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My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011


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  • Trip Report My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011


    So I have been to WDW once before in 2006. That trip we spent 4 days in the parks. This trip was a very quick trip and I only had one day to visit WDW. My Sister was in Orlando for a Business trip and let me stay at her hotel for free! Plus I got really cheap airfare, I guess everything fell into place.

    Thanks to everyone who gave me advice in this thread! I used a lot of it and made it on most of my must-see attractions.

    So on March 24th I went to Universal Orlando, which you can see me trip report here:

    So on March 25th I visited Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom. As the day went on, I grew more tired and took less pics, so sorry not a lot from Magic Kingdom. But here we go..


    I remember on my last visit I was really surprised by Animal Kingdom. I was not really looking forward to it except for everest, but I ended up loving the park, especially the theming! I normally don't like zoos, but I actually enjoy watching the animals here for some reason. If they added one or two more e-ticket rides this could be one of the best of all the Disney Parks. As it is now, it is still in my top 5. I will rate all the parks I have visited at the end of this trip report.

    My Sister was working that day, but would be done at noon so we made plans to meet at EPCOT in the afternoon and I went to Animal Kingdom by myself. The day started out bad as I was still tired from Universal the day before that I overslept for an hour and made it to Animal Kingdom around 9am instead of opening.

    The Current Prices: I think they have gone up since.

    The lady kept trying to get me to buy the multi-day tickets that have no expiration date. I kept telling her, I know it is less per day, but I might not be back for years. Anyways, after much arguing, I got my one day park-hopper and was off on my WDW adventure!

    The Tree of Life:

    First stop: Expiditon Everest

    What do you mean it's closed!

    I was not sure if it had just gone down or had not opened in the morning, but I think it was the second one which made me feel better about not getting there earlier cause I wouldn't have been able to ride it anyways.

    So I headed over to Dinosaur. 10 min wait

    Back to Everest. Everyone waiting around for it to open. Which it did about 10min later

    I rode it 3 times, but was VERY disappointed this time. I guess I was lucky to ride this when it was only a few months old and have seen the Yeti in action. Thanks to MiceChat, I knew the Yeti was broken, and was expecting the disco yeti with the strobe light. But when we got to the Yeti part the cave was just pitch black. No lights, no yeti. At first I thought the ride was not over yet, but then we pulled into the station, and I realized that dark spot was where the Yeti was. Still a fun ride, but not having the Yeti kinda ruined it for me. I hope they are working on fixing it, so I can see it again if I ever go back to WDW.

    After Everest, walked around for a bit. Tried to take a pic of a monkey, but he moved

    Even though everyone on these boards told me not to ride Kali River Rapids, since I have been on Grizzly River Run many times, I still decided to since it was one of the only things I did not do at DAK last time.

    And it was only 20min wait

    The theming in line is amazing

    Everyone was right, Grizzly is a better ride with the extra drop, but I think KRR had better theming, but I think GRR still wins overall.

    I had time to do one jungle trek before I had to leave the park

    Can you see it?


    and Tigers! Oh My!

    And i have no idea what this animal is

    Did I mention I love the theming here?

    Watching people watching animals is fun

    Then my Sister called me and it was time to head to EPCOT

    I am waiting for a Bus.

    So, just as impressed with DAK as last visit, but the missing Yeti was disappointing. Wish I had time to do the Safaris but I had actually planned not to since I only had a few hours at the park. I did manage to get on most things I wanted to even though I overslept.

    Up Next: EPCOT
    FIRST DLR TRIP - 1981

    FIRST DLP TRIP - March 1997

    FIRST WDW TRIP - May/June 2006

    FIRST HKDL TRIP - 2016?

    FIRST TDLR TRIP - 2017?

    FIRST SHDL TRIP - 2019?

  • #2
    Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

    And i have no idea what this animal is
    It's an impala. I see them in the Serengeti at Busch Gardens.


    • #3
      Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

      Originally posted by aimster View Post
      It's an impala. I see them in the Serengeti at Busch Gardens.
      Thanks! Like the car?
      FIRST DLR TRIP - 1981

      FIRST DLP TRIP - March 1997

      FIRST WDW TRIP - May/June 2006

      FIRST HKDL TRIP - 2016?

      FIRST TDLR TRIP - 2017?

      FIRST SHDL TRIP - 2019?


