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View Full Version : UO/EPCOT/MGM Trip Report


ChrisFL
04-10-2001, 07:46 AM
Cast:

Me- 22
Father- 54
Mother- 47

I don't know all the D? classifications, but heregoes.

I lived in Orlando for 17 years, have been to Disney parks more times than I can count, and I've worked at Universal Studios.

We went to UO on Friday (Apr. 5) late in the day to check out the Portofino Bay Hotel. I had seen it before, but my mother really wanted to check it out. The one thing I think is great about this hotel is that it really feels secluded from the rest of CityWalk. You can't even see any of it from the ground.

I went to see it before with a friend just after it opened. Unfortunately, now they now have some areas where you need a keycard to get in. That limited our travel somewhat, but we were still able to check out the big pool, some of the very classy restaurants and shops. I was surprised to see an authentic Italian market attached to a cafe.

We went to Margaritaville for dinner, this time seeing the Volcano work, which it didn't the last time we were there. I hate to talk about people, but this one hostess is so tall, people just look at her weird whenever she walked by. I felt bad for her. She was very nice looking, probably still in her teens, but probably at least 6'8"!

The burgers we had were decent. I had a banana daquiri which was excellent, and we decided to wait on dessert. We asked the server how late the parks would stay open, he said 10:00PM, so we decided to head to IOA.

Since mother had forgotten her AP pass, we went over to Guest Services to get in (they can look up the records). The person there said "You know the park closes in 1/2 hour." It was only 7:30PM. We said that the guy at Margaritaville had told us it was open until 10:00, she said "No, that starts next week!" Oh, whatever.

We had been to IOA about 10 times already, so it didn't phase us too much. We really just wanted to get dessert, and I wanted to ride the Hulk.

It was still daylight out. I went to ride Hulk, while they stayed near the Croissant Moon bakery and just relaxed.

The single-rider line had closed at 7:00, and there was a 20 min. wait, so I got in line. Its interesting that every time I go in, the music volume is different. Since it's Spring Break, they had it as loud as it can go. I grew up listening to bass music, so I enjoyed it (older guests probably wouldn't but many don't want to ride this wild ride anyway). I NEED to find out how to get the music they play inside of here (it's not on the IOA CD). I rode the back row, by far the best row to be in. It was almost dark outside by the time I got on it. This was good, since I had kept planning to go on at night to see how the launch tube looks. It's not too much different. I still think they could add some effects in here. The one bad part that night was getting the mist in your face under the bridge. It was COLD!!

It was exhaspirating as usual, still my favorite coaster ever. I went back to the Bakery, and met my parents, and we decided that while there were still a lot of people wandering around we would walk through the park a bit since I had been hearing about how beautiful the park is at nighttime. We decided to head past Seuss Landing. On the way, we stopped by One Fish Two Fish. My mother, in her sometimes regressive state, wanted to ride it, until she remembered that you can get sprayed by water, and I had just told her about getting the cold mist on Hulk.

So we went on past, and saw the characters on the abandoned ride track above Seuss Landing.

We got to the bridge, and seeing the statue guarding the entrance to the lost continent, with the glowing fire torch, and Poseidon's trident looming overhead, I really wish I had a camera with me, it would have been perfect. We went over by Mythos which was just closing up. I turned to see the entrance to Poseidon's Fury. As awe inspiring as this building is in the daytime, its twice as much at night. I saw a huge torch toward the back, and the blue haunting glow of the building...again I wished I had a camera. Right as we decided to turn around, we saw some employees come past ready to kick people out of the park, so we briskly headed for the entrance. It wasn't a long night, but it was still worth going there.

The next day, we headed to EPCOT, and we got in at about 2:30. On the tram ride over, we overheard that they were having a high school robotics competition finals at a stadium they had built in the parking lot. I like robots, but I didn't want to spend half my day watching it. I can probably see it on TV. Once in the park, I really wanted to see Test Track, since I'm a car freak and I had kept going to EPCOT while it was being delayed, and delayed, and ...well you know the story.

I had heard mixed reviews of this attraction, but I was getting more excited as I heard the screams and the cars rushing by overhead. My mother decided to go to the bakery on the right side of innoventions while me and my dad rode. We got into the single rider line, as I waited, I recalled reading about the attraction on a website. I thought they said it would be over 10 minutes long, and the longest Disney ride ever. I was a bit concerned about how much the structure really shakes everytime the cars pass overhead. Other than that, I really enjoyed it, very fast and interesting, much like my autocrossing which I do every month in my own car (and which I had scheduled the next day).

