This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

GoofyFan1515

DIS Dad #174
Joined
May 23, 2012
I forgot - was the Guardian of the Galaxy ride open when you visited DCA? Did you ride it? If not, you need to - you'll love it. :rolleyes1
Agree! :thumbsup2 We got to ride it a few times on our recent trip. I thought it was better than the ToT version but maybe that's because it was new and different. :scratchin

Not sure Mark will agree. I know how much he loves ToT. :rotfl2:
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Way to go Drew! I think that he did an excellent on his first park of his first trip to Disney World even if he did back out of a ride on Barnstormer. I can remember the first time we set our kids free in the park by themselves. They had that "see ya later suckas" look on their faces. It's been quite a few years since we have been to The Plaza but our previous meals there have always been great.
I don't know if there's a feeling quite like a kid being set free at Disney World. It is pretty wonderful.

Was this their first time venturing off on their own at Disney? It sure is a different experience when your kids are old enough to do that.
Yep, first time! They had a blast doing their own thing. It's fun for Julie and me to see how well they get along together.

I think you're right about that.
Poor kid. We'll just have to try again sometime.

Yeah, that's as far as James got, the first time we tried to take him on Haunted Mansion. Judy had to take him out the chicken exit as soon as those Stretching Room doors opened.
That's what I was worried about. The scream is loud and seeing a body hanging above you is pretty dark for a Disney ride.

I did not know that. Hmmm.
I think you mean Mmmmm...

<in Vader voice> Impressive! :darth:
Thanks!

Said every man... everywhere.
::yes::

Nope. Calories don't count at Disney.
But they suddenly show up again when I get back home!

Their mother, of course.
Darn right.

I thought about putting targets on the speakers. And if you hit one, the music would stop.

But then the place would be completely silent all the time.


So... do it.
Still not seeing any drawbacks to this idea.

Good luck!



That'll jinx it.
:headache:

Nah. It's Disney. You can do anything you want. It's a rule.
That's not how the Force works!

I get caught up in trying to figure out which dot is mine.
Me too. So you need repeat rides once you get the hang of it.

And yet Universal made an entire attraction out of it. Can't figure that one out.
:confused3 Got me there. Maybe it was in the works before the movie came out, and they overestimated what the reaction would be?

Certainly wasn't the food which was only "pretty good".
And I'm fine with "pretty good". But the hijinks were what made us want to come back.

Well, Elle is lactose intolerant so won't be able to share.

So yes. Definitely will.
YES! More for you!

I only found it on Amazon in a hardback when I bought it. But it was worth every penny.
Thanks!

This is where we're matched. I can whoop Joe on Buzz all day every day. But he beats me on TSM because I just can't keep up that motion. Meanwhile he's got forearms like Ahnold.
I figured out a better technique this last time around, but more on that later.

Eh....ok?
Not a cheesesteak fan?
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
No problem with me! I pretty much listen to Disney music 24/7 and that includes IASW. I had a boss a few years ago who absolutely hated that song and every time she came into my office it would be playing. It became quite the running joke.
I could listen to a lot of Disney music all day long...but I would still skip IASW.

Absolutely. If this isn't a law it should be one.
Seems like a consensus.

This drives me nuts too. The worse though is when there is no time at all on the board. This happened to us as we were rushing a bit to get to an ADR and I was in panic mode with no bus time.
Overall, I'm glad they have the boards. But it's hard to remember that the time given is only an estimation.

Well, that is until you get pulled for the metal detector and have to take everything out of your pockets.
I figure that will happen often enough anyway. It's still better than the bag check line.

I was just thinking how much I liked everyone's t-shirts.
:thumbsup2

:rotfl2: Awesome photo! I think you need to make a point to recreate this one every time you go now.
I think it might lose something. Part of the fun of this one is that it was totally spontaneous!

Yay! Glad he did well on the rides (other than Barnstormer).
All in all, it was a successful day!

