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  1. #1

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    Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Jiminy Cricket said it best.. "Night time is the most magical time at WDW...especially if you are in the company of TDLFAN conducting a 'Quality Control Audit' walk around the MK and Epcot!" Of course, he didn't say all of that but you know what I mean.

    Took a short evening stroll at the MK and EPCOT tonight and took some photos...just because. Parked the TDL Mobile at EPCOT's lot then took the Mono to the TTC and on to the MK. As usual..we had to wait not once, but twice for traffic clearance into the MK station. Typical. Of course.. here are some other observations as well from the MK...

    -TTC has gone to the dogs! (see photos)
    -MK definitely looks much better at night, partly because the issues I have with maintenance and cleanliness are less apparent in the evening hours.. Still MK looks it's best at night.
    -The Castle's revolving window is broken again.. Funny how DL has lasted 50 years but no one seems to be able to get this turkey ornament to work properly for more than 50 hrs.. A shame indeed because I like the strobes that accompany the spinning effect, and always get a kick to see the "TDL" name represented up there.
    -Buzz' ride has reopened after a brief refurbishing.. however, DO NOT make a special trip to see what has been done, which is virtually nothing. Show wise, there are no changes but at least it doesn't look as dusty in there as it did prior to the closure. However, the queue area looked like it had not been cleaned since opening time this morning. A very bad show indeed.
    -Stitch's Great Escape...with FP being offered, the stand by wait for posted at only 5 mins at 7:45pm. But! if you wanted to FP it later, you could not see the show for another 40 mins at 8:25pm when the FP window would open. Meanwhile at the same time... Buzz's stand by was posted at 30 mins and FP were available as well... Seems to me it's clear Stitch's show does not need FP whatsoever. The fact that Stitch's Great Escape logo has been deleted from the front cover of the MK's guidemap speaks volumes to me. It's a lost cause.

    So it was now past 8PM and I wanted to get to EPCOT before SpetroTragic parade started, since Main Street was beginning to get busy with guests claiming their view spots for the parade... I headed out to EPCOT on the monorail...again. So help me God. We again, had to endure not once but TWO "waiting for traffic clearance" before reaching the TTC..one in front of the Wedding Pavillion where a wedding was underway... "Don't do it sister!!!", and the other wait stop by the front of the Polynauseaus Hotel. Finally after what appeared to be 10 mins since our departure from the MK, we arrive at the TTC in time to catch our monorail to EPCOT. God help us again... As we are ready to depart..the mono CM comes on the PA system to tell us we are being "briefly delayed due to a maintenance check" on our monorail... So here we go again... It took about 2 mins before we were finally on our way! And you wonder why I am so harsh on the monorail system at WDW... Finally we arrive at EPCOT about 28 mins after I left the MK. That's 28 mins folks! I could have done the TDR Line loop (with 4 stops) TWICE! in that amount of time and still have a couple of mins to spare!!! A thorough review of the monorail operation needs to be conducted and improvements made.
    BTW...memo to Disney: Monorail Pink, 3rd car, forward door... carpet needs shampooing... smelled like a kid peed inthere. Not pleasant at all... Don;t take it from me, but ask the silly teen girls next to me going "yuk! phew! etc etc"...

    So now were at at EPCOT... Sad to say the wand is still there. But EPCOT does not feel as crowded as I thought it would be on a Saturday evening. I made my way to World Showcase and after a little while, I find a spot right on the fence by the lagoon, between UK and Canada, and set up my camera to take photos of "Reflections of Earth". This is my first time seeing the show after the barbee-Q barge has been brought out from rehab.. The lights go out and the show begins.. and ... Pretty. Flames galore..bright and high into the air. I don't know about you but I like my Reflections flame-broiled. The show goes off without a hitch and I enjoy the reaction from the newbies parked next to me... "Oooooh! Aaaah! WOW!!! etc etc etc". I think to myself "ain't my show pretty? and BTW... you need to get out of Omaha more often, please".

    After the show is done, the pop version of "We go on" plays and colorful spotlights came on from over some of the World Showcase pavillions, while the lasers coming out of the American Adventure pavillion paint a "Presented By Siemens" on Spaceship Earth. The little light show lasts about 5 mins before everything returns to normal, and I leave EPCOT and return home.

    All in all, it was a nice enjoyable walk around the MK and EC, and fun was had by all. Enjoy the photos...but caution.. do NOT read the captions if you are easily offended by constructive criticism about WDW. Otherwise, enjoy!

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/
    j/AlbumIndex?u=4334673&a=32098320&f=

  2. #2

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Seems to me it's clear Stitch's show does not need FP whatsoever.
    What is even the point of FP on this attraction? That's what got me! It's not going to give you that much of an immediate seat or a better view since everyone is loaded all at once. Maybe if FPers had two exclusive minutes to find their seats before the rest of the horde were let in, there would be SOME ridiculous advantage to FP on this, but even that would be stupid!

