Into the Parks! - Fourth in a series

We’re not talking about touring plans today - I think that merits it’s own post. Nor will I go through a laundry list of attractions here…I think we all know where our favorites are. Instead, I’ll post some general impressions, hit a couple of specific rides or shows, and maybe render some opinions. This was a watershed trip of sorts - last time we were in the world was 2007, when my son was little, then the time before that was before AK even opened. So there’s lots of things that I had never experienced.

I’ll go in what I assume is least-to-most popular order.

We’ll start at Hollywood Studios. Since it’s pretty much gutted, we planned on getting here a little later. It was the “old” Star Tours the last time, and the new one is much “funner”. We rode that twice. It sure seemed more violent, and I’m still impressed by going to lightspeed. How do they do that? I managed to get both Tower of Terror (Fastpass) and Rockin’ Roller Coaster (Single Rider) this trip. Neither was a long wait, and both are totally worth long waits. The Fantasmic! dinner/show package was totally worth it, too. We got there about 45 minutes ahead of the show on a pleasant evening, and got a primo seat at show center about 10 rows up. Winner! Some of the park ‘filler’ attractions were great in their own right. Star Wars Launch Bay was like Crack to this Corellian. We also saw the Galaxy Far, Far away show, and again I was a giddy ten-year old all over again. But then there’s the not-so-Great Movie Ride. Sure, it’s a clever attraction, but the most recent film in there is Alien? (1979!) Yeah, it’s time for an upgrade, methinks. I also made sure to do the walkthrough of One Man’s Dream. Walt passed on not long after I was born, so I wanted to make sure my own child knew he was a real person - not just a company name.

Moving on to Animal Kingdom, we ran a hard touring plan for the morning. We started out on the hilariously lame Primeval Whirl. A Wild Mouse is the only roller coaster I can get my son on, so we rode it. Disney can do much better, I’d say let the meteor hit it next time. I ran ahead to Expedition Everest, and we pushed on to Kali, Kilimanjaro, and then Flights of Wonder. Pretty good show, but I’m still scratching my head over why the birds don’t say “So long, SUCKAS!” and fly off - there’s no cage, fencing, or other restrictions. We hit the cool refuge at Festival of the Lion King, then Javi and I were off for the Wild Africa Trek. If you can manage, DO IT. I particularly liked the private savannah tour we had - we stopped for multiple animal close-ups, which annoyed some folks on the “regular” ride - our truck was on the side of the road blocking their view. But I paid extra for that right.

We did two days in EPCOT. Mission Space was far and away the best attraction of the entire trip - and we only rode Green! I even conned my wife onto that one! We ate a Fast Pass here - we had one for Test Track that came due just as the skies opened up. I know that attraction doesn’t work in the rain, so we never even tried for it. I’m sorry, we still like Figment, and on the rainy day had time for the Pixar Film Festival, too! Day two was a grand-circle tour of the lagoon; we pretty much stopped in every country and shopped, ate, and drank. Somebody stop in Paris and have a Napoleon and Espresso for me next time you’re there! I did ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure, primarily to hear the tagline from that old podcast we all knew and loved. (Stupid Judy! Stupid Energy!) but that’s actually in the pre-show, so we missed it. I’d have to guess there were about 20 people riding an attraction made for 300. Maybe it’s time to pull the plug on this one. (Sorry, I know.) We also had a Fast Pass for Soarin’. I actually peeked and looked back over my shoulder during the ride sequence - the seating rig is absolutely still after it lifts you up, despite what your senses tell you. Astounding!

And finally into the Magic Kingdom we go!

My Favorite is Pirates, so we rode that every day we were in there. (3 total). We got Peter Pan and Small World multiple times, too. But with 3 days in the park, we had time to see parades, characters, shows, fireworks, and we even visited Tom Sawyer Island, someplace I haven’t set foot in probably 35 years.

We also did a behind the scenes tour in “The Magic Behind our Steam Trains”. Interesting enough, but the real interest was seeing backstage, and some of the road network that supports the park, plus a rare reverse-angle of the castle.

We didn’t spend too much time in the new Fantasyland areas, but we did have a Fastpass for the mine train. I’m not sure it’s worth a 65-minute wait, but it is worth a Fast Pass. Very well done.

I saved the best for last - our very last ride before we staked out a spot for the soon to be done Electrical Parade was Space Mountain. We watched the fireworks whilst eating an ice cream sundae…then sadly walked out to the bus to head home.


Great report, thank you!

What a great way to end a trip!

That was a wonderful report.

Having enough time to see MK at a leisurely pace is great!

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