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STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report


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  • Trip Report STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

    Part 1- STS-132 launch from a first timers point of view. Please skip to post 2 on for Disney World TR

    I just came back from an incredible weeklong trip to Orlando and WDW and I just wanted to share some of the joys that I experienced on this trip with you my Mice Chat friends! Long version but I hope you enjoy it.

    The purpose of the trip was two fold, the first was to see one of the final launches of the Space Shuttle. The second was to experience the magic of the Walt Disney World parks.

    I was fortunate enough to secure two tickets to the Kennedy Space Center Causeway for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Getting the tickets for the launch was for me a blast to the past to the 1980's day's of trying to win concert tickets from radio stations. The original ticket sale for STS-132 went on sale at 8:45 am Florida time, which meant that I had to wake up at earlier, then 5:30 am to prepare my computer and my phones for the "lottery" to obtain the Causeway viewing launch tickets.

    The Kennedy Space Center ticket site, crashed under the immense load of prospective ticket buyers, I had then spent about 2 hours using my multiple landline and cell phones to attempt to reach a human at the Space Center. After finally not getting a busy signal, navigating the phone tree, waiting on hold for over 1 hour and reaching a human, I was told that the ticket sales were canceled due to the computer crash and they would be setting a new ticket sales date in the next week. Strike 1!

    Well the new ticket date was announced via Twitter and the web site, so again I woke up 1 hour earlier in the morning to prepare my girlfriend and my self’s computer, landlines and cell phones to attempt to purchase 2 tickets for the causeway viewing at the Kennedy Space Center.
    The ticket sales via web were now being handled by a ticketing agency that had much more server bandwidth although tickets were being sold on a "Lottery" Basis, meaning that by logging into the site you were not guaranteed a ticket unless you were randomly selected by the computer! I logged into the site and was told to "Please Wait” Judging from the twitter messages it appears that the tickets had been sold out via on-line in a matter of minutes. But thankfully I had also been dialing the phone line ticket sales and after easily a few hundred busy signals, I somehow magically made it to a live operator who happened to still have 2 tickets remaining! It was just like the old days of trying to win concert tickets from a radio station! I won! Although of course this time I had to pay for the tickets!

    Thankfully we were able to obtain these tickets the "real" way and did not have to pay scalpers the 500+ dollars a TICKET they were trying to sell each Causeway ticket for! It really is a shame that so many of the tickets are sold to Scalpers who just end up reselling these tickets for astronomical prices. It is so unfair, but that is for another post I guess!

    Either way we had just secured our tickets for Space Shuttle Atlantis's final launch! We now had to book our tickets to Florida! While so many people mention that you should not make plans around a Shuttle Launch since there are so many ways that a launch can be postponed, scrubbed or canceled, we decided we were going to take that chance! Through an on-line travel company we secured 2 direct flights from Los Angeles to Orlando along with 6 nights of a nice 3 star hotel near Disneyworld for about 500 dollars each! We were very happy with that!

    We arrived Thursday night from Los Angeles to Orlando; we quickly rented our car, which was upgraded, to a very nice car for no extra charge! Thanks Alamo! With the help of our GPS we brought from home we were quickly on our way to Wal-Mart to purchase some provisions and lawn chairs for the Friday launch! We finally made it to our hotel, checked in and went to sleep at about 10:30pm; we had a very early day ahead of us so we needed our sleep!

    Friday morning 4:00 AM, Orlando time 1:00 AM Los Angeles time! We are awakened by our multiple alarms that we set to ensure we made it up!
    Quickly jumped in the showers and got into our cars for the 1 hour drive from the Hotel to Kennedy Space Center! We had to be at the Space Center at 6:00 AM so we left very early to ensure we would have no problems getting there on time. Thankfully we left early enough and there was no traffic, so we made it to Kennedy Space Center a bit early and secured rock star parking at the center.