    We again, had to endure not once but TWO "waiting for traffic clearance" before reaching the TTC..one in front of the Wedding Pavillion where a wedding was underway... "Don't do it sister!!!", and the other wait stop by the front of the Polynauseaus Hotel.
    It seems to me that these seem to happen most near the Contemporary. As though the train switch and the Contemporary tunnels combine to make some sort of traffic flow nightmare. Has WDW's system always been like this? Is it inherant in the system? What the heck is up?

    As we are ready to depart..the mono CM comes on the PA system to tell us we are being "briefly delayed due to a maintenance check" on our monorail... So here we go again...
    This (power cycling) happened to me once while leaving Epcot. I actually pulled out the camera and began shooting video because I didn't know if anything neat was going to happen. Isn't unfamiliarity great?

    I think to myself "ain't my show pretty? and BTW... you need to get out of Omaha more often, please".
    What in the world does this mean?


    EDIT: Photos: My god! Those giant dogs in heat are almost as bad as the big chicken head over DCA! Your pictures are so nice, I only wish you would post them on Flickr or Imageshack or some place where I could get larger resolutions. Love big pix.
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 02-25-2006 at 09:30 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    *sigh* The maitenance on the monorail is proceedure - a check done during non-peak usage. Keeps them from breaking down during the upcoming peak park closing period. Ignorance is bliss eh?

    As for traffic clearance, and i dunno, more people leaving than coming in means that there will be an unbalanced loading time period at the two stations - how much more perfectly logical does the world need to be?

  4. #4

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    TDLFan you crack me up.... although I do not agree with alot of your sumations, The Omaha comment almost made me drop my vodka tonic... I am always amazed when I watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, but I have yet to ooooooooooooh and ahhhhhhhhhh over it verbally I mean... I have shed a tear or two though. But nonetheless the photos were great and your play by play deserves an Academy Award... but until I go in March I will have to wait it out with your photos
    " And we can dream our dreams forever, dream our dreams together, we open our hearts make a wish on a star in the sky..."
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  5. #5

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Great pics, as always! And the commentary is not negative...it's a dose of reality! Keep it up!
    It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!










  6. #6

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    It seems to me that these seem to happen most near the Contemporary. As though the train switch and the Contemporary tunnels combine to make some sort of traffic flow nightmare. Has WDW's system always been like this? Is it inherant in the system? What the heck is up?
    The traffic delay problems started after the current monorail fleet (which to me has always been substandart in quality) was placed into service. We never saw these problems with the old monorail fleet while it was in operation, or at least I do not recall those problems back then, and I rode those old monos quite often.

    What in the world does this (Omaha statement) mean?
    That you don't get my sarcastic black humor, maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by KNRG
    *sigh* The maitenance on the monorail is proceedure - a check done during non-peak usage. Keeps them from breaking down during the upcoming peak park closing period. Ignorance is bliss eh?
    That's ridiculous to me! Plus it further proves my theory about the current WDW monorail fleet: It's Garbage. When there is an emphasis to prevent problems with a monorail...it only tells me there are major safety issues here that we are not told about and management is concerned to keep at bay. This has got to be the only transportation system in the World where recurrent checks are performed during "live" time to prevent problems later when the system is operated during peak times... Sorry. I find that a bit harsh to stomach without a real explanation in regards to safety. I just don't buy it.

    As for traffic clearance, and i dunno, more people leaving than coming in means that there will be an unbalanced loading time period at the two stations - how much more perfectly logical does the world need to be?
    Seems logical, yet this didn't happen with the old fleet and them monorails used to run expeditiously and without delay. ..And, how do you explain that these delays also happen on the way TO the TTC, when hardly anyone is coming in for the MK, especially late in the evening?? Seems to me the loading procedures and dispatch times are not in sync with one another, and these "operational safety checks" further disrupt the flow of monorails thru the loop.... Gee! What I would not give to see a fully automated monorail system installed at WDW, and operated as eficiently and ontime as the TDR Line monorails are!!! Very frustrating to me and one reason why I have learned to detest visiting the MK.

  7. #7

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    This has got to be the only transportation system in the World where recurrent checks are performed during "live" time to prevent problems later when the system is operated during peak times...
    One would think that with ten trains they would be able to cycle out a bad train relatively simply. Unless there's a problem with the whole fleet... =/

    My gut wants to say that it's better they do such checks at the station then find out something is wrong out on the beamway. My brain, however, thinks it's unbelievable and cannot be considered acceptable, especially since our city's dinky little fully-automated Monorail system has had tons of problems from operator errors to whole tires falling off into parking lots. Yet even something as faulty as that doesn't have to do power cycling checks while loaded.

