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For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...


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  • Trip Report For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

    I was in town this week and planned on spending an afternoon and evening in the parks. But I wasn't going to get in until at least noon.. I didn't think I would have time to do much, and since MK was open till 1am.. I targeted to just goto MK and spend the day there... maybe trying to act like a AP and just soak in stuff.

    Well, my plane was almost 2hrs late.. and it was 1pm by the time I got to my hotel. But along the way I had to face at least a half dozen star tours billboards.. so I bought into 'having to see the new star tours' and decided I'd head to DHS first.. ride ST a few times and then head to MK. Got a cab and headed to DHS.

    Normally ST has a pretty short wait.. so I was hoping I could ride it a few times to see the different sequences. I got to the park, and ST only had a 20min posted wait. So I got in the queue.. which probably ended up being a bit longer.

    Thoughts? Definitely a refresh the ride needed... but I really don't think it really is much more then a refresh. I personally don't think the TSA mocking queue will hold up to long term tastes. The 3D is ok, but not earth shattering. I found the show itself ok.. welcome update but still doesn't make me LOVE ST. After getting off the ride, the wait was posted at 40mins.. I wasn't willing to wait that long just to see more sequences. So I decide I'll walk around a bit and see if the line shrinks in a bit.. as it had gone into extended queue actually in front of the ewok village. I walked up through streets of america, just to be curious on what TSMM wait would be.. too much So I decide to check out the great movie ride. After TGMR, I headed back to ST to check the line again.. shorter but still not 20mins or less so I said no more. I headed down to Sunset Blvd to take in some sights, decided not to ride ToT.. but instead did some browsing in the shops on the way back towards the entrance. So successful trip to DHS.. rode ST and TGMR, shopped, and then headed towards the bus to hop a ride to the MK.

  • #2
    Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

    BTW - that whole 'Disney Channel Rocks' stage in front of the hat is miserable.. if the BAH didn't ruin the visuals enough as it was.. we have this monstroucity to deal with? Plus the acts and music they were playing all the time was just ruining the place.

    The parade was getting ready to start up as I left... and they had the 'director' out there working the crowd and trying to do this Flash Mob stuff. OMG - that stuff is so contrived and uncool when businesses try to be 'hip' and do this stuff. When it's manipulated and planned by the space itself it loses all it's spice. Ugh.. Disney stop this crap - you aren't cool trying to do this Flash Mob stuff all over.

    So the bus ride was to the TTC (I dunno if there was a MK direct bus from DHS??) and rode the monorail to the park. Headed for SM to get a FP for use later. Took a spin on Buzz. Riding Buzz again now really reminds me just how much better the targets in DL's buzz really are. I wish they would update the targets to those illuminated ones DL has!

    Would you believe the PeopleMover actually had a pretty solid line!?! Carousal of Progress? Not so much.. in fact.. I think I saw 3 people waiting for the next show

    So I wanted to see what the new Pooh queue looked like. It had a massive wait posted, so I just looked from the outside and I think it looks fantastic! The tree works so well there. So then I spent some time checking out the FLE construction.

    W0ah.. we don't see people posting pics here much, but man they have a ton done. The whole rock face of TLM is screened with some covered.. the buildings on the be our guest side are up, with roofs framed, tons of rock screening up, etc. I think the whole forced perspective thing on the castle will work just fine. It looks good now, and when complete it will be even better. The one thing that really concerns me is the space for the Snow White coaster. In the concept art, it initially looked like it would be a good size attraction.. but standing there in the park, there seems to be so little space between the current attractions and the back edge of the FLE area where TLM is. I hope they are going to come well into the current walkway area and leave not too much space in front of pooh/etc because otherwise I think the mine train will be tiny!

    So now it's time to check out Philharmagic.. one of the attractions I really enjoy every time. Walked right in, with minimal wait in the foyer before the next show.

    So Pan of course had a 60min wait.. so I continued around and decided to check out the Hall of Presidents since I had not seen it since the last update. One thing I noticed about the AAs.. it seems like the AAs can not make their hand's flat. The fingers are always curled... even though they can gripe and close their hand, they don't seem to actually straighten out their hands all together. It really stood out to me watching Obama and Washington in the show. When your hand is relaxed it looks like that.. but when you are doing animated hand speaking.. I would think their fingers would be a bit more extended.

    But after see HOP... I was inspired to want to see the American Adventure after recently reading the book 'Building a Better Mouse' which was about some engineers during the building of EPCOT. But having already been in two parks today... could I really get to EPCOT and back yet today? I wanted to do the new HM, wanted to see the new castle show, and wanted to see the fireworks. By now, it's almost 6pm... should I really head off to EPCOT?

