My First Ever Trip Report - Day 9 - MGM Studios, Blizzard Beach & Burger overload!

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by raph_b, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. raph_b

    raph_b <font color="red">Proud Redhead</font>

    Jan 21, 2008
    So it's taken me longer than even I had anticipated to get this next installment up :scared1: - 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 :woohoo:

    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!! :lmao:


    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! :lovestruc 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! :rotfl2:

    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! :lmao:


    Although I was scared - check out Em's face! :scared1:

    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 :thumbsup2



    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! :yay:


    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! :scared1:
  2. raph_b

    raph_b <font color="red">Proud Redhead</font>

    Jan 21, 2008
    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!) :rotfl2:

    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! :eek:

    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! :lmao:

    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! :scared1::scared1::scared1:

    Well you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t chicken out and I made the drop :banana: 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! :love:

    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 asses! 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! :rotfl:

    As we were mulling over the menu they brought out some free nachos and dip for us – always a good start! :thumbsup2

    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 :rotfl2:

    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..........
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  4. tinysam

    tinysam Earning My Ears

    Apr 6, 2009
    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 ?????
  5. Lizzybear

    Lizzybear DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2006
    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! :rotfl: Looking forward to hearing about HHN :)
  6. Snowy-girls

    Snowy-girls Did you speak to a 'human being'

    May 27, 2007
    Always worth waiting for Craig :thumbsup2.
    Another great update-both of you are 2 cute :love:.
    We also had some of them cheesy shots done :laughing::goodvibes.
    The burger looks awesome,Hubby was tempted to go for that but went for the chicken fajitas instead.Hey we never got free nachos :sad1:.
    We used to have a Wendy's near where i used to live(before it turnt into a Mcdonalds :sad2:)+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 :thumbsup2.
    The girls done the Landspeeder picture,then as i was about to put the camera away but who should get on-Yes my hubby :eek::lmao:.I managed to quickly get a shot of him before walking away rather quickly+embarrasingly :rotfl2:.x.
  7. natalielongstaff

    natalielongstaff <font color=deeppink>I need a cup of tea and a big

    Apr 7, 2004
    Im glad you love ToT its my fave ride :cool1:
  8. jen_uk

    jen_uk <font color=6666cc>Eurovision Nut !!<font color=33

    Mar 1, 2005
    Great trip report :thumbsup2
  9. Nix

    Nix Earning My Ears

    Apr 19, 2009
    I can't wait for the HHN review! Awesome report!
  10. gemmybear83

    gemmybear83 <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<

    Dec 13, 2007
    Great day! I love Chilis mmmmm!
  11. irongirlof12

    irongirlof12 <font color=blue><marquee>Am I the only one who lo

    Nov 3, 2006
    I do not know where the two of you are putting all of that food you are consuming :confused3.

    I love the 'cheesy' piccies!
  12. cap'njack.

    cap'njack. Totally in love with Lisa_C

    Jun 13, 2008
    Another great report...looking forward to the Halloween Night!
  13. Pinky166

    Pinky166 <font color=deeppink>a little on the OCD side<br><

    Feb 6, 2008
    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. :rolleyes:

    I can't believe you didn't get to go on TSM! Never mind you will have to ride it several times next Sept. :thumbsup2

    Looking forward to reading HHN. :scared1: I am too much of a scaredy cat to go.
  14. arieljasmine

    arieljasmine <font color=magenta>Who says these things pass you

    Apr 12, 2004
    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
  15. SusanEllen

    SusanEllen DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    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.
  16. Kevin Stringer

    Kevin Stringer Chat Host

    Mar 3, 2000
    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!

  17. Tink2312

    Tink2312 <font color=magenta>I didn't ask to be a princess

    Mar 25, 2007
    Great installment!

    Awwwww that first pic infront of the hat is gorgeous :goodvibes I'm not so sure about the "knife pic" though...just a little creepy :rotfl2:

    It's amazing how quickly TSM FP's go and that wait...:faint:

    Looking forward to reading more :thumbsup2
  18. raph_b

    raph_b <font color="red">Proud Redhead</font>

    Jan 21, 2008
    You can't beat a good burger ;)

    Didn't see any Brazillian tour parties about at all.

    September is a great time of year, we've booked up to go back in September next time too

    Yep, was gutted to miss TSMM, although we did manage to fit it in on our last day when we went back to MGM :)

    It's amazing how the inner geek in us all comes out when we're around a real life landspeeder :)

    I'll make sure the HHN report covers it all for you - you def have to check it out one day!

    Hey, if we've paid for the photopass it'd be rude not to get a few cheesy pics done :rotfl2: Looking forward to seeing a few of your cheesy pics Michelle :)

    Good to hear there's another Wedny's fan on the board :)

    Is there anyone here who hasn't been involved in an embarassing Landspeeder picture?! :rotfl2: At least I'm not the only one......
  19. raph_b

    raph_b <font color="red">Proud Redhead</font>

    Jan 21, 2008
    TOT is amazing!! scary but amazing!! :lmao:

    Thanks Jen :)

    I'm working on the HHN review right now........

    Chili's is great, I wish there was one nearer to Cheltenham than Reading!

    I did put on almost a whole stone in the 2 weeks I was in Orlando!!

    HHN was so amazing, I cant wait to go back in Sep 2010!!! The report is on its way.........

    Thanks Claire :)

    It's definitely illegal not to have a pic done in Jaws' mouth!!

    You'll be pleased to know that we managed to get round to TSM on our last day - which you'll probably be able to read about around Christmas time ;)

    How are your plans coming along? I love your ADR choices.......

    I'm scared of heights too but still loved TOT - You should definitely give it a try - if I can I'm sure you'll b able to do it easily :)

    Star Tours is a great ride, it brings back so many memories, in fact its one of my clearest memories I have from my first trip to Florida back in the day

    You will not be diappointed with a trip to Wendy's :love:

    Thanks Susan. Yep, this was definitely an action packed day and as you can imagine we were both knackered at the end of it!

    As you can tell I'm just a bit of a Wendy's fan! Next time you're there have a strawberry Frosty for me :lmao: You guys are so lucky to have such a great choice of food available to you all the time, one of the reasons I love it out there so much!

    After a busy weekend of wedding planning I'm now off to catch up on your latest adventures with the Stringers :)

    Kev, you should give it a whirl if you're ever out in Orlando in September/October - it's so much fun! Em is a wimp and thought she would be far too scared to go in any of the houses, but ended up absolutely loving it!

    Right, I'm off to read the rest of your TR now Mr Stringer :)
  20. raph_b

    raph_b <font color="red">Proud Redhead</font>

    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks :)

    More will be on its way soon - I promise!!
  21. Pegasus928

    Pegasus928 DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2007
    A great report - as always. And I love the 'cheesey' pics - only at Disney could you get away with such things.
    Looking forward to the next part.

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