The Hunts Do WDW - Day 8, MGM

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by San, Nov 17, 2000.

  1. San

    San Earning My Ears

    Sep 26, 1999
    The Hunts go on Holiday - The Sequel 27/07/2000-to-10/08/2000

    Family members:-
    Ron-Civil Servant (Author, Driver, Ex-Pirate now all round good guy)
    San-Teacher (Editor and Official Trip Toilet Tester)
    Rachel-Aged 17 (Teenager with a Strange Hat)
    Peter-Aged 15 (Sulky Teenager and Official Food Finisher Off-er)
    Beth-Aged 6 (Mad about Disney, and now Daredevil Roller Coaster Girl)

    Day 8-Thursday 3rd August 2000

    Thursday's plan was to visit the Disney/MGM Studios and as the villa was only minutes away from MGM, we had a relaxing breakfast and got to the park at about 9.15AM.
    Peter managed to pick up German guide maps on the way in by mistake, so we had to swap them in the Winnie the Pooh shop, before heading straight for Rock n' Roller Coaster with the intention of getting some Fastpasses. There was only a 20-minute wait, however so we got Fastpasses for the Tower of Terror instead and joined the queue.
    Beth hadn't yet caught her roller coaster bug, so she waited outside with Rachel in the Aerosmith Shop, Rock around the Shop. As we queued, San questioned a Cast Member about the length of the line, which was shown as being 20-minutes. From where we were stood we could see a television monitor that showed the indoor queuing area which was packed, making the queue look much longer.
    The C M assured us that this area was where you watched the band in the pre-ride show, and once you had watched the intro, the room emptied and the next party were let in. He asked us to time how long it took us to get inside and said that if it took us longer than 20-minutes, he would give us a front of line access pass for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, our wait turned out to be just 18-minutes, so no extra pass!
    The ride itself was as wild as ever, but it was all over too quickly. The soundtrack definitely adds to the appeal of Rock N' Roller Coaster, as your super-stretch limo speeds off from 0-60 in just three seconds, then hurtles through the darkness along the highway whilst turning your stomach through several loops. One thing that stood out whilst we were queuing in the alleyway next to the track, was the huge neon sign that flashed up messages. As you wait for the green light it says 'Road ahead JAMMED!', and just before your launch, it says 'Prepare to merge like you've never merged before', which soon became a catchphrase when driving in the van. As the light turns green it says 'Hit it'.
    Our legs were still wobbly when we met Beth and Rachel in the Aerosmith shop, then Rachel went to do her own thing whilst the rest of us headed for our Fastpass appointment with the Tower of Terror.
    Beth was a bit unsure as we entered the hotel, but when we went into the dark room her bottle went completely and she gripped tight hold of my leg. She was a bit better when we queued in the boiler room, and was even getting quite brave as we took our seats inside the elevator. That was until the safety bar came down across our laps.
    When the tour of the hotel started, she didn't know what to make of it all, having not watched the movie in the pre-show bit, and was unfazed by the 3D images of watches and flashing lightning. Then all of a sudden our seats gave way and the elevator plunged, leaving our stomachs high above us. The best description I can come up with for the ToT is a collective bungee jump, as the car appears to drop, then spring back up about four or five times.
    At the height of one 'jerk', we were able to see through the windows high up at the top of the hotel, giving us a quick glance out over the park. After being in the pitch black for so long, the bright Florida sun was blinding. After raising and dropping us a few more times our elevator returned to its starting place and came to a stop.
    As we got off Beth said that she had enjoyed the ride, even though it was scary, but said that she wouldn't do it again. She wanted to know what had happened to the little girl in the hotel film and if she really was a ghost!
    We then went to buy the ride photo as proof that Beth had been on the ToT and bumped into a familiar face. When we had been sat waiting for the Mulan parade to start the previous year, a CM named Glen has asked Beth and Peter to help him prepare the walkways by putting up ropes and marking arrows on the ground. This year Glen was working on the ToT photos and politely pretended to remember us.
    Photo in the bag, we headed for Voyage of the Little Mermaid to get a Fastpass for later. It is worth mentioning here that with a FP for a show like Mermaid, you only get a 10-minute window, not an hour-long window as with the rides. This nearly caught us out.
    To make the best use of our time before our FP window, we headed towards the Backlot Tour. As we walked down Mickey Avenue we came across some caravans, outside which Winnie the Pooh and Tigger stood with virtually no queues. Naturally we stopped for the customary autographs and photos. Tigger signaled to Peter to join San and Beth, but Peter declined as he was taking the photos. However, Tigger was very insistent…and gave the camera to his "Minder" to take the photo including Peter, San and Beth!
    We continued on to the Backlot Tour and only had to wait about 10-minutes. Beth and I had missed the mock sea battle last year, due to a toilet emergency, so it was interesting to see how much work went into making the special effects. As we went around the Boneyard aboard the tram, we saw one of the space shuttles used in Armageddon and some of the vehicles used in the Indiana Jones movies.