    Then I remembered... why not check out Captain EO since it's back since my last visit? So it's On! Off to EPCOT! I wanted to be back by 9:30 because the castle show was at 9:45.. so it was off to the monorail again! Took a ride to the TTC and then hopped on the monorail to EPCOT.

    Went in and had to check out Nemo. I still think this is the best queue in the parks in terms of imagination and some of the detail. Unfortunately in some of the scenes, they had lights showing against the projection surface, keeping them from being totally black, so you could see it was flat Angler Fish.. just sitting there I do like the story for this attraction, since it doesn't follow the movie exactly, it's enough of its own to recall the movie while still being its own a bit.

    So then it was off to Captain EO. Know what.. the presentation of this 3D movie I think tops most of the other newer films - sans ITTBAB. I actually enjoyed it much more then I originally remember of the film. The in-theatre lighting and other effects really add so much more to the film. The starfield is greatly missed.. but the rest was pretty good. The preshow was also showing a 'making of EO' film.

    So then it was off to AA. I had not even noticed this pathway that runs in from of the Imagiation pavilion up to WS.. saved me from going back to the Communicore hub. Unfortunately the Illuminations barges were already out.. so no launch service and I had to walk the long way around to AA. I considered checking out a Circlevision film.. but opt'd to just head onto the American Adventure. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, around 7:35, the sign said next show at 8:15!!! So with 40+mins to kill.. I considered heading back to check out O'Canada which I haven't seen the revised show yet. But considered it would be such a long walk, I'd probably miss the 8:15 show, so instead opt'd to get some food at the counter service there at AA. After some food, I headed into AA to wait for the show and checked out the National Treasures exhibit. Nice stuff.

    I noticed Twain smokes through most of his scenes in AA. Amazed this has escaped the Political Correct police still. I think American Adventure is the best looking building on property. The amount of details in it and in the theatre are just fantastic. The AA show is a classic and while I know it might put some people off... it is pretty much the poster child for how EPCOT was a blend of documentary/education/technology to tell the story. Unfortunately the show was just a fraction full.. but the thrill rides of the park had plenty of lines. I worry that Disney will never again make attractions like the original EPCOT. I wonder if Disney style attractions like this have a future in things like roadshows, museums, or other formats. I would hate to lose this kind of story telling.

    After AA, it was getting late, so was time to head back to the MK. Illuminations was starting in just 5 minutes... so the crowds were already formed up to watch the show. WTH is up with people sitting in the walkways 10-30 people deep from the railing waiting for the show? Near Mexico.. it was almost impossible to get through at all. By the time I got to the center.. Illuminations was starting.. so the place was packed with everyone staring at what I was walking away from I considered SSE - but figured I would be too late.. so I headed for the monorail back to the MK...


    • #3
      Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

      Heading back into MK... Main Street was already packed with people waiting for the fireworks. Virtually the whole back half of the street was just solid people standing/sitting... waiting. I found a spot in front of a trash can, right before the Ice Cream Palor. I know I wanted to be back further then normal to see the projection show the best. I waited approx 15-20min for the show..

      I really like this show. Not because of the photos, but because its such an amazing technology and many of the effects are so awesome.. especially the very bright collage effects or the drawing ones. I doubt this show itself has much staying power, but the technology has so much potential. Anyone who thought RDCT was great because of the going through all the lands, with projections on the castle and matterhorn... this type of technology would make such a script amazing. I really hope in a future fireworks show they integrate this technology. The finale of the show with the shooting stars really shows just how amazing things could be.

      So then Wishes was to go off about 5mins.. so I watched Wishes as well which is always enjoyable.

      When I was in the MK EARLIER... after Philharmagic, I did get a FP for Peter Pan. So now it was time to head off to do Space Mountain. The standby line was posted at 80min! But I used my FP from earlier and was amazed that the entire hallway section was empty! For 80min wait, where was everyone?