      • #4
        Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

        Great TR...can't wait to heart more


        • #5
          Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

          Nice TR, sounds like you had fun...personally I like Impala's the most..
          The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
          -George S. Patton


          • #6
            Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

            Chapter 2: EPCOT

            When you think about it, EPCOT and especially world showcase are kind of just a highly themed mall with all the shops and restaurants, but somehow I still love this place. It ranks high on my list of Disney Parks I have visited. Stay tuned and I will rank the parks at the end of this trip report.

            So, I got on the bus after waiting a while and still made it to Epcot before my Sister. 20min later we met up and both decided to go straight to Germany in the world showcase to get a bratwurst, pretzel, and a beer. We were both pretty hungry by this point.

            First view of spaceship earth.

            After getting my sister a ticket, we finally made it in!

            She only got a one day one park ticket and we were gonna see how we were feeling at the end of the night, if I wanted to go to magic kingdom by myself or not.

            Oh I forgot to mention that the weather was amazing, maybe perfect. Not too hot, not too cool. Cloudy but sunny. A lot of the locals and CM's we talked to all commented on our luck with the weather.

            Spaceship Earth - I didn't get to ride it this trip, so just once in 2006. I heard it's changed since then, so I wish I could have gone but just not enough time in the day for everything

            love this

            I'm hungry, are we there yet?

            Nope, gotta get a fastpass for Test Track first

            Mission Space - another ride I did not have time for, but I rode it 4 times on my last trip, so it wasn't a total loss.

            Finally made it to world showcase - Mexico

            And that is all the pics I took in EPCOT. I was using my sister's camera and the battery started getting low, so I took fewer pics as the day went on. I'm afraid I took even fewer pics at Magic Kingdom.

            Anyways, After eating we felt much better and did some shopping at world showcase. I got some presents for family and friends.

            Then we went on the seas with Nemo and friends. I had heard neat things about the animated fish swimming with the real fish and I admit that part was awesome, but the rest of the ride was embarrassing. It felt to me like a cheap version of the submarine ride, which was surprising to me. I would have liked it if they made the whole ride of projected fish in the real tank because that was the only good part of this ride.

            We ate lunch at the new Via Napoli. Amazing food, just like the pizza we had when I was in Italy, and maybe even better. The appetizers and salads were really good too. I highly recommend this place. Well worth the price. One of the highlights of my trip, really!

            While we were shopping, I decided I wanted to ride the boat rides in Norway and Mexico as we did not get to do them last time. So we noticed the line for maelstrom was 30min and after more shopping the line was now 20min so we decided to wait. Huge mistake! The ride broke down 3 times while we were in line and that 20min wait turned into a 1hr 15min wait! And then we finally got on the ride, and I was let down again. If I had known that is what we waited through 3 breakdowns for then I would have left the line after the 1st breakdown. The video at the end is hillariously outdated. We could tell it probably opened with the park in 1982 as all the computers had the green screen monitors and everyone was wearing the 80's clothes. We only watched half of it.

            Then we went to Mexico and went on the gran fiesta tour. It was a good ride. Donald is my favorite Disney character. Glad I got to scratch off the boat rides on this trip, as last trip I watched all the circlevisions because that used to be my favorite thing at Disneyland, but never had time for the boat rides.

            My sister wanted to go on Soarin since she had not been to California Adventure in years and wanted to ride it again. But it was broken down, so we went to Living with the Land. We did not do this last time, but this was really interesting and my Sister and I enjoyed it. I like educational stuff like this, but I could see getting tired of this if you were a local. But it is one of those things that is nice to do for the first few times.

            Then we used our fastpasses for Test Track. Last trip I rode it with my Dad, but this time my Sister went on it with me for her first time. She was nervous and hates crazy thrill rides, but she liked Test Track. I like the ride too, and it makes me really look forward to Radiator Springs Racers even more.

            So it started getting dark and everyone was getting spots for illuminations, and the original plan was to go to the magic kingdom after the show, but my sister was getting tired and we decided that I would go to Magic Kingdom which was open later and she was going back to the hotel.

            I wanted to get out of there before the show started, and hoped to avoid the crowds, but there was still a large group of people waiting for the monorail.

            I really like EPCOT both future world and World Showcase. It is funny when I was a little kid and all I knew about EPCOT was the "golf ball" and my friend told me they had pavilions with all the different countries of the world and they have food from every country, I actually pictured like a food court inside of spaceship earth where each country had a food stand, lol

            But seriously, it is so giant that on our last trip we were at EPCOT 3 of the 4 days. I really like all the educational stuff and am sad I never got to go when future world was in it's prime.