    When we entered Catastrophe Canyon, Beth insisted on sitting on the outside seat, but as the torrents of water began rushing down towards us, and the petrol tanker started sliding at us, she soon moved into the middle, pushing Peter to the outside seat. Self-preservation at its best!
    Having survived Catastrophe Canyon, and even staying dry, we completed the tour and it was almost time for our FP window to open for Mermaid. San made a quick trip to the loo, as she and Beth had once again been inspired by the rushing waters. We then tried to phone home again and actually got through, our first success after several frustrating attempts!
    San was very relieved to get through because both her mum and dad had been ill before we had left for Florida. I could visibly see her starting to relax after hearing that they were both improving.
    As we returned along Mickey Avenue, we once again came across the character caravans. This time Pooh was accompanied by Eeyore, so Beth couldn't resist another visit.
    It was then definitely time for Little Mermaid so we rushed over and joined the FP queue, just as the doors opened. Fastpass guarantees you a seat for a certain timed show, but once you are in the pre-show area, you join the stand-by queue in the jostle for seats. We let about 15 people enter the theatre in front of us and ended up sat right in the centre of the third row.
    Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a clever show in which Ariel and Eric are played by actors, Flounder and Sebastian and the other creatures are puppets who perform the story of the Little Mermaid. Most of the action takes place beneath the ocean's surface as strobe lights flash, mist machines spray and bubbles are blown, in order to create the illusion of the water's surface above your head.
    Sebastian the crab narrates as scenes from the movie appear on a big screen behind the stage, linking songs from the movie such as Part of your World, Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl. Beth's opinion of the show - 'It was Splash-tastic!'
    After the show, San and Beth joined the queue for Bear in the Big Blue House, whilst Peter and me went to meet Rachel outside the Great Movie ride. Beth and San enjoyed the Bear show, Beth tells me that Tutter, (the mousey type thing), learnt how to dance. San's opinion - 'It was Bear-iffic', but her back ached from sitting on the floor.
    As we were all assembled we decided to get some dinner so we went to the Starring Rolls Bakery, where Beth had a huge cookie with a chocolate milk shake, San and I had great big Danish pastries, and the other greedy pair had enormous chocolate muffins.
    Feeling replenished, we strolled down Sunset Boulevard to Beauty and the Beast, stopping to take our photograph outside the Tower of Terror. San, Beth and me had brought spare socks with us and we held them up whilst Peter took our picture. This all stemmed from one of the Disney holiday planning videos, the one with Andrea Boardman in, as she says that the ToT really blows your socks off. Beth was disappointed when we came off the ride and her socks were still on her feet, so we agreed to have our photo taken outside the ToT with our spare socks in our hands! (We had taken the same picture last year, but it was on the roll of film that we lost).
    We eventually entered the Theatre of the Stars, whilst the warm up band were keeping the audience 'entertained', and managed to get good seats on about the fifth row back.
    The show started with 'Be our Guest' as characters including Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and Chip danced around the stage with gaily dressed Disney dancers.
    The show is somewhat dis-jointed and is not a repeat of the story line, but instead has snippets of the important bits that can be performed as a dance, (a sort of abridged version). It does however include all the songs and well known characters from the movie and it all ends in smiles when the evil witch's spell is broken and the Beast becomes human again, with very nice teeth and hair!
    The costumes used in the show are excellent, all ball gowns and smart suits. The dancers must have been sweating cobs in them, but still maintained that Disney smile. I have to admit that I fell asleep during this show last year, but this time I managed to stay awake and enjoyed it.
    I then legged it over to Indiana Jones to get Fastpasses for a later performance, whilst San and the kids got ice creams. When I returned, San let me hold her ice cream whilst she went to the toilet, however when she came back it had all gone. (It must have melted!)
    We decided to try the Great Movie ride, to see how long the queue was, but as it was over an hour long we though it best to leave it until later on. We then noticed some characters positioned near the arch to Animation Courtyard, so we joined the line to meet my favourite character - Meg from Hercules. She is so sexy in the film and when we saw her in Disneyland Paris, she was TOTTY! We had only seen her previously sat on top of a 10-foot Pegasus, and waving from the ferry-boat at the end of Fantasmic.
    Beth got Hercules and then Meg's autographs before having her photo taken with them both, then Hercules - who was a complete wimp, got quite a surprise when I shoved him out of the way and said "We don’t need you any more, Wonder-boy". Meg clung breathlessly to my manly chest as we posed for our picture, and wouldn't let me go. Honest! Beth couldn't help telling her that "My Daddy loves you, he has a doll of you and kisses it", amongst copious amounts of giggling!
