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Old 06-02-2009, 06:13 AM   #1
Proud Redhead
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My First Ever Trip Report - Day 9 - MGM Studios, Blizzard Beach & Burger overload!

So it's taken me longer than even I had anticipated to get this next installment up - so chances are most of you will have forgotten who I am, in which case here's a little reminder:

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 1 - It Starts

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 2 - Adventures in Epcot

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 3 - IOA, Aquatica & Lots of steak!

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 4 -Sea World Saturday and Chicken N' Wine

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 5 - AK, Narcoossee's & DTD

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 6.1 - The Day

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 6.2 - The Evening

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 7 - A Universal Hangover & Roy's

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 8 - African Wednesday - Busch Gardens & Jiko

Day 9 - MGM Studios, Blizzard Beach & Burger Overload!

So today’s first stop was MGM Studios (I’m sorry, but I just can’t call MGM Studios ‘Hollywood studios’ it just doesn’t sound right!) The regular readers will know that Em’s only previous Disney experience was a day trip to Disneyland Paris about 3 years ago. Her favourite park that day was the Studios so she was looking forward to today, and me, being just a tiny bit of a Star Wars geek , was also a just little bit excited

Today was absolutely boiling! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was already in the 90’s by the time we arrived. We got there about 30 minutes after opening

So cheesy!!

Having never been on the Tower of Terror (and it was being built when we were in Paris) before but hearing so much about it, we headed straight for it, naively thinking that the reports of hour long queues for Toy Story Mania wouldn’t happen today as all the parks were had been so quiet this week......

TOT is amazing, I absolutely loved it! The theming of the whole thing is a perfect example of the attention to detail which sets Disney apart. Its so atmospheric and it really does look like it could be an abandoned hotel.

Although I was really looking forward to this ride, I also hate heights and I especially hate rides that consist of taking you up high and then dropping you down, yep, I’m a living contradiction!

When the lights went all dark I was absolutely bricking it! Let’s just say Em is lucky her hand didn’t suffer any crushed bones!

Although I was scared - check out Em's face!

After the initial drop my fears were slightly wiped out and it was a really enjoyable ride – definitely one of my favourites

Next up was Em’s favourite ride from Paris, the Rock and Roller Coaster. Again, I love all the theming in the queue and the cheesy Aerosmith pre ride video

I cant remember much about the Paris ride apart from the fact I absolutely loved it, and I absolutely loved this ride too! It’s so much fun and is definitely a contender for my favourite Orlando ride

We got a few cheesy photopass pics taken outside

Then we walked (well I was half running and dragging Em along like an excited 5 year old) over to Star Tours.......And it was just as amazing as I remember from when I was 9!

Me and the At-At Walker

The ride was good fun and on the way out we came out into the gift shop – although Em, for some strange reason, didn’t want me to buy a Boba Fett helmet. Weird huh?

There was time for a quick landspeeder picture (its always a bit embarrassing when your queuing up alongside a bunch of 7 year olds!)

We decided to try Toy Story next, and thought if the queue was any longer than 15 mins then we’d just get a fast pass for later – well the queue was 70 minutes and all fastpasses had already gone!

I really couldn’t believe it, we hadn’t waited more than 10 minutes for anything all week and now we not only reached double figures but were approaching triple figures!
Oct 1990 - WDW - Offsite (3 weeks)
Jun 1996 - DLRP - Sequoia Lodge (2 nights)
Apr 1998 - DLRP - Offsite (2 nights)
Feb 1999 - DLRP - Sequoia Lodge (4 nights)
May 2007 - DLRP - Daytrip
Sep 2008 - WDW - Offsite (2 weeks)
Mar 2009 - DLRP - Hotel New York (3 nights)
Nov 2009 - DLHK - Daytrip
Sep 2010 - WDW - Last trip before its time to have babies!

Thank you O' great Tag Fairy - You have made this Proud Redhead a very happy bunny!!
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:14 AM   #2
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We decided not to waste an hour queuing and thought we’d catch it later so then went over for the Indiana Jones show (which I surprisingly remembered a lot of from my last visit) but on our way we stopped for a few seconds to buy a bottle of water and suddenly a million characters came walking past us

We managed to get a few good pics as everyone came walking past! And the only ones that hung around near us were Pinocchio and Gepato, so we got a quick pic with them and then watched Indiana.