    Once we made it into the Space Center and passed security we had a number of hours before we needed to board busses for the Causeway, Since I have read on multiple sites that there is always a very good chance a launch will be scrubbed, we decided to wait until about 2 hours before the launch to get to the Causeway incase the launch was scrubbed so that our tickets would not have been invalidated (you can purchase new tickets to the Causeway for $25 dollars in case of scrub but they are limited supplies, we did not want to take any chances) This probably was not the best option since it meant that we did not get the prime Causeway spots, (which ultimately did not affect us but it did require us to walk far from the bus to get to a good location, since there were brushes that were obstructing our view where the bus had stopped) Hindsight I probably would have boarded the bus a bit earlier but it was not a big problem.

    While we were at the space center prior to boarding the bus to the Causeway we took the Kennedy Space Center Bus tour, which was abbreviated due to the impending launch (no visitations of the Launch Pad obviously) Although we did get to visit the Apollo Launch Museum and visit the Space Station processing bay's. It was very cool to see and also very bitter sweet to hear about how many people will be losing there jobs once the space shuttle program ends next year very very unhappy about that but that is another topic altogether.

    The tour was incredible, once back to the Space Center we boarded the bus for the Causeway, it was incredible to be at such a historic place and time, My eyes were welling up with emotion. We put our chairs down on a spot which I at first thought was a incredible view of the Launch Pad, but after looking at the pad for a minute through my camera, I realized that there was no shuttle at the Pad I thought I had a fantastic view of! Thankfully I realized this about 1 hour before Launch! Unfortunately since we got on the bus late we had a small island/bush out in the water that blocked the Atlantis Launch pad from our location, so we had to walk about 10 minutes in the other direction and find a spot where we would be-able to have a clear view of the correct pad from! I am so glad I figured that out early enough!

    Magically we found a spot to watch the launch from unobstructed we were ready for the final countdown at which point word was getting around that at T-5 Minutes there was a potential scrub issues due to a loose ball bearing that was found! Oh no! We were beyond tired at this point since we had woken up very early for Orlando time let alone LA time. We were running on fumes at this point, please oh please let there be no scrub (of course safety is the number 1 priority but I still was hoping the launch was a go!)

    Thankfully the countdown continued and everything was a Go for launch!
    We were at T minus 10 seconds, everyone was counting down together and there was the ignition, the giant plume of smoke and exhaust and the Fire illuminating my forward view, then majestically Atlantis rises into the sky, tears welling from all our eyes as we watch her climb higher and higher, then comes the roar of the engines the rumble of the immense power of the Space Shuttle and her gigantic engines. We are all overcome it is like a dream, I am really here standing watching this historic occasion, fulfilling a dream of mine and a long time dream of my girlfriends Grandfather who sadly did not live long enough to experience a shuttle launch himself.

    We all continued to watch the Shuttle climb higher and higher until it was no long visible or audible, the smoke and the trail filled the sky and then it was now time to pack up our things and head back to the bus. What a incredible moment, God Speed to the Crew of the Atlantis-132 what a incredible launch it was.

    Once back at the Kennedy Space Center we spent the rest of the day taking in the various exhibits and attractions including the, Launch Simulator attraction (think of a more intense Star Tours type of simulator, very cool) We watched the IMAX documentary on the Hubble (AMAZING! You must see this, it is incredible!) overall we had a mind blowing, immensely rewarding day that I am so ever grateful for having had this opportunity to experience with my own two eyes.

    After staying till closing of the Space Center and a bit of a nap we drove carefully back to the hotel for some very needed sleep. We had lots of fun planned for the next 5 days! We had lots of Disney Parks to see!

    At first we were thinking that we would get a park hopper and visit all the parks in two days and then Visit Island Of Adventure and some other attractions.

    After careful consideration and analysis and discussions and help from our MiceChat friends and forums, we decided against this! (Boy am I glad we did!)

    We decided to purchase a 5 day magic your way ticket (which hindsight we should have purchased many more days and paid for the no expiration option, but hey live and learn I guess)

    I signed up for the Touring Plans web and I-phone App which in addition to the great advice I received from the forums really made a incredible difference.