      I was also disappointed the queue games were turned off. I wanted to see what they were like since this was my first ride since the redo. Finally when I got back past the hallway, I saw just how big the queue area was back there, and there was a ton of people on the Alpha side in the switchbacks. We went right to Omega, and almost right on. I do miss the old ability to see the cars glowing above you. The ride itself is very dark compared to what it used to.. and the starfield effect is better. I equate the experience to be more like the DL version now.. where you have little you can see at all. While I can see the benefit to this.. I do miss the old glowing cars. I measure this redo... neutral to negative

      Then it was off to Peter Pan. I still love this attraction.. I find it quintessential Disney and shows that you don't need the most advanced AAs in the world to put on a great show. I'm amazed still that DL fans don't disown their Peter Pan over the miserable London scene they have vs the models and animation the MK version has. I grabbed another FP on the way out to check it out again later.. my return time was 12:20-1am

      Then it was off to the HM to check out the new queue and effects. But when I got in line, a CM was there not letting people into the new interactive area I then rode and checked out the new effects.. I had not riden since the new scenes and of course now the new ending. I love the new scenes.. and I find no issue at all with the new HH ghosts or the mirror effects. The new HH ghosts look very vivid... and the new CG effects are amazingly convincing. Sorry, all the 'they ruined the HM' talk means absolutely nothing to me now. I find the whole thing very well done.

      I rode it again to see what else I would get at the end. Almost a walk on. This time, the queue area wasn't blocked off, but things were roped off around the organ, and I could only really check out the book and bookshelf. Hrmph.. the whole area is kinda unimpressive. I will write this one off as 'unnecessary'.

      The thing that really stands out to me about the HM still is just how well Disney took an 'issue' and made it into an advantage in the DL HM in the stretching rooms and hallway afterwards. I miss the hallway after the elevators in the MK mansion.. even though I still prefer the MK exterior to the southern mansion in DL.

      Then it was off to Adventureland to ride pirates. At this time of night.. about midnight.. this part of the park is already a ghost town. I really think the layout of pirates this far back in the park really acts as a disservice to the park. At this time of night.. TL was still packed with people.. as was FL. But pirates which should be a HUGE draw and people eater was almost abandoned because it basically sits so alone in this almost dead-end of the park. I wonder if park designers ever wish they had the ability to expand the park in this area to actually make Pirates able to help sustain crowds in an area well into the evening because there is more to come back in the area and visit.

      When did they put that blue flag up for the ride's sign?? Blackbeard projection? bleh.. Davy Jones worked because he was so wierd... now it just stinks. The Jack Sparrow AAs continue to amaze me how well they pull off that character. As much as I defend the shorter POTC because I think all those caverns in the start of the original POTC are such a waste.. I really do miss those extra scenes in the town.

      At this point.. it was after midnight.. and I still had my FP for Peter Pan, but by this time I was pretty tired. I had gotten up at 6am that day to fly down.. and now it was past midnight and I had done 3 parks that day! So I decided to head to main street, do some window shopping for my kids.. and then headed back to the monorail for a ride to the TTC.. and then off to the taxi queue to head home. What a day!


      • #4
        Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

        So for all those complaining about Disney Transport... in less then 12hrs.. I was able to

        Get to the parks, go from DHS, to MK, to EPCOT, and back to MK - enjoying attractions in all three parks.

        I had managed to ride/experience on a moderately crowded day...

        Star Tours
        DHS taking in the sights (including checking out the CCT replica for some memory refreshing..)
        Buzz Lightyear
        Nemo and friends
        Captain EO
        American Adventure
        Memories Castle Show
        Wishes Fireworks
        Space Mountain
        Peter Pan
        HM x 2
        and POTC

        That's quite a day!


        • #5
          Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...



          • #6
            Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

            It's doable for sure! But you're also by yourself which makes a difference in certain situations. Moving quickly is one of them. But glad you packed a lot in your day.

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            • #7
              Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

              Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
              It's doable for sure! But you're also by yourself which makes a difference in certain situations. Moving quickly is one of them. But glad you packed a lot in your day.
              biggest difference when you are by yourself.. no compromising on where to go

              I actually took in a lot of strolling through shops and a good amount of time looking at FLE. I also forgot to add late at night, after wishes, I actually went into the Pooh queue to check out those additions too.. but walked back out after checking out the queue, rather then wait to ride the ride.

              The only time I really want 'A to B and nothing inbetween' was trying to leave EPCOT from AA.. which is a long walk and my walk from Captain Eo to AA.

              But I probably thought I was crazy at that point.. when I got on my fourth monorail ride for the day

              Ironically.. I never painted myself this way.. but if you look at what I gravitated to this trip.. mostly shows! I'm getting too fat and old.. didn't want to do ToT or RnRC mainly due to didn't want to feel yuk at all afterwards


              • #8
                Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

                Wow, that's just amazing! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Those solo trips are the best, aren't they? I've done Disneyland solo twice, it was heavenly, but I've never done WDW without my family. I've never stopped to think that you could do three parks in half a day, but agreeing with all that it was your solitude that made this possible. It's just all so cumbersome with the kids and the stroller, and the husband who is (god bless him) a Slow Walker. Maybe someday I can get up there by myself and have a day like you had.