:rotfl:Of course this is a favorite of mine. I even ride it multiple times some trips. It was one of my very first Disney rides way back in 1975 so I think there's a strong nostalgia factor for me.
Hey, there are plenty of people who love it. I'm just not one of them.

I found this to be a problem last week. Even FOP seemed a tiny bit dull and cloudy to me. I think they need to change out the glasses more often or maybe find a better way to clean them.
I didn't have a problem with FOP. I thought it looked great.

Or all the accumulated sweat of the 100 or so people that tried it on before you.
:crazy2:

Total accurate description of me.
Competitive much?

Nope, not cheating. I just call it laziness on the part of those that don't take the time to look up the information. My husband did refuse to ride with me last week because he says I cheat but he's just mad because I won't share my secrets. I've actually maxed out the score three or four times but most of those have been when the ride has stopped in front of a high value target. A couple of hints I can give you (you may know these if you read online so please ignore if that's the case). One, always keep the trigger pushed on your gun. Even if you don't hit something it will give you 100 points every few shots. Two, aim close before aiming far. I find it easier to hit a close target and then slowly follow the red dot up and out to the farther away targets. The farther away a target, the more points it gives you.
True, the secrets are out there for anyone to look up. And yes, I did know those tips--my strategy was more to memorize where the high-point targets were and concentrate on hitting them as many times as I could.

I can report after eating there last Friday that the antics are alive and well. My brother was a bit annoyed with me because I told him the antics were gone when the weren't. There was the usual ketchup shenanigans (including a CM running around in a ketchup costume), large drinks and CMs running around acting crazy.
I'm glad to hear it! It wasn't the same without the fun.

Wow! That's amazing, she has real talent.
:goodvibes

I love the Plaza but that's because I have simple tastes. I think it's one of the least expensive TS options too.
I have simple tastes, too, so I was fine with it. And yes, it was one of the less-expensive dinners.

Oh man, that just never gets old. That whole movie cracks me up.
Any excuse for a poop joke, that's what I say!

That's where it all falls apart. Where are you hiding the super secret parent stash of Drew's haul this year?
I would tell you, but I don't want any candy to disappear.

So, kinda like I did with the Muppet show thingy in Liberty Square.
::yes::

Buahahaaha! Poned.
:sad1:

Yes, but did you remember 2nd desserts?
Always.

I forgot - was the Guardian of the Galaxy ride open when you visited DCA? Did you ride it? If not, you need to - you'll love it. :rolleyes1
No, it was still ToT. And did they remove the 13-story drops? That would help my attitude.

Agree! :thumbsup2 We got to ride it a few times on our recent trip. I thought it was better than the ToT version but maybe that's because it was new and different. :scratchin

Not sure Mark will agree. I know how much he loves ToT. :rotfl2:
I have to admit, the Guardians re-do does look fun.
 
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    But they suddenly show up again when I get back home!
    Disney needs to fix that.

    Still not seeing any drawbacks to this idea.
    Nope!

    That's not how the Force works!
    I wish we all had that.
    Then everyone would be choking everyone else.

    Me too. So you need repeat rides once you get the hang of it.
    Yep. Can see that.

    :confused3 Got me there. Maybe it was in the works before the movie came out, and they overestimated what the reaction would be?
    That movie is almost 25 years old. You'd think after the first week or so, they'd be... "Ummm… maybe that wasn't such a good idea. What else we got?"

    And I'm fine with "pretty good". But the hijinks were what made us want to come back.
    ::yes::
     

    QueenJen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2012
    And did they remove the 13-story drops? That would help my attitude.
    I was skeptical - took me a looonnnng time to be excited to ride ToT. Between the music, bouncing, and what you are watching, it's alot of fun....but the drops are still there.
     