    By Following the recommended days to visit specific parks utilizing fast pass correctly and standby lines, we did not encounter 1 line in which we waited over 30 minutes at any of the E-ticket attractions the week we were at the parks! Now I am sure luck had a good part to play with this as well, but gosh oh gosh it was un-real!

    Since this post has already gone over many pages, I will post each park as a different item here. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by CAspace; 05-25-2010, 08:16 AM.

  • #2
    Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

    Disney Day 1- EPCOT

    This was our first visit to the Disney Parks! Epcot, wow the giant "golf ball" I have always wanted to visit this magical place and here we were. We follow the GPS from the hotel and navigate the incredible expanse of the Walt Disney World properties, I cannot believe how HUGE this tract of land is!

    We finally make it up the Parking entrance and made our way into the Epcot parkin lot for some incredible parking, the park did not seem busy at all! Once in the park we initially wanted to get our fast pass for the main E-tickets we wanted to see which were Mission Space and TestTrack (since we have Soarin in DCA and have been on it many many times, we went to the unique attractions for us)

    With our Test Track fast passes in hand we then proceeded to Mission Space, which had only a 5 minute standby wait for the Orange side! What a incredible ride! While I do wish I would have had the chance to experience the Horizons dark ride, I was still blown away by Mission Space. They did a fantastic job with the cockpit theming and it was a really incredible sensation. I did have to try and relax a bit from the feeling of slight claustrophobia once secured into the capsule, but once the ride began I did not think about it. Although I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to really be in a capsule and blast off into outer space! Overall I was very impressed with the attraction although I do think that the numerous warnings after warnings regarding the intensity of the ride, really do cause unnecessary anxiety, perhaps that is the reasoning for them!? It was not as intense as I would have suspected although it is certainly a different type of feeling and is a bit unnerving at first I did love pretending I was really piloting a space ship though, I played with all the switches, buttons and dials (even if they did not do anything, it did keep my mind off the anxiety once the capsule doors closed )

    After Space we proceeded back to TestTrack, to be honest, I was dissapointed with this attraction.
    I expected so much more for some reason. Perhaps because I hear there is always a huge line and demand for this ride. I was underwhelmed by the indoor ride experience, I did find the outdoor racing portion to be allot of fun but it the outdoor portion was so short (20 seconds?) compared to the indoor experience that it was not worth it to me. I am looking forward to the new DCA ride of Cars though and I have a feeling there will be much more outdoor racing then TestTrack has. There is certainly alot of potential although I just feel that TestTrack does not do it for me. But of course based on the popularity of the attraction, I must be in the minority or people are able to tune out the 3+ boring minutes of the indoor portion to make it to the "Fun Part" to make it worthwhile. Who knows.

    After TestTrack and another launch on Mission Space, we began to walk around the World of Epcot, around the lagoon to all the various "Countries"! It was really amazing, I loved the theming for each of the various countries and all the little attractions that each country had. It was lots of fun. I especially loved experiencing the 360 degree CircleVision theatre in China (since CircleVision was removed from Disneyland back in the 1990's) it was fantastic to see a CircleVision show again!

    I really enjoyed the Maelstrom attraction in Norway although I found the ending to leave alot to be desired! There was so much amazing build up and then you are just in a Oil well platform and the ride ends! Come on We stayed for the incredibly cheesy large format film presentation, which are always fun! I love those cheesy films!

    We thoroughly enjoyed the United States section and absolutely loved the very moving Animatronic Show which brought tears to our eyes. WHAT A GREAT SHOW!!!!

    I love the theming in Epcot, it is a wonderful Park. After viewing all the lands we made it back to check out some of the other attractions, we did not make it on all of them although we did get to see,

    Spaceship Earth - Loved it

    Innoventions- We checked out the RoboCoaster roller coaster simulator, (very very cool!)

