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4 Parks, 1 Day & Bonus Universal


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  • Trip Report 4 Parks, 1 Day & Bonus Universal

    After hearing about the Disney World Special Event for Star Tours, Monorail Man and myself decided it would be worth a short weekend trip to attend this little event. Not to mention catch up on a couple of the new/updated/continuing progress happening at the parks. Before the trip, we figured that we would enjoy our afternoon over at Epcot before having to make our way over to Hollywood Studios for Special Event in the evening. However, when we got up that morning, and deciding that we didn't want to have lunch over at Via Napoli, we decided to head on over to Animal Kingdom first, and start our day there.

    After arriving through the gates, we made a beeline to the back of Africa to catch a ride on the Kilamanjaro Safaris, less than 10 minutes at 10:45 AM. Little did we know that this would be a theme throughout the day.

    Black Rhino


    Baby Giraffe

    Baby Elephant

    Exiting the Safaris, we took a stroll along the back of the park over to Asia, to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Yeti over on Expedition Everest. Standby was 15 minutes at this point. So we took our chances to brave the Tea Train.

    The yeti still is hardly visible, they should just turn off the strobe and light it normally at least.

    View from Asia across the park

    We then proceeded over to Dinoland U.S.A and catch a ride on Indiana Jones, err I mean Dinosaur. Less than 10 minutes for standby. Time to find our Dino. (Sorry no pics of the Time Rover adventure).

    Getting hungry, we decided to leave the park and head on over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and check out their "newest" restaurant Sanaa for lunch. Again, sorry no pics, camera got left in the car. But the food is quite enjoyable, if you enjoy Indian food.

    After enjoying a relaxing lunch, we headed on over to EPCOT to check out some of the changes going on. Walking through the front gates around 3 PM, we found Spaceship Earth to be a walk-on. It's always such a fun little ride to enjoy. So after our time travel trip to the past, and our future, we wandered over to the Imagination Institute to check in with Figment. Again, it was a walk-on.

    Exiting off of Journey into Imagination, Captain EO was just about to start another show. Even after multiple viewings, and I do mean multiple, of Captain EO at the Disneyland Resort, we couldn't resist checking out how it was implemented out on this coast. And not to spoil anything, the effects are slightly different here and were quite the nice surprise (take a hint DLR).


    "Themed" holding area

    Leaving the Imagination Pavilion, a stroll around the World Showcase seemed to be in order, if at the very least to check out the new Italy pavilion area, and see the progress at the Mexico Pavilion. It was such beautiful weather, couldn't help but take a few shots of World Showcase from across the lagoon.

    Once arrived in Italy, the new addition helps add depth this former "shallow" pavilion.

    Via Napoli was running an hour wait at around 4:30 PM, so remember get there early if you want to eat there this month.

    Over at the Mexico Pavilion, they had a mariachi band playing near the entrance to the Gran Fiesta Tour

    Progress on the new restaurant, the detailing is looking good on the building.

    Now just shortly after 5 PM, and not having to be over to Hollywood Studios until 8 PM, we figured we might as well check out Magic Kingdom, since it was just a short monorail hop away. And besides, how can you come to Disney World and not ride a monorail at least once on the trip?

    The view into Future World

    Well the monorail idea turned into a mono-fail. Had no problems getting to the TTC, but getting out of there was another issue. The Express Monorail had broken down before we arrived, and they had a limited number of monorails running on the Resort line. And the Ferryboat waiting area was full of guests waiting to get across the Lagoon. It took us an hour from when we left Epcot to get to the front gates of Magic Kingdom.


    Such a giant castle, compared to Disneyland's

    Walking past the castle, we made the right into Tomorrowland to head on over the newly renamed Peoplemover

    New Sign

    Club 626 sure entertains the crowds

    Ready to take a peek at some Fantasyland Forest Construction? I know I was.