**SPOILER**
The Semi came too late to be scary IMO, and it wasn't really as much of an evasive maneuver as I expected. I went to a Cadillac Test Drive last year, and we really did some evasive maneuvers. But anyway, back to the ride. I had told my dad ahead of time that there would be a "crash test" but I didn't tell him how we get out of it. He was surprised.
**END SPOILER**

I don't think the ride was 10 minutes long, but I still enjoyed it. After that, we went to the bakery, and we got some pizza next door.

My mother wanted to stay and walk around the park while my dad and I went to MGM (or whatever they call it now) Studios to ride the R'n'R Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Before we left, we checked out some frozen station outpost Coca-Cola thingy beside the bakery. I had seen these coca-cola stations at UO and outside of Test track, so I knew they were just a big ad for Coke, but I did enjoy the cooling off. There is a spot where you're hit with pieces of "snow" or tiny ice cubes it felt like. Not fun. You eventually get to the end where there's a lot of vending stations where you get a sampler cup and can try out different cola flavors from around the world. It was so busy I only got to try 2. The first was a watermelon soda they sell in China. This was EXCELLENT!! I really feel like writing to coca cola to convince them to sell it here, it's that good! I also tried a vitamin soda drink from Japan. It was okay, but after the watermelon, it just didn't compare. My mother agreed.

So, my dad and I went to get the bus (I hate Disney buses, but what else is there? the slow boat?). There was hardly anyone waiting and the bus had come within 5 minutes of us waiting.

We got to MGM and headed straight for the R'n'R Coaster. The stand-by line was 60 mins. I thought about getting a fast pass for it, but decided, after seeing the line to get a fast pass, and the line already on the ride for fast pass, that it might not make a difference. So we went. The line was all outside. Half under shade and half not. It was getting hot. We finally moved inside after about 45 mins to see that there is an indoor line available that was blocked off. It must not work well with the Fastpass. Oh well, we got on the second row from the back. The launch is better than the hulk, but it was SO Short, not worth 60 mins. Just think of it as space mountain on steroids.

I had been on the first and second incarnations of the Tower of Terror before, my dad had never been, so I was anxious to show him how nice of a ride it is. I always said it was the best ride Disney had ever created. I still like it, but there was a few things I didn't like this time.

The wait was posted at 20 mins, and with the 2 lines, it was.

**SPOILER**
For those who have rode it, you know where you are at the end of moving forward? Well I recall that it is completely black, then you just see a wall, and you fall. Well this time, we see the wall, way ahead of time, and we even see the entire "box" that you go into for your ride down. There was also some kind of thing sitting in front of part of the wall, so it was a bit strange. I liked the fact that there are more drops but it didn't seem like any went entirely up or down, it just bobbled up a bit then down a bit, and on and on. The added effects are nice, but I still like the idea of going from the first story straight to the top, then immediately back down again.
**END SPOILER**

He liked the ride and said it was much better than R'n'R Coaster. We were supposed to meet mom at 6:30 at, guess, the bakery (what is it with her and bakerys?). So we got to the bus stop at 5:30 and there was a TON of people waiting for the bus. We had to wait another 20 mins for the next bus.
Another sign of Disney's problem with their transportation system. Build the Monorails!!


I had seen a sign earlier in the day that they were going to close the section of the park with Imagination, the Land, and Living Seas, for the robot people at 7:00, so I quickly grabbed a boston creme pie, it was VERY good, and we headed to Imagination. I had heard how bad this ride is, and that Eisner hated it, etc. so I warned my mom ahead of time, she still wanted to see it. I went because, sometimes I just have to see for myself how really bad something is.
Boy, was everybody right. This IS Bad. My mother has a tendency to go on tangents sometimes and this was one of them. I couldn't blame her. The one thing she said summed it up. Nobody can really relate to this ride like they could in the old one. Figment was there, but that was the only highlight of the ride! The rest of it is just...stupid.

We went through parts of innoventions, saw some great paper that Xerox has come up with. It's completely reusable sheets and you can take a scanning wand, get anything off a piece of paper, and immediately scan it on to the reusable paper, then you can put it on a computer or email it or whatever. The guy was speaking about it really fast, so I didn't understand it all, but they said it would be available for mass market by 2004. It will be a great product when it comes out, unless, like my mother says "Unless someone comes out with something better before that" Probably.

We went through a few more exhibits and went on Spaceship Earth on the way out of the park. Nothing new here. So we tried to leave the park at about 8:00. I say tried because, as I heard one of the robot people say earlier, they had access to the park from 8:00-11:00. That was okay, except there were literally THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE swarming the park at 8:00 for this robotics thing. I know the sport is catching on, but we could hardly move!!! And these are high school kids, so they're running around and yelling, etc. We were lucky to get out of there without getting run over!

That's about all to this report. I'll post it on the DIS board too.