    Universe of Energy: Sorry but this is HORRIBLE! I would have loved to see the original. Sure the ride system is interesting and there are a couple cool moments, the giant large format film of the shuttle launch and some interesting animatronic moments, but other then that it was a HUGE disappointment and waste of time unfortunately.

    Living with the Land takes visitors on a boat tour through a working greenhouse- Very cool to see the green houses of the resort, it was a nice experience.

    All in all we had a incredible time, we did miss a few of the attractions I would have like to see such as the Nemo undersea adventures and Journey into the Imagination (although I would have much rather seen the original defunct attractions but that of course is impossible)

    I loved Epcot.
    Last edited by CAspace; 05-25-2010, 08:17 AM.


    • #3
      Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

      Disney Day 2- Animal Kingdom

      What a beautiful looking park, so lush so incredible beautiful! I absolutely love the area where Everest is located, they really did a incredible job here.

      We headed first to Everest to grab fast passes and also ride standby since the lines were non existent! What a great ride. The theming is incredible, the Que. wonderful, unfortunately the Yeti animatronic is still broken, as you can tell by now I absolutely love Animatronics, so I was disappointed but the ride was still very fun! After multiple re-rides of Everest we went to the Safari, it was fun although I am not a huge zoo person and it really was just a elaborate zoo since the animals do not really "live" in the safari attraction and spend the nights in pens backstage. It still must be amazing to see how the "herd" all the animals to the pens each night.

      Overall aside from the beauty of the park (except for the Dino-Land area) and the amazing Everest attraction, there was not so at Animal Kingdom that I would come back again and again for. I was a bit underwelmed by the Dinosaur attraction, and the "Dino-Land" theming basically a very very loud alternate world type of Disneyland Indiana Jones Ride vehicle attraction. Of course there are some cool animatronics but the ride just did not do it for me. The Tree-Of life and the surrounding waterways is amazing. Overall a very fun and enjoyable day.
      Last edited by CAspace; 05-24-2010, 03:58 PM.


      • #4
        Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

        Disney Day 3- Disney Studios

        We first head over to Tower Of Terror, there was no wait so we went on the ride numerous times. Since I am very familiar with the attraction in California I was very excited to see the original. It did not disappoint. The theming is top notch! Much more attention to detail in the DS version. I especially like the boiler room Que section allot better as well as the actual elevator loading room itself is much more intimate and feels more like a "elevator" shaft as opposed to the California version.

        I very much enjoy traveling into the 4th dimension although I think I was hoping that there would be some more stuff to actually see up there, I think this area can be plussed in many many ways. Currently there is a very very cheesy effect which places a very low early 1990 digital photo with very low resolution of the guests displayed on a ball. It looks really bad! I love the lighting swipe effect prior to the elevator entering the drop tower. The random drops themselves are interesting. I think that on a whole with the California version you know what you are going to get each time and sometimes that is a good thing since in California you always get a really awesome drop sequence, but in Florida with the random sequence it really is hit or miss. We sometimes had great sequences but to tell you the truth a few of the sequences were just not that great. I do love the additional "floors" that the elevator opens on too, I do think they can be plussed in many ways as well with some other "things to see" or props, smoke, etc. There is allot of room for low cost high impact show enhancements. Great ride overall though.

        The Great Movie Ride-
        Wow! I really love this attraction! I love classic films and I love animatronics, so of course I enjoyed this attraction. Boy I do sure wish they would remove the eyesore of the "Mickey Hat" which blocks the front of the Chinese Theatre though! Who is the genius who came up with that Eyesore to be placed smack infront of the Theatre? Crazy how some people get paid so much money to come up with ideas like that?!

        Stunt Car Show-
        WOW! What a incredible show, the stunt car driving was top notch. I cannot believe how incredibly dangerous that show really is!

        Movie backlot tour- meh, the explosion water effect tram stop is very cool but otherwise the tour is pretty boring. But perhaps I am jaded since I live in Hollywood and have been to the real Universal Studios Hollywood tour many times.