    Construction Corridor (I'm having DCA flashbacks)

    The Winnie The Pooh Tree is still under work

    Where Little Mermaid will be going, the tent in the back is ToonTown Fair

    The back area is where I believe Beast's Castle is going to go

    The area between Philharmagic! and Peter Pan is receiving a facelift

    It's a Small World is down and receiving it's plussing, no word yet about the removal of fiberglass buildup

    New Peter Pan Sign

    Liberty Square. Liberty Tree Tavern is under tarps as well

    While in Fantasyland and Liberty Square, we had the afternoon rain "shower." It sure tried to rain, but only managed to squeeze out a few drops, which did nothing to help the humidity. But on the plus side, a rainbow did manage to form, though it sure seemed like it was more staged. Where was the end of the rainbow?

    Not a pot a gold, but a bucket of golden popcorn

    On a side note to that survey taker who stopped us as we were leaving, I promise those answers we gave you were completely accurate, even if it seemed to come across as just making up the answers.

    It was now just after 7, so we decided to go head back to the car and head on over to Hollywood Studios. No monorail problems this time, YAY!

    One last look across Seven Seas Lagoon

    So just after 8 pm, we make our way into Hollywood Studios, and the reason for the trip, a private party for the giant Star Wars convention "Star Wars Celebration V."

    Chewbacca and Ewok with Oopla

    Bespin Dance Stage

    Snig and Oopla giving out Star Wars toys

    More Chewbacca

    Darth Vader with Snig and Oopla

    Chewbacca didn't win

    Bounty Hunters take the stage

    Just before fireworks

    To see more photos of this event, check out the August 21st edition of the Weekend Update.

  • #2
    Re: 4 Parks, 1 Day & Bonus Universal

    So after a good nights rest, and sleeping in, we only had about 6 hours before our plane was to take us back home. We quickly packed up and checked out, and headed up I-4 to that "other" resort, Universal Studios, for another visit over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

    En route to the Parks

    Wait, Wizarding World isn't its own theme park?

    We made our way into Islands of Adventure, and worked our way through to the back of the park over to the Wizarding World.

    Nice little detail in Seuss Landing

    The "temporary" pathway to Jurassic Park from the Lost Continent

    Hogsmeade Gate

    The Village

    Ollivander's had about a good hour wait, if not longer

    Hogwart's School

    Side View

    45 minutes, AWESOME!

    Still just as an amazing a ride as when we were able to ride it back in June. Too bad the dragon wasn't working properly this time. Definitely take the day trip out to Universal to check out this ride while visiting the Orlando area. You won't be disappointed.

    Hog's Head Tavern

    After the Butterbeer fix, we went and enjoyed a nice relaxing meal over at Mythos. Then we proceeded to head over to Marvel Super Hero Island to catch a ride with everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood Spiderman. Only a 20 minute wait for the 3D adventure. We also hit the Incredible Hulk Coaster, which had a 15 minute wait. Still a good coaster, but it needs a little love, it's riding a little rough now.

    With about an hour to kill before having to leave to the airport, we decided to go for broke and hit our 6th park for the weekend. So we quickly made our way over to the Studios Park and try to get in one or two rides before having to say goodbye.

    Walking up the "Main Street"

    Do we ride Jimmy Neutron? Only a 30 minute wait. Sorry Chicken Dance, not this trip

    The remainder of Nickelodeon in the park

    How about Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit? 45 minute wait. Next trip.

    The "Lift" hill for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

    What's become of the Monster Cafe

    Revenge of the Mummy? 20 minute wait. I think we found our winner.

    New York Street

    I've forgotten how much fun this coaster is. And it's a whole lot better than what we have over at Universal Hollywood. But unfortunately by time we got off the ride, we decided that it wasn't worth risking waiting in line for another ride. So we begrudgingly made our way back to the car and made our drive back to the airport.

    And here's one more picture for the road


    • #3
      Re: 4 Parks, 1 Day & Bonus Universal

      Great TR. Thanks for the Magic Kingdom updates!
      Home away from Home.


      • #4
        Re: 4 Parks, 1 Day & Bonus Universal

        Amazing! A true Gumball Rally idea!
        It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!