We wandered around a bit more and then decided it was so hot, plus we were getting through the park quicker than anticipated so we headed over to Blizzard Beach to ‘chill out’ a bit (see what I’ve done there?!)

Blizzard Beach

I had never been here before, when I was younger I don’t think BB was there, but I loved the look of this waterpark and the idea of it – especially summit plummet (once again I seemed to have forgotten about my morbid fear of heights and drops!)

We found a few sun beds and then went for a wander around the park, and then went on the lazy river for a full lap of the park which was nice and relaxing, esp as it was so ridiculously hot!

I thought we should do a few of the gentler rides before braving summit plummet, so we did a few of the toboggan ones and the one which is just below SP, which was really cool, and I managed to get a decent amount of air on it too

There was no way to delay it anymore, so I thought we should go for Summit Plummet – but Em chickened out! I couldn’t believe it – she sent me up there on my own!

The queue was about 25 minutes (the longest I queued for anything all holiday!) and the guy in front of me was in the same position as me – his wife had deserted him too! We were chatting on the way up and once we got to the top level we both suddenly got really scared!

I was amazed how many people were getting to the top and then wimping out and doing the walk of shame back through the line!

Me and my new friend made a pact that we would both definitely go through with it

The scariest part is when you are 2 or 3 people away from your turn, as by this point you can see the person laying down and then taking off, and from the angle you’re looking at the person literally just drops off the edge!

Well you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t chicken out and I made the drop It was actually amazing, so ridiculously fast though! I think I managed to get up to 56 mph!

We’ve got some pics from a waterproof camera but I haven’t got a scanner so cant upload them I’m afraid.

After another hour or so of sunning and riding we were getting hungry and it was my turn to pick my favourite guilty pleasure – Wendy’s!

I had been looking forward to visiting Wendy’s all holiday, I absolutely love their burgers!

I went for a doublestack with cheese, fries and a strawberry frosty

Em went for a crispy chicken sandwich and stole most of my fries.

Wendy’s make such amazing burgers, I think they are all ‘homemade’ and are grilled. They kick Mickey D’s and Burger King’s *****! Oh - Did I mention the burgers are square?!

This was one of my favourite lunches of the holiday! And I had to get a pic of me outside

After that culinary delight we headed back to MGM studios for the rest of the day, and especially to do Toy Story Mania, as we presumed towards the end of the day the queues would die down.....

Well it wasn’t to be, even 30 mins before the park closed the queue was still 60 minutes! So we would miss out on this new attraction and Lights Motor Action too as this wasn’t on today either

We did the great movie ride, and had to run over to it to make sure we got on it before it closed, we literally just about made it and thought we were really lucky, until the ride started! This was easily my worst ride of the whole 2 weeks! Disappointing and such a waste of time

There was time for a few more quick Photopass pics:

We then went to watch Fantasmic, got there about 10 mins before it started and got some pretty good seats.

Fantasmic was amazing, such a great show and so clever, I absolutely loved this.

After we headed back to I drive and to Chili’s for dinner, another of my guilty pleasures


I remember when I first moved to Toronto I saw so many TV adverts for Chilis and the food always looked so good, but I never saw one around. It took me ages to realise (well actually I was told, I didn’t realise anything!) that there were no Chili’s’ up in Canada! So whenever I was in America I used to hit up Chili’s like a fiend!

As we were mulling over the menu they brought out some free nachos and dip for us – always a good start!

For starter we shared some boneless buffalo chicken wings, South-western eggrolls and some Quesadillas. All were delicious, especially the boneless buffalo wings, I could have eaten them all night!

The starter was a huge portion and we only managed to get through about ¾ of it – very unlike us!

For mains Em had chicken fajitas and for me there was only one option – the Jalapeno Smokehouse Bacon Big Mouth Burger! (Even the name is amazing!)
Em was very impressed with the fajitas and my burger was ridiculously nice – and massive!

Here’s a pic of me showing off my huge burger

Once again we were both unable to finish due to the sheer size of the portions.