        Pretty much the same as in CA, always fun. A must ride now since it will be going away soon for a new version. Nothing beats 70mm film so I have my serious doubts if the new Star Tours will be anywhere as good as the original especially since it will be in HD which is no where near the resolution of 65mm film. 2k HD which is what most digital cinemas are shown in today is less then 2.5 megapixels vs 65mm film or IMAX which is upwards of 30+ megapixels per frame. There is NO comparison in image quality especially when you sit up close or watch a large format presentation.
        But that is a different argument for a different forum.

        ToyStory midway mania- Same as California
        Fun for a interactive video game, but I cannot believe people wait 120 minutes for this! (based on the on-line wait time postings)

        Indiana Jones stunt show- Fun, but after seeing the car stunt show, nothing can top that one!

        Sci-Fi Drive in-
        I really enjoyed this restaurant! Very fun! Not sure why the entrance and check in desk is shaped to resemble the back of a set and not just keep the look of the Drive In but I guess that is a question for the Designers.

        Overall we had a fun day here.
        Last edited by CAspace; 05-24-2010, 04:27 PM.


        • #5
          Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

          Disney Day 4- MAGIC KINGDOM!!!!

          WOW here we are the day we have been waiting for, we saved it for the last day and a half based on the recommendations from the on-line attendance charts and avoiding early entry suggestions. For the past 3 days those suggestions have ensured that we did not encounter one line that we had to wait more then 30 minutes in which for E-Tickets during peak hours of the day is incredible.

          Upon Entering Magic Kingdom parking lot, I could not believe just how immense this place is. It is 1.5 miles from the parking lot to the front gate! WOW! I mean you can take a Boat or a Monorail to the entrance, HOW cool is that!? Amazing.

          Once we entered the park it was incredible to see a real Barber shop on Main Street, but I was depressed that the Fire Dept is a store as well as the Main Street Cinema and the Penny Arcade. Not great for a purist like myself, but Mainstreet buildings sure seemed bigger and the castle, WOAH that thing is HUGE! It was a whole different experience walking down Mainstreet and over a river to get to the hub. The place is so big it was overwhelming.

          We headed to Tommorowland first to ride Space Mountain, the original! There was less then 10 minute wait standby at around 9:45 am, so we rode it multiple times. It was cool walking through a whole different Que and riding a totally different ride, with different seating options and without the music. Very different, but in a good way. Personally I am very bored with the California version of Space Mountain music, so it was nice to have a quiet ride. I loved the main lift hill having some different things to look at. The ride was so different for me I was caught by surprise at each turn and sudden drop. The ride was certainly rougher then the Disneyland version but I had a great time riding and re-riding the attraction.

          After multiple rides of space it was time to check out the Astro Orbiter the way it was meant to be experienced, from up high off the ground! This certainly brought back memories from Disneyland's past. I sure miss riding the rockets high off the ground, it is a totally different experience and much much much more fun!

          I absolutely loved experiencing the Carousel of Progress. Since I was born after the Disneyland version had already closed, this was a very special treat for me. While I am disappointed that many people who seem to experience the attraction are using it just to talk and eat out of the heat, I am still happy that the attraction exists. The final act which was redone in the 1990's leaves much to be desired in my opinion, although the first few scenes still feel classic to me and very enjoyable. If I had more time I would have liked to go on the attraction first thing in the morning or right before close to have a more private showing with hopefully less talking and food munching guests, so hopefully it will still be around when I next visit!

          Tomorrow Land Transportation Authority- AKA PeopleMover! I love this attraction, it reminds me of the people mover which I miss very much at Disneyland. I love going through SpaceMountain and riding above Tomorrow Land.

          Buzz LightYear astro Blasters. Wow I had no Idea just how much better the Disneyland version was going to be. It really blows the MK version away. The MK version has locked down guns which are attached to the vehicle, much harder to aim, the targets do not have illuminated targets that light up when you hit them. This makes it much harder to determine if you are hitting anything. I did not even hear any audible cues letting me know if I hit or miss a target. While the MK version does have a cool 360 degree film projection during the last scene, that is not enough to save the attraction from losing out to the DisneyLand version. Oh well, it was still fun spinning around in circles, but nowhere near as fun as ToyStory Midway Mania or the AstroBlasters in DL.

