complete with web site addresses) technologies like HP computers and Microsoft Windows XP Home Media Center Edition. And of course, the true star, that car of tomorrow, the Hummer H2 Hybrid.




    Innoventions: In the future, we'll all drive Hummers!



    Controversial subject: Da Wand. Okay, from certain angles it looks alright, but there's way too many angles where it looks horrible. Not to mention that it screws with the symmetry of the sphere. To those who cannot understand why I dislike the wand, here's a collage of shots:



    Epcot: Why I don't like the wand.


    If this stuff wasn't as visible perhaps it would make an okay landmark, I'll even forgive the necessary blinking light on top. I did kind of enjoy being able to see the top of it from my room, but it's far too temporary-looking to stick around.

    Anyway, I had lunch alfresco at Electric Umbrella. Burger, drink, the birds leaving me alone, and SSE in the background. Ahhh... So, with Ellen's Energy Adventure down, I decided I should hit up SSE (a walk-on now) and head back to the hotel for a mid-day break.

    I didn't read up on SSE beforehand because I wanted to suprise myself with what's inside. It was, uh, entertaining. I didn't know the actual attraction was going to take place inside the ball. After the first ride, I didn't quite get it , and I would later come back to ride it more. I actually look forward to getting that whiff of burning Rome.

    This attraction was really quite good. Perhaps it's a little too deep for the young ones, and I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much without that big incline up the sphere, but the effects weren't that hokey (even that room before the planetarium up top), the music was great without being infective, and the future predicted at the end was a nice mix of Progress City with technologies that seem closer within our reach.

    Satisfied, I leave Epcot around 2:30 and Monorail to the MK.

    I see that Main Street has those same little flip-film machines that DL's does. I give the two in the athletics store a try, and one of them worked. I take the train to Toontown and start exploring around there, making my way through the toons' houses towards Goofy's Barnstormer.

    Now, I've mentioned before that I don't ride roller coasters because I'm afraid my back will end up hating me for it for years. So I decided to slowly travel up through the WDW mountain range to Space Mountain, and start with the Toontown coaster.



    Magic Kingdom: Don't like Stitch? Fling him like a football!

    My favorite Goofy cartoon ever is Goofy's Glider (although How To Golf is a very close second) and I was thrilled at the little references to that toon placed throughout the queue, including that "plane divebomb" sound effect from the 1940s cartoon played in the barn when a train rolls through. I look at the line and the people riding. Small children, men older than myself, this ought to be okay.

    Goofy's Barnstormer: (out of five)
    Fun: ****
    Pain Risk: *.5

    This is actually a fairly good opening coaster. It doesn't have any real drops or sudden upward bursts.

    I wandered towards Fantasyland and began the dark ride run. Pooh was not as awful as a ride as I thought it would be, although I would prefer the TDL attraction if I had the choice. I never liked Snow White, so skip. IASW had a lot of AA issues, although I think I've simply become too cynical over the years riding Disneyland's verison for this ride, and can't enjoy it as I used to.

    Peter Pan's Flight was a long slow-moving line, probably due to Fastpass, but it was also fairly crowded with standby guests. Compared to the ride at DL, this was pretty lousy. I'm sure the DL one has it's moments where it looks cheap, but not this cheap this frequently. What happened? How can you go wrong with the Peter Pan dark ride? The nicest thing about it was the improved loading method with the moving platform.

    PhilharMagic was one of the most enjoyable movie-based attractions that I've seen and ties with Spaceship Earth for the attraction I went on most at WDW. Of course, with PhilharMagic most of my reasons for going multiple times were related to trying to videocam it, and then coming home to find someone at Disney-Central did a better job than I did. Oh well, it was great fun on repeat visits anyway.

    If I may say so... Fantasyland. I don't mind this Fantasyland at all. I'm used to the DL Fantasyland and this Fantasyland is a half-way point between that and the original DL incarnation. Considering when it opened, that makes sense. Some would say that the MK ought to have the best looking Fantasyland of them all, since it is the flagship park of WDW and the entire Parks & Resorts division. I guess I'd agree with them, but I'm not sure I'd clone what's at DL. Part of what makes the DL Fantasyland work is that it looks like a little European grotto village underneath the peak of the Matterhorn. Without the mountain, the atmosphere is lost.

    And while I'm at it...