Here's me getting into Halloween Horror night mode

I had a few beers and Em had a few glasses of wine and the total without tip was $55.27

Chili’s Scores:


Ambience 6/10
Service 7/10
Food 8/10
Value for Money 9.5/10

Overall – 8/10


Ambience 6
Service 7.5
Food 8
Value for money 9.5

Overall 8

Chili’s is a great option for a cheap but decent meal

Tomorrow – The one I had been waiting for the most – Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights! Will I enjoy it or will I be so scared I cry like a baby?! Tune in to find out..........
Oct 1990 - WDW - Offsite (3 weeks)
Jun 1996 - DLRP - Sequoia Lodge (2 nights)
Apr 1998 - DLRP - Offsite (2 nights)
Feb 1999 - DLRP - Sequoia Lodge (4 nights)
May 2007 - DLRP - Daytrip
Sep 2008 - WDW - Offsite (2 weeks)
Mar 2009 - DLRP - Hotel New York (3 nights)
Nov 2009 - DLHK - Daytrip
Sep 2010 - WDW - Last trip before its time to have babies!

Thank you O' great Tag Fairy - You have made this Proud Redhead a very happy bunny!!

Last edited by raph_b; 06-02-2009 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Good reading , man you like your burgers !!! , you should be like the michelin man !!!...

September sounds fun , good temp , less crowds... any Brazilian tour parties ?????
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:40 PM   #4
You fool! You gave cheese to a lactose intolerant volcano god!
I'm the main holiday initiator/planner which is how I like it!
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Shame about missing TSMM, definitely one of those you have to get to for opening or not at all (it was the same in DL) I think the 'Hollywood Tower Hotel' is fab too and i'm dying to see the Tokyo Disney equivalent in person as in pictures it looks amazing The bf is a Star Wars geek aswell and had to get the same landspeeder picture, saw a fair few shifty dads being ridiculed by their kids there too! Looking forward to hearing about HHN
Me , OH , DD age 2 , DD due September 2014
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:00 AM   #5
Did you speak to a 'human being'?
As you can see, all I have is a load of gobble-de-gook writing
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Always worth waiting for Craig .
Another great update-both of you are 2 cute .
We also had some of them cheesy shots done .
The burger looks awesome,Hubby was tempted to go for that but went for the chicken fajitas instead.Hey we never got free nachos .
We used to have a Wendy's near where i used to live(before it turnt into a Mcdonalds )+i agree there burgers are delicious.
Such a shame you missed TSM,it is a fantastic ride-absolutley brilliant,make sure you do it next time .
The girls done the Landspeeder picture,then as i was about to put the camera away but who should get on-Yes my hubby .I managed to quickly get a shot of him before walking away rather quickly+embarrasingly .x.

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:03 AM   #6
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Im glad you love ToT its my fave ride
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:33 AM   #7
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Great trip report

My dis buddy is Carolfoy
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:20 AM   #8
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I can't wait for the HHN review! Awesome report!
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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You could stay behind after your meal and have another drink
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Great day! I love Chilis mmmmm!
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:25 PM   #10
Am I the only one who loves Quorn Sausages?
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I do not know where the two of you are putting all of that food you are consuming .

I love the 'cheesy' piccies!
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #11
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Another great report...looking forward to the Halloween Night!
Totally in love with Lisa_C
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:17 AM   #12
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Another great report Craig, always worth the wait.

You made me LOL at the Landspeeder photo's as I have one of my hubby on it....guess it just a man's thing! It goes hand in hand with the hanging out of Jaws' mouth at Universal photo.

I can't believe you didn't get to go on TSM! Never mind you will have to ride it several times next Sept.

Looking forward to reading HHN. I am too much of a scaredy cat to go.

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Old 06-09-2009, 05:26 AM   #13
Who says these things pass you by.....
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Another great report of another great day. I am terrified of heights but would love to try ToT - haven't managed not to chicken out yet though! Sometimes I even dream about it!

Star Tours is my favourite at MGM, I know most of the words in the script!

Those Wendy's burgers look so good, will add both Wendy's and Chilis to my list of places to eat in September.

Laur's xx
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:22 PM   #14
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So happy to see a new installment of the continuing story of Em and Craig's Excellent Adventure--and what a packed and varied day you had! (Studios--Blizzard Beach--Studios + Fantasmic AND two big burger meals!!) My hat's off to you both. As always you did a great job of describing not only the rides and attractions but also your feelings and reactions. I have to say on a personal note, that you've opened my eyes to something I've taken for granted--the Wendy's and Chili's I drive by every day. I'm going to be more appreciative now and make a point of stopping now and then and I'll do it in your honor.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:40 AM   #15
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Great report Craig, I'm really looking forward to see what you think Of Halloween Horror Nights as I'm too big a wimp to do that!

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