          Monsters Laugh Floor! I really liked this attraction. Very fun. Everyone was smiling and laughing, I liked it much more then I would have thought. I am glad I was not put up on the jumbo screen!

          Stich's Escape- Oh my gosh, people actually got paid to make this? Seriously, I heard it was bad but I could not believe it was that bad, too bad I did not get to see the original attraction.

          Then off to FantasyLand, It is a bit strange that the Castle entrance is blocked most of the day for the little "show" they put on over there it does make getting to Fantasy landa bit ackward especially if you were attempting to reach FL from the hub. FantasyLand in Disneyland is more beautiful with the more elaborate show buildings but I am sure that may be a different story in 2012 when the new FantasyLand is open.

          As for the rides themselves the MK Snow White is a much longer version and has a much better ending, which is a very good thing! Snow White in MK is much better, Peter Pan in MK is AWESOME! Much longer which is a very good thing, although we do have a much prettier fiber optic star field effect in the flight over the city show scene and a prettier moon.

          MK in Small World is AWESOME. While the Disneyland version has the original and incredible Facade. The actual MK ride itself is much much better. There were no crappy additions or modifications that have "plagued" the Disneyland version during the last so-called plussing of the attraction in 2009. You still have the rain-forest scene and everything seemed to be clean and working perfectly! I loved the MK version of Small World! Please know how lucky you are to still have such a beautiful version of the attraction.

          Winney the Pooh- While the attraction is a million times better then the DisneyLand version, it is not really my favorite dark ride, but it is still cute but nowhere near as fun for me as the Mr. Toads Wild Ride would have been. Oh well, I was about 15 years too late!

          I stopped into each of the eateries and restaurants! Wow you guys have so many more food options, they are all really cool! Then off to Liberty Square.

          Liberty Square- The Hall Of Presidents-
          This is a incredible attraction! I loved every minute of it, while I am sure I would have potentially enjoyed the original show more, I did very much enjoy the current rendition. I was blown away by all the animatronics of the Presidents. It was a very powerful and fantastic show. Education can be fun!

          Steam Ship- Loved it of course.

          Haunted Mansion- You guys have the better version- Longer, better load area, better themed. I really enjoyed the experience very much.

          Bear Country Jamboree! I am so happy I had a chance to see this fun show again. I have missed it greatly since it was removed in Disneyland.

          Tom Sawyers Island! Your version Blows Disneyland's version out of the water! Incredibly themed, the vegetation so lush, the Rocking chairs truly rock! (pardon the pun ) The caves are darker and much more exciting to climb through. You can still go inside the fort and see things. You can climb up into the towers. It is so much more fun then the junk that the Disneyland version of "Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyers Island" has become. I am so glad I had a chance to see this version. Enjoy it.

          Thunder Mountain- Fun very fun, I love the additional show elements, the animatronic animal and various characters, the hot springs show scene etc. Very fun and different version of the attraction.

          Splash Mountain, I love the side by side seating. Seems to be more fun flume drops on the inside of the attraction. While I do think that the DL and MK version have been lit too brightly in some of the scenes before entering the laughing place, overall the ride was fun as usual.

          Jungle Cruise, Much much longer version, I liked it allot. Of course the ride experience really depends on the strength of the Skippers performance but overall it is a wonderful presentation.

          The TikiRoom- BLASPHOMY. I am astonished on how Walt Disney's version of the Tiki Room was so blatantly destroyed while taking pokes at the original attraction and making fun of many things that make Disney great. I truly would have rather they quietly closed down the attraction instead of destroy such a classic piece of Walt Disney designed history. Very bad show done in very poor taste IMHO.