    I would love it if Mark VII were automated, but I think Disney wants a CM to pin everything on should a tragedy occur. Well, that and it would make extinct the job of Monorail Driver, which has been many a kid's dream since the 60s. Not that Disney would care about that, of course.

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    I would love it if Mark VII were automated, but I think Disney wants a CM to pin everything on should a tragedy occur. Well, that and it would make extinct the job of Monorail Driver, which has been many a kid's dream since the 60s. Not that Disney would care about that, of course.
    Just because the TDR Line monorails are automated doesn't mean they do not carry CMs on board, because there are 2-3 CMs on board at all times plus there is one CM in the very back overlooking the system and ready to take over if the needs be, such as when earthquake tremors hit, which is often in Tokyo.

  9. #9

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Well that's smarter than what we have over here. We have a guy in a remote building somewhere who takes over the controls from his secret location. That has resulted in such braintrust moves as this. Also, someone in that same position ignored maintenance warning lights and caused a train to die on the track, as well as sent a train out without opening the gate for it, and smashing it's nose into the barrier.

    I think the Monorail company actually took over the reigns of that desk from Bombardier after that last and most recent incident, but I'm not sure.

  10. #10

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Ah, let me comment on some things... I was in the parks today as well.

    Call it SpectroTragic again and die!!! It's my fav. night parade I've seen in person. (Granted, I've never seen Dreamlights or Fantillusion in person, but still.)

    Stitch and Buzz both don't need FastPass. Get rid of it.

    Fix the cool thing on top of Stitch.

    Bring back the spinning red lights above Timekeeper.

    Make Dumbo get wet. lol j/k on that one.

    As far as the monorail, those are daily checks. Happen all the time.

    Something cool, we have screw in LEDs replacing bulbs on the watercraft . They're pretty darn cool.

    I agree with just about everything else you said... It looks like they adjusted those plasma lights on top of the American Adventure by the looks of your photos... Not as impressive IMO. Anyway, good report. Too bad I didn't see ya there. lol

  11. #11

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Well Bill... you don't call so how should I know you are out and about?? And as for SpectroTragic... it's an OK parade...it's just that it has become so badly dated after only 15 yrs... Dreamlights and Fantillusion are far more advanced and magical to me... but of course, you may not even like then if you ever see them... I could play you the Fantillusion dvd in my widescreen TV and you can enjoy the parade as it was performed at TDL, because frankly, the DLP version is as bad as it could have been. Very depressing to me.

    I did notice the LED lights on two of the watercraft tonight on the Seven Seas Lagoon, and yes, they look very nice.. I sure hope they change to this type of lighting all over in the near future.... My Xmas tree lights are LED as well that I bought in Japan. Cost me over $189 for the 4 sets of lights. But my Xmas tree sure lights up totally different than my neighbors.. Hehehe...

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    Well that's smarter than what we have over here. We have a guy in a remote building somewhere who takes over the controls from his secret location. That has resulted in such braintrust moves as this.
    Oh dear...

    But I have to admit...I have taken the Vegas monorails several times and have never had these things happen to me. In fact, it was quite enjoyable a ride.. no delays, no safety checks, no deaths. ...Plus, what WDW buffet could possibly be better than Excalibur's and Rio's????

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    The fact that Stitch's Great Escape logo has been deleted from the front cover of the MK's guidemap speaks volumes to me.
    Do you mean the spot of Stitch breaking out of the guidemap? I thought they would remove that since it's no longer the newest ride.

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Warning:

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    ...Plus, what WDW buffet could possibly be better than Excalibur's and Rio's????
    That's a joke, right? Excalibur is the sister to Circus-Circus which is famous for the worst buffet in town for many years (it may be again since Boardwalk shut down and is in the process of being destroyed.) Excalibur's buffet is only notable for being the largest in town. Rio's was good in the late 90s but Harrah's bought the joint and have ruined it.

    Only one buffet I've been to here is better than the one at WDW I went to: Wynn LV's buffet. Granted, I haven't been to the ones at the former Aladdin or Bellagio which are highly-regarded, but I did try the once-loved one at Paris in December and it was lousy as well (another Harrah's buyout there, though. They work with great efficiency at bringing everything down to their Wal-Mart standards, which is why the exclusive big-shot players at Caesars Palace are now considering moving down the street.)

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    Re: Nightstroll thru the MK/Epcot

    Well I have had the Circus Circus buffet once and it was garbage! But I have never had a bad meal at the Excalibur buffet. Unless it has gone down hill since I was there last July...

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchisking
    Do you mean the spot of Stitch breaking out of the guidemap? I thought they would remove that since it's no longer the newest ride.
    I posted a pic of that on the pictorial link above. However... Stitch's Great Escape is not a ride, but a theater show.

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