            Up next, the few pics I have from Magic Kingdom and my final thoughts on WDW...
            FIRST DLR TRIP - 1981

            FIRST DLP TRIP - March 1997

            FIRST WDW TRIP - May/June 2006

            FIRST HKDL TRIP - 2016?

            FIRST TDLR TRIP - 2017?

            FIRST SHDL TRIP - 2019?


            • #7
              Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

              You said something about picturing all of country's eateries inside the golf ball. I thought the same thing for a few years. I always wanted to go into the golf ball. haha. I pictured it like my county fair or like the sample part of costco.
              Anyways, Great TR! Reading all of the TRs makes me even more excited for my WDW trip. Reading yours, I wish I was just going next month and spending 4 days there instead of waiting a year.
              When You Keep On Believing, A Dream That You Wish Will Come True
              Visit my Flickr!


              • #8
                Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

                Book 3: The Final Chapter: Magic Kingdom

                Again sorry for the lack of pics here. The battery was getting low as was my batteries at this point. Plus I took some pics that did not come out in the dark.

                So I said goodbye to my Sister and she got on a Bus, and I got on the monorail before Illuminations started, but there was still a large crowd for the monorail, and I had to wait for 3 or 4 trains. By the time I got to the ticket and transportation center, the next monorail was broken or allready closed or something so I had to catch the ferry. This was a neat experience taking a boat to a theme park, but at the same time I was tired and aggravated having to wait almost an hour to get to the next park, I felt like time was wasting.

                By the time I got to Magic Kingdom, the main street electrical parade had just started, and main street and the hub were PACKED! I thought it was bad having everyone leave California Adventure and go to Disneyland, but having all guests from 3 other parks, all come to this park that closes late was crazy! I never watch parades, and tried to get trough the crowd or get around them, and decided to head for Haunted Mansion to see if the new outdoor queue had opened yet. It had not officially opened then, but I had seen video of soft openings on youtube.
                Another thing, it felt really weird having to ask how to get to the haunted mansion, since I know Disneyland like the back of my hand. The Magic Kingdom still feels like Bizzaro Disneyland to me.

                So I finally got to the Haunted Mansion

                Despite the crowds, it had a short wait, so the extended queue was not open.

                The entryway was really neat with the changing portrait.

                It was so strange to not feel the moving sensation of going down the elevator in the haunted mansion. I even noticed the floor had no gaps, it was just flat, so you could tell you never move.

                It was really weird having the changing portraits in the ride, instead of in the line for the ride. I don't remember if it was like that when I went in 2006.

                I thought the moving audio in the stretching room was amazing as was the library, and staircases.

                However when I got to the "new" hitchhiking ghosts, I think they were still testing them, because it was just projections on white walls. Again as with the yeti earlier in the day, I was there at the wrong time, cause this effect was not ready yet. Why couldn't they have left the old version until the new version had been tested? This upset me because I may be the only time I get to ride the WDW Haunted Mansion, and they had half an effect running. Oh well, I'm sure it is neat, just wish I got to see it.

                Anyways, with all the new upgrades, I think Haunted Mansion at WDW is better than the one at Disneyland. Although I prefer the exterior mansion at Disneyland.

                After Mansion, I wanted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean as it is one of my favorites at Disneyland.

                Pirates in Adventureland?

                Wow, what a disappointment! Let me count the ways
                - No Blue Bayou
                - No Talking Skull
                - Only one Drop
                - Missing half of the skeleton scenes - no treasure scene
                - Ending felt abrupt

                So I think you can guess, I prefer the Disneyland version.

                Ok, so where to next?

                Walked through Fantasy Land

                Tried to get pics of construction, but it was way too dark

                Saw everyone in Tomorrowland doing the dance

                Was really impressed, and the crowds seemed bigger and more full of energy compared to the crowds at Tomorrowland Terrace in Disneyland, when they play music. I guess that is because of more tourists at WDW.

                I had to ride the people mover again, since it used to be my favorite ride at Disneyland.
                I am also happy that they re-named it the People Mover as it should be.

                Got a car all, to myself. Time to kick back and relax

                Up next: Carousel of Progress:

                I am not old enough to have been able to see this when it was at Disneyland. There were only 2 other people in the theater with me, but I liked this show and am glad I got to see it after seeing all the pics and videos here on micechat. As I said earlier I like all these educational type attractions and that is a reason I love Disney. Anyone can build a thrill ride, but only Disney has these slower more educational type attractions, as well as still having the thrills.