          Pirates of the Carribean, cool building, interesting Que! Overall the DisneyLand version is much better but I did enjoy the shorter MK version. Still wish I saw the original version before they added the "Movie" stuff. But I gotta be grateful for what I got to see

          The MK Railroad! WOW MK has a incredible railroad! It seems like the trains are bigger, the steam whistles actually sound like real steam train whistles! The chug is really powerful and has a real kick to it! The track is much longer and the ride is longer with less stops! I LOVE IT! The MK version rocks! I love the MainStreet train station with the functioning music boxes and little penny arcade items that were placed there. Please take care of the RailRoad she is beautiful. While you do not have some of the incredible railcars or the Diorama that we have at DL you still have one heck of a RailWay!

          Overall we had a fantastic time at the Magic Kingdom! Thank you so much!
          Last edited by CAspace; 05-24-2010, 05:16 PM.


          • #6
            Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

            DISNEY Partial Day 5- Magic Kingdom day 2

            We packed up our stuff, checked out of our hotel and headed to MK for a few hours since we did not have to be back at the airport until around 5pm.

            I really wanted to experience riding the Monorail round trip to Epcot, so we road the Monorail round trip and had a wonderful time. I do wish the "tron" overlay was not on the Monorail though because it did give me a headache having to look through all the "dots" that obstructed the view from the windows.
            Overall it was a fun ride though. I cannot believe how long your monorail system is! It really covers some serious ground.

            We spent the rest of the day riding the steam train, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion and enjoying the scenery. We left the park and headed back to the parking lot and then off to the airport

            We had such a fantastic time visiting florida and had some magical experiences that may or may not have been shared by others.

            We saw a Shuttle Launch from the causeway on the first attempt.

            We did not have any more then 20 total minutes of rain during during our 5 days at the parks!

            The weather while hot and humid was not unbearable during our stay.

            We waited no more then 30 minutes on the E-Ticket attraction! (most of the time we averaged about a 10-15 minute wait on E-tickets with Standby lines, or much less with taking advantage of FastPass)

            Thank you Orlando, thank you DisneyWorld, Thank you MiceChat and thank you friends for you help and support.

            Thanks for reading this, I know that pictures would be a fun addition to this report and I will put something up when I load them into my computer. I know that I went on and on and on but for a first time visitor I had a lot I wanted to share with you.

            Hope you have a wonderful day!

            P.S DisneyWorld has a MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better Annual Pass program! I cannot believe the value in your Annual Pass program. It is a million times more of a value then the DisneyLand program. Enjoy what you have! It is awesome!

            I do still love DisneyLand though even though we do have a small castle and our whole park could fit in your Hub It's still nice though!

            -Best Wishes
            Last edited by CAspace; 05-25-2010, 09:49 PM.


            • #7
              Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

              Last edited by CAspace; 05-24-2010, 05:56 PM.


              • #8
                Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                Thanks for sharing! Glad you had a good time. Sad you missed Nemo at Epcot.. its actually an amazing show. Same with Nemo the Musical at DAK.

                Did you get to ride Rockn Rollercoaster?

                On your comments about IASW... I think the rumors are the extended closure coming up at MK's version is that it's to add the additions to it


                • #9
                  Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                  Very nice trip report. I think I actually agreed with 99% of what you wrote.
                  My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:


                  • #10
                    Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                    Nice trip report! Makes me want to go so bad.


                    • #11
                      Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                      Thanks a lot for the interesting trip report! I agree with most of your comparisons between WDW and DL, although I'm one of those weirdos who actually likes the MK's version of the Tiki Room, as long as we continue to have the real thing in DL to anchor us! And getting to see the shuttle - WOW!!! Something that I've always wanted to do, and now will never get the chance. Congrats on your great time!


                      • #12
                        Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                        Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                        Thanks for sharing! Glad you had a good time. Sad you missed Nemo at Epcot.. its actually an amazing show. Same with Nemo the Musical at DAK.

                        Did you get to ride Rockn Rollercoaster?

                        On your comments about IASW... I think the rumors are the extended closure coming up at MK's version is that it's to add the additions to it

                        Thanks for reading my first MK TR. I know it is very very long and has lots of mistakes but I really wanted/needed to get it all out of my head before I started to forget things!