    If I may say so... Cinderellabration & the Castle. Not a fan of the show. It's girly stuff, of course, so I'm not the target audience, but it appears this show blocks off the castle walkthrough with a big blue curtain and a wall at the other end. Walking through the castle is THE moment at a kingdom park! On a similar note, much of the castle was otherwise closed off. Looking through cracks in the doors I could see a mirror and a ladder but not much else. Not sure what's going on there, whether those doors are always closed or what's usually there if they aren't.

    Perhaps I'm wrong in blaming Cinderellabration for the closing of the castle, but it seemed like the gateway was covered on days I saw it and open to walk through on days I didn't. Details, anyone?




    Cinderella's Castle: Magic happens here, on odd numbered days only.



    Night drew on, so I left the MK and rode the Monorail to the GF to check the main building out. Nice place by my standards, although I'm not sure if a room here is really worth what they're asking for. Between the GF, the fountain show at Epcot, the Polynesian's theme, and POTC, I am beginning to see that Steve Wynn really didn't MAKE anything when he transformed Las Vegas. He simply took ideas from WDW and expanded on them using the kind of investment capital that can only come from slot machines.

    Unfortunately, I was hankering for some table service, but the prices at the GF Cafe were too high, so I waited what felt like forever to get a bus that wasn't jam-packed to Downtown Disney.


    Downtown Disney: Or, what the heck are they doing with this land?

    Okay, Walt bought a ton of land for WDW because he didn't want non-Disney entities hanging around. Of course, as big as the place is, I can see the need for a gas station or even a McDonalds franchise hanging around here and there. But why this? What's the history with these hotels? Because it sure was odd to see them.

    Anyway, Marketplace wasn't too bad, but it was a long walk to get through. The Rainforest Cafe, which I was hoping to get a table for, had a long wait. I had vouchers from WDTC for free grub at Planet Hollywood, and not knowing about the two bus stops at DTD, I punished my feet by walking through the entire way, and getting lost a couple times.



    Downtown Disney Marketplace: Despite living near San Francisco for over 20 years, this was the first time I'd actually been to a Ghirardelli shop. Too bad I was starving for actual food instead of sweets.



    PI was, odd, to say the least. I originally intended before my trip to stop by here and at least see the Adventurer's Club and the Comedy Warehouse, but the parks and the walking around between them took so much time that I never got a chance to. The bars, nightclubs, and rock music on the sound system was rather un-Disney. This place serves a certain visitor's need, I guess, and Disney wants to make money from every visitor's need they can think of, but I'm not sure how I feel about them being the chief operator. I guess it was just odd to go from SSE and Cindy's Castle to Rob Zombie blasting down the street in a few hours.

    When I finally got to Planet Hollywood, it was loud and obnoxious and there was nobody there willing to tell me whether or not I could get a table no matter how much I tried to get their attention. I gave up. I would try again on another evening to get my PH food voucher's worth, but got the same response. Getting attention as a party of one here is hard.

    Lastly, I quickly caught a departing bus back to FQ and another dinner at the food court. The jazz guy at the club next to the food court wasn't the best, but was quite good. He also played Yakety Sax, which is good enough for me.

    My feet hurt in all kinds of ways, and I'm pooped. End of day 2.

    Day 3 coming soon! Animal Kingdom, I go all political on the Hall of Presidents, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! *shudder*

    (edited with an extra picture and details about PhilharMagic)
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 02-16-2006 at 01:00 PM.

  13. #13

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

    Yay! Just as good as the first one! I love how you mix the pictures in with the trip report. Eagerly awaiting the next installment...

  14. #14

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

    Oh, something I wanted to mention but forgot about: That Lion King environmental movie. I went on this after my Soarin embarassment, and between it, PhilharMagic, the Walt movie, and the movie at the end of the Movie Ride, I felt like I had seen quite a few projection films by now. Little did I know how many film-based rides were at WDW!

    The Lion King enviro-flick was alright although a tad preachy. The audience applauded it at the end, though, which I never saw for any other film except the Hall of Presidents. 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.

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

    If you ever get an opportunity to ride Soarin' again request the last row. It doesn't go as high and I'm pretty sure you can almost touch the floor in that row.

    And I didn't care much for the Lion King environmental movie...but when I saw it was young and The Lion King was my favorite movie so I suppose I was hoping it would be more exciting!

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