    Next Beth joined the line to meet Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and sat on the wall having an in depth conversation with the pair of them, as they signed her book. This was nice to see as they both looked interested in what she had to say and spent quite a while listening to her, oblivious to the waiting queue.
    The next line was to meet Esmeralda and Clopin and after waiting about 10-minutes, just as we got to the front, some rude Spanish girls, about 12 years old pushed to the front of the line, pretending not to understand English. The characters tried to tell them to join the queue, but again they pretended not to understand. They weren't going to spoil our day and we weren't that bothered so we didn't make a fuss. The characters soon realised that the quickest way to get rid of them was to sign their book.
    I was quite pleased though when they took their picture as Esmeralda refused to smile.
    When it was our turn, I couldn't resist asking Clopin how long it had taken him to grow his goatee beard, to which he replied "A lot longer than your little effort". Cheeky b****r! That put a smile back on Esmeralda's face.
    We then strolled through a few shops until it was time for our FP at Indiana Jones. We didn't have to queue, but as we entered the theatre it was already filling up. We ended up sitting on the far left-hand side on about the tenth row back. Having seen the show last year, we weren't fooled by the film extras gag. I was surprised at how much Beth had remembered though, from the spikes sticking out of the ground to the axes falling down from the statues and the big ball rolling down appearing to crush the stuntman.
    You begin to appreciate how much goes into filming just one scene when they roll the huge sections of scenery away. Lots of gun fighting and fiery action ensues that even includes a fight scene on the wing of an aeroplane.
    We wanted to see the Toy Story 2 characters before we left, so we headed towards Al's Toy Barn. After stopping at 'It's a Wonderful Shop'- the Christmas shop, we came across Buzz and Woody for which there was a huge queue, but Beth was desperate to meet Jessie after seeing her in one of the holiday brochures, so we joined the shorter queue. Photo and autograph safely secured, we strolled along New York Street where Beth played under the Singing in the Rain umbrella and lifted up an armored truck, aided only by pneumatics. (She is strong for 6 years old!)
    We then left MGM, just as the awful Mulan parade was about to start, and went back to the villa for a break, a swim and some dinner.
    It was raining when we returned to MGM for the early Fantasmic show, so we had to wear our groovy yellow ponchos. Rachel had found something that she just couldn't miss on the TV, so insisted on staying in the villa.
    Fantasmic is one of our favourite shows where Mickey's magic is challenged by the Disney Villains. With dancing waters, pyrotechnics-a-plenty and a great soundtrack, it is another show that has it all. More than just a firework show, Fantasmic tells of Sorcerer Mickey's dreams as he is challenged by Malificent, Snow Witch, Scar, Hades, Ursula, Jafar and Cruella D'Evil, in a battle of good versus evil.
    A scene from Pocahontas is included and a scary bit involving Mallificent evolving from a snake into a dragon. Of course, Mickey's imagination is too strong for the baddies and it all ends happily ever after when a procession of characters appear on a ferry boat and circle the lagoon.
    A word of warning, we sat on the second row and as the walls of water sprayed up from the lagoon, we were covered by the falling spray, which soaked us. Luckily as it had been raining, we had our ponchos on, but I could have done with a set of windscreen wipers for my glasses. They got covered with spray, making it hard to see anything.
    We dried off in the Beverly Sunset shop, which sells Disney Villain merchandise, before going on the Great Movie ride without having to queue. Beth enjoys this ride, but still hides from the Alien. It is far too gentle for my liking and if you've seen it once, it doesn't get much better. It is more a tribute to great movies than an attraction that thrills.
    We then went to the Muppet show, as it seemed to be the only thing that was still open. There must have only been about 20 people in the theatre. After the show, as we walked past Echo Lake on our way to the exit, all of a sudden some music struck up on the parks PA system and 'A Star is Born', from the Hercules film played as the park closed.
    We danced our way out of the park, to rapturous applause, and made our way to the car park for the journey back to the villa, after a day in which our use of the Fastpass system had really made a difference.

    Tomorrow : - SeaWorld.
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  2. snuggles

    snuggles <font color=blue>A good day with short lines...wha

    Aug 18, 1999
    What a wonderful day! Thanks for the discription of the RNR. I'll never see it for myself, I dont do roller coasters!

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  3. Bob O

    Bob O <font color=navy>Voice of Reason<br><font color=re

    Mar 2, 2000
    Another excellant trip report. You still havent told us why San goes to the bathroom all the time!
  4. San

    San Earning My Ears

    Sep 26, 1999
    It's just a strange British thing, Bob! Actually, I'm sure I explained it as a reply to your comments about the bathroom on another trip report of ours. If I didn't ...well...I'll leave you in suspense!!!!!!!
  5. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    A long but fun day. I took pictures of my dd dancing with the umbrella but they didn't come out - guess will have to go back for another one. Thanks for posting!

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