                        We actually did get a chance to see the Nemo Musical at DAK, I need to add that to the report (see I am already forgetting things!) It was a fun show although I think the Aladdin Musical at California Adventure may still be a stronger show, though I have not seen the Lion King musical so perhaps that is the winner of the Disney musicals.

                        As for Rock N'Roller coaster- The ride was down for a weeklong refurb the week we were there Oh well, that would have been lots of fun.

                        In regards to the MK version of Small World going down for a Refurb-
                        Unfortunatly I would have to say that after seeing such a wonderful presentation of the attraction, I knew in my heart that someone in Disney Park Corporate was going to have to justify there 300,000 dollar a year + salary and come up with another "incredible" suggestion to "enhance" a attraction. No doubt it was those incredible decisions that brought us such fantastic additions such as.

                        1) The Mickey Sorcerer hat eyesore that completely ruins the sight-lines at Disney Studios.

                        2) The Tiki Room under new Management disaster.

                        3) The horrific Stitch "attraction" in tommorow Land.

                        4) The bulldozing of the Submarine attraction to put a grassy field in its place.

                        5) The removal of the classic and extensive version of Mr. Toads Wild Ride (since there was obviously no space in all of DisneyWorlds 47 square miles to add a Whinny the Pooh attraction)

                        6) The removal of the Main Street Penny Arcade

                        7) The removal of the Main Street Cinema to put a shop in it's place.

                        8) The Removal of the Main Street Fire Trucks to put yet another shop in it's place.

                        9) Lets not even get started with the decisions made at Epcot,
                        Elens energy show anyone?

                        These incredible ideas and more are born from the brilliant minds of overpaid executive staff who make far too much money and clearly have very little imagination or creativity. It is these executives who would have never even made it into the front gate of the studio when Walt Disney ran the show.

                        Sorry for the rant. I just am sickened to my stomach to think about how much money will be spent on literally taking a incredible version of Small World which looks to me to be in fantastic shape in all aspects, to rip it apart and add characters from late modern Disney films. There is absolutely no reason to spend a dollar to do this. I wish I had the power and authority to fire a good 98% of Disney Park Corporate staff and bring in some real talent.


                        • #13
                          Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                          CAspace, while you of course have the right to your own opinions, they're not totally shared by everyone. I forgot to mention above that I really enjoy the Energy Adventure show in all aspects - the films, the AA's, the vehicles - I think it's a terrific show all around. And I also enjoyed the addition of traditional Disney characters into iasw in DL, for the most part. I don't like the wild west section with the odd looking Woody and other Toy Story characters. But the other inclusions, when they kept with the Mary Blair art style, fit in seamlessly, and I think are very interesting and appropriate additions.

                          But I'm with you on your points 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 above!!!


                          • #14
                            Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                            the preshow area in UoE was pretty awesome in the day.. I miss that. The Ellen overlay has its pros and cons... but as with most stuff it's relevancy to the current time is it's biggest weakness. But when you are talking about forward progress.. like much of future world was... its a challenge to keep things current as it was.

                            UoE is a great format, just needs some love to keep up to date.


                            • #15
                              Re: STS-132, WDW and Orlando first time visitor Trip Report

                              Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                              Thanks for sharing! Glad you had a good time. Sad you missed Nemo at Epcot.. its actually an amazing show. Same with Nemo the Musical at DAK

                              On your comments about IASW... I think the rumors are the extended closure coming up at MK's version is that it's to add the additions to it
                              I was hoping we would get the Small World "upgrades" - I've seen pictures of the changes (pretty sure it was on this site, actually) and I think they will be good. I'm not against upgrading attractions like this or Tiki Room. I love the originals but there's nothing wrong with giving them a little boost. I'm not much of a purist though. I was on the original ride in the Energy building in Epcot and it was good - but I think the new"ish" version with Ellen is great -

                              Totally agree with you on Nemo in Epcot - it's a great ride/show.


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