                So I got out of the show and the fireworks had just started

                I decided that after the show it was going to be a madhouse dash of people out of the park, so I started making my way to the exit as the fireworks were going off.

                I got all the way to the train station when the show ended and I could see everyone behind me start leaving too.

                I made it to TTC and finally found my bus to the hotel which was 15min late.

                The next day, I hung out in the pool with my sister in the morning, and then flew home later that day.

                So a lot of people here might get upset with me, but i think the Disneyland Resort overall is better than the Walt Disney World Resort. Not that I don't love WDW, it just feels like I only need to go once every 5 years, unless they open something new. And I look forward to all the new fantasy land additions, but they alone will not warrant a trip just to see them. I allready have ridden the Little Mermaid, and as a grown man with no kids, I have little interest in the princess additions. I am sure it will be better that what it there now though. I remember been so upset on my last WDW vacaiton that I never got to ride the subs there and a pooh playground was not a good substitute. Now I am glad that they are fixing that area up again, and I'm sure it will look amazing.

                It just feels that overall, WDW has fewer attractions than Disneyland. It probably is more, but being spread out between 4 parks, makes it feel like less. Especially Magic Kingdom. As with my last trip, I was really disappointed in this park. Before I list the bad things, I wanna say I still liked the park and in my opinion the following things are "better" at Magic Kingdom
                - The Castle - amazingly beautiful and it fits the scope and size of the park. I would never want a castle that big in CA, as it does not fit our scale, especially with the Matterhorn, but I love it in FL.
                - Haunted Mansion - even with the half finished hitchhiking ghosts, this version is still much improved over Disneyland.
                - WDW still has the peoplemover
                - WDW still has Swiss Family Treehouse - which I did not get to this trip, but loved last time
                - Mickey's Philharmagic

                Okay, now Disneyland seems to have twice as many attractions as MK, despite being half the size. But the worst part is that 90% of the rides are the same that we have at Disneyland, but most of the time the Disneyland version is better. Florida does have some original attractions I enjoy such as Micly's Philharmagic, but a lot of the original things that I can think of at MK, such as Stitch, and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor I did not enjoy. If fact I did not see this time, because I did not enjoy them last time.

                It still feels like crazy Disneyland, where the attractions are all in the "wrong" place. What is Splash Mountain doing so close to Big Thunder Mountain? haha. This may sound bad, but I actually started getting a little depressed being at MK near the end and was wishing I was at Disneyland at that moment. Somehow it feels like the park is missing it's soul. It is almost like it is trying too hard to copy it's older brother, instead of finding it's own identity.

                I did not get to Hollywood Studios this time, but I was not impressed last trip.

                Okay, overall, I would go back to WDW for EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, but not for Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.

                Having visited all Disney Parks in the US, here is how I would rate them.

                1) Disneyland
                2) EPCOT
                3) Animal Kingdom
                4) California Adventure
                5) Magic Kingdom
                6) Hollywood Studios

                Although, after Buena Vista Street and Cars land opens next year, DCA could jump up to number 3 and bump animal kingdom to 4. We shall see...

                If you add in the Universal Florida Parks, here is my rating of the Florida Parks

                1) EPCOT
                2) Animal Kingdom
                3) Islands of Adventure
                4) Magic Kingdom
                5) Disney Hollywood Studios
                6) Universal Studios Orlando

                And overall rankings:

                1) Disneyland
                2) EPCOT
                3) Animal Kingdom
                4) California Adventure
                5) Islands of Adventure
                6) Magic Kingdom
                7) Hollywood Studios
                8) Universal Studios Orlando

                I am sure that a lot of people will disagree with my ratings, but that is what is great about micechat.

                Hope you enjoyed my one day of WDW madness. I had an awesome time, and got on allmost everything I wanted to, despite the crowds, and I can't wait to go again in the future. Although my next Disney Parks I visit outside of CA will probably be in Asia, as I have not been to those parks yet, but I know I will make it back to WDW sometime later in my life.

                Thanks For Reading! And have a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day!
                FIRST DLR TRIP - 1981

                FIRST DLP TRIP - March 1997

                FIRST WDW TRIP - May/June 2006

                FIRST HKDL TRIP - 2016?

                FIRST TDLR TRIP - 2017?

                FIRST SHDL TRIP - 2019?


                • #9
                  Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

                  I enjoyed reading your TR And that's awesome how you had really nice weather too.


                  • #10
                    Re: My Second Ever WDW Visit! March 25, 2011

                    Thanks for sharing. Nice report.

                    No matter where you go, there you are.


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