                I was most interested in what you had to say about the new HM effects. I got to see it a couple of weeks ago, and while I don't think I loved it exactly, I didn't think it ruined anything either. Just goes to show, it's always best to form your own opinion and take the opinions of others with a grain of salt.


                • #9
                  Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

                  I did DL solo once (another TR here..) that was 2-3 days. I kind of went into this trip thinking 'try to be like an AP.. just go in and enjoy the atmosphere' thinking with only 12hrs total I wouldn't get to do much. But once I was there.. when you can roll with the crowds in what you want to do you can still do a ton.

                  I had another FP for peter pan, but by midnight+ I was so tired from being up for almost 20hrs that I figured the next day would suffer if I was too wasted.

                  Also found out taxis aren't cheap from I-Drive to disney. Approx 31-32 bucks from sandlake/I-drive to WDW one-way. That would get expensive doing for a multi-day trip I think staying off site w/o a car would be a burden I don't think I'd want to do everyday.. even with a dedicated shuttle.

                  My wrap up of the latest additions..

                  FLE - looks promising, but not as 'expansive' as I was thinking it would look.
                  HOP - indifferent.. kind of a ''rehab' where the changes aren't really standouts
                  SpaceMountain - Good looking - but I prefer the old setup. I wish in the refurb they would have modernized the lit signs all around to something more future-istic.. like projections on invisible screens, etc
                  StarTours - an incremental upgrade they should have done 10 years ago - good but doesn't make me want to seek the ride out
                  Captain Eo - A solid return - the audience was eating it up. And this is after all the 'michael fad' has wound down after his death. The show I was in had decent attendance and the crowd was applauding. Disney.. finish this one! Bring back the missing effects and let EO run for another 10 years! Tho the stop-motion animation and 3-D compositing done does look awful long in the tooth. If the floating furbie was replaced.. it would last a good period of time I think.
                  Haunted Mansion - Interactive Queue.. unneeded, but I don't see it ruining anything. The new effects at the end.. I give it all thumbs up. The floating Leota.. she was looking better then the effect I saw in DL... but I still have an affinity for the crystal ball on the table. I think it tells the fortune teller/seance story a bit better.

                  Other things noted..
                  The film in American Adventure was showing some wear.. shaking and spots. Disney, this should be a premier showcase - clean up the film.

                  Philharmagic had applause at the end of almost every sequence during the show from the audience.

                  I hope in the future they figure out how to modify Mainstreet to hide the projectors. They are huge and ugly today.. but the impact they can give to future shows is so huge. I hope Disney keeps maturing this technology.

                  EO's film wasn't all that great either - didn't look like a fresh film - but wasn't too distracting.


                  • #10
                    Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

                    I then rode and checked out the new effects.. I had not riden since the new scenes and of course now the new ending. I love the new scenes.. and I find no issue at all with the new HH ghosts or the mirror effects. The new HH ghosts look very vivid... and the new CG effects are amazingly convincing. Sorry, all the 'they ruined the HM' talk means absolutely nothing to me now. I find the whole thing very well done.
                    I agree wholeheartedly, Flynnibus. It's interesting that most of that talk is on the DL side, where most of the posters are hardcore purists, who have only seen the new effects on video. I've always loved the HHGs, but the new effects blow the originals out of the water -- like comparing the original Star Tours to the upgrade.


                    • #11
                      Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

                      Great trip report. Your a true theme park commando. Personally I would have detoured to DAK just to get all four in on the same day. It can be done Its a bit exhausting but it can be done. Park hopping is really easy at WDW. Where WDW transportation really has areas of opportunity in transportation is more for the resorts and Downtown Disney. Esp after fireworks and trying to get a bus back to your resort. Someone take a youtube of the MK bus terminal 30 minutes after Wishes on a hot busy summer night. It looks like %^&* on earth.


                      • #12
                        Re: For those complaining about WDW being split up across multiple parks...

                        Great trip report - I love park hopping - it's the best! I also love the American Adventure. It's too bad you didn't have time to do O Canada. The new version of the film is excellent. I can't believe they let people sit in the walkways there for Illuminations though - Maybe they allow it on that side because they lost some space when they upgraded the Mexican restaurant (?)


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