Friday, October 03, 2008

Disney Report 3

Obviously, I didn't get back to continue on about my trip yesterday, so here goes today.

I believe we've made it up to Thursday. (And I must say the interest in these posts has been much greater than I imagined it would be. I thought I was doing this mostly for me.)

Thursday, I went to Typhoon Lagoon. I went with Dana, Roxanne, and her husband Rickie. But we met up with Mary, Marnee, and Marnee's sister and roommate.

They have a real wave pool. And by that I mean a pool that sends out real waves. Yes, it also does the "storm at sea" stuff I had been in before. But those waves were much larger than the ones I usually swim in at the ocean.

In many ways, the rest of the park was your typical water park. Now, since I love water parks, I don't mean that in a bad way. But it had speed slides (although not the highest kind) and tube slides and a lazy river. And we had a blast hanging out together.

The park does have two things that set it apart. First, you can swim with sharks. They've got a small salt water pool with docile sharks in it. It's small, so it's over before you know it. They don't let you dive below the surface, either. But it was still cool.

The other park that really stood out is the water slide roller coaster. These slides actually use powerful jets to shoot you up and down hills. They are fast and lots of fun. We all enjoyed those.

My biggest gripe is that one group of slides had a long path to the top. It wandered around and you go up and down and up again. I'm sure it's for summer crowds, but as I got tired, I just wanted to get to the top. And all the stairs were starting to get to my knees.

Ironically enough, I think this was the coolest and least humid day of the trip. Of maybe that was how it felt because I was wet.

We left mid-afternoon to head over to Hollywood Studios for that night's group dinner. That was my first chance to see some of the people who arrived on Thursday. We ate at the Prime Time Dinner, a restaurant themed around the 50's. The decore looked like a house from that time period. They had black and white shows on TVs, or at least bits of the shows. (Of course, one of the shows was Dick van Dyke, which was a 60's show.)

And the waitresses treat you like they are your mother. For example, I got in trouble for whining. And when I tried to point out that someone else had said what I said first, I was yelled out for being a tattle tale. And yes, I was the first in the group to get in trouble. But plenty of others were told to finish their food, especially their vegetables. No bribing, but plenty of pressure if they didn't.

We finished Thursday by going to Fantasmic. The idea behind the show is the same as here in Disneyland, but they actually have a stadium set up so you can sit down and watch it. You still have to get there early if you want good seats. We did, and we were about 8 rows back in the middle. They have a large portion in the middle inspired by Pocahantus, which I think dates the show. Overall, it was very good.

Thursday was the only night I made it back to the hotel before 11. In fact, it was 10. I hung out on the patio and talked for a while and even jumped in the pool and talked to the people there for a while. I was going to be in bed by 11, but that didn't happen. It was my usual midnight bed time.

Friday, I struck out on my own with one goal in mind, hit all four parks picking up stuff I had missed. And I did hit all four parks, but I didn't hit all the things I had missed. Of course, that's my fault.

I started out at Animal Kingdom because I wanted to do Expedition Everst again. Walked on it three times in a row, once with Tanya, before moving on.

Next up was Hollywood Studios. I wanted to see the Beauty and the Beast show because it is my favorite Disney movie. I should have skipped it. I knew they couldn't do the entire thing in half an hour, but they really hacked up the story. It was okay, but not something I'd rush back and see. I also road the Great Movie Ride again and did the back stage tour. I even took pictures around the park since it had been raining when I was there on Monday.

Next up was Magic Kingdom where I wanted to hit the Steamboat and the Tikki Room. By the time I got off the steamboat, the parade was going, and it was exactly where I needed to go, so I headed to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. I got a little sidetracked in Tomorrowland and repeated a few things. But it was hard to turn down no wait for Space Mountain or the Buzz Lightyear ride. Heck, I even road the Jugle Cruise again, this time not saying a word so I wouldn't get into trouble again.

But I did finally make it over to The Tikki Room. Now I had heard that they changed the show around in Florida. In fact, they call it "Under New Management." I wanted to see what I thought of the changes. Take my word for it. Don't go see it. Basically, they tried to update it by adding Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from Lion King. The premise is these two birds have bought the place and are going to change things up. But change is not always a good thing. Why they messed with a classic, I'll never know. This one wasn't funny in a cheesy way. It was just painful. Now, it might help that I am a huge fan of the original. But I just didn't like it at all.

I did make my major pin purchase of the trip here, too, before moving on.

I had intended to make it to EPCOT early and finish off the world show case, but it was rather late by the time I got there. And I was dangerously tired. I say dangerously because we had to be up early Saturday. But I pressed on. I made it about half way through the world showcase before I got too tired to continue. I stopped with the American Adventure, a movie/animatronic show. I loved it! Although with all the animatronics that pop up, the "stage" area (really a hole between us and the screen" had to be much bigger than it looks to us. Hosted by Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, it recounts America's history in 30 minutes from the Pilgrams to the present day. Yes, some things get compressed, but it does a reasonally good job.

While I wanted to keep pressing on, I knew I needed to leave. But on the way by, I checked on Soarin'. It had a half hour wait, which was the shortest I had seen, so I went a head and did that. Yes, it's exactly the same as the one here in California. But it is so much fun no matter where it is I don't care.

That meant I got in later then I wanted on Friday night. So I went straight to bed. We had to be up early Saturday morning, so I tried to get all the sleep I could.


Anonymous said...

Was Blizzard Beach not open? Had it already closed for refurbishment. That's too bad if that is the case.

Summit Plummet is the best speed slide of its kind. 120 foot drop. 55 mph. Wedgie included.

Anonymous said...

BTW Mark. I put a link to your "trip report" over on my Disney blog (just started three new blogs -- now that I finally understand how Wordpress and Nucleus blog systems work).

Mark Baker said...

So can I get some links to your blogs? Especially the one I am linked from?

As to Blizzard Beach, it was opened. But I was more interested in the roller coaster slides, the real wave pool, and swimming with the sharks. Beside, I'm really not a fan of speed slides.

Anonymous said... is my Disney blog (I wrote a post about you). I also have (I mention this, because I'm looking for people to review movies). And, my personal blog is (you're linked from there too).

OK, I never made it to the Typhoon Lagoon. Blizzard Beach is sweet though. The speed slide is the absolute best.