  • MImommy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2009
    Following! This might be the funniest and most honest trip report I have ever read. Do you remember what brand stroller you brought with you? My older boys don’t need a sit and stand anymore but our four year still needs something. I hate renting and would rather just buy a stroller for our next trip.
     

    docsoliday1

    DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    I don't dislike them. But they don't do a whole lot for me.

    If I am going to have one, I want actual cheese, and a lot of places here call it a cheesesteak and use the nasty liquid nacho cheese
    I'm with you. The "official" Philly cheese steak as I understand it is made with cheese whiz and I don't care for that either. I like steak and provolone or motzarella of both.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Disney needs to fix that.
    Yes! It certainly makes me less likely to shell out for the dining plan.

    I wish we all had that.
    Then everyone would be choking everyone else.
    This is like when I wish cars had laser cannons mounted on the front of them. It's not long before I realize someone would have used it on me, too.

    That movie is almost 25 years old. You'd think after the first week or so, they'd be... "Ummm… maybe that wasn't such a good idea. What else we got?"
    Yeah, I can't explain that one at all. Then again, they kept churning out Police Academy movies, too.

    I was skeptical - took me a looonnnng time to be excited to ride ToT. Between the music, bouncing, and what you are watching, it's alot of fun....but the drops are still there.
    I watched a ride video on Youtube, and it does look like a lot of fun...you know, except for the drop part.

    I don't dislike them. But they don't do a whole lot for me.

    If I am going to have one, I want actual cheese, and a lot of places here call it a cheesesteak and use the nasty liquid nacho cheese
    We'll have to get you a proper Philly cheesesteak someday. I actually prefer mine with real cheese as well. American or provolone is best.

    Following! This might be the funniest and most honest trip report I have ever read. Do you remember what brand stroller you brought with you? My older boys don’t need a sit and stand anymore but our four year still needs something. I hate renting and would rather just buy a stroller for our next trip.
    :welcome: aboard, and thanks!

    I honestly don't remember what kind of stroller it is. It's whatever we had for the last few years while Drew was growing up. It was one of the ones that was big enough to put the infant car seat in. I hated having to fold it up and carry it on the bus, but we definitely needed it to get Drew around the parks. He would have been exhausted otherwise.

    I'm with you. The "official" Philly cheese steak as I understand it is made with cheese whiz and I don't care for that either. I like steak and provolone or motzarella of both.
    I like real cheese better, too. Most places in Philly will offer you either Whiz, American or provolone.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Geez....I was 2 updates behind. I've been sick and I'm finally feeling better enough that I can go back to posting from my phone.

    You’re welcome for that earworm.
    There are worse....

    When you visit Walt Disney World, you’re actually visiting three Disney Worlds in one. The first is Timeless Classic Nostalgia Disney. This is the Disney World that is almost exactly as you remember it from your childhood.
    I never visited Disney as a child, I didn't get there until I was a teenager.

    The second is Cutting-Edge Breathtaking Technological Advancement Disney. This is the Disney that blows you away with every new attraction they build. It’s the new experience, the exciting, creative How-Did-They-Do-That?
    This was actually my first experience with Disney.

    The third is the one we unfortunately can’t avoid, which is Brazenly Greedy Corporate Disney. This is the Disney that is hell-bent on squeezing every last nickel out of your pockets,
    Good thing I carry credit cards and not cash, I don't have nickels in my pockets for them to squeeze out!

    But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    That makes sense, I mean the nuance of Epcot may go over the head of a four year old hell bent on riding stuff.

    The plan was to try and make it to the Magic Kingdom in time for Rope Drop. We had our van with us, but decided to take the bus.
    It makes sense when you put it that way.

    One advancement I love at Disney is the TV’s displaying the approximate arrival times of the next bus for each park. One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating. We watched in despair as the expected arrival time for the Magic Kingdom bus kept moving backwards: 8:38….8:39…8:46(!)…brief hope as it moved up to 8:43…8:45…etc.
    Yes the ever changing bus stop signs, it's even worse when all of a sudden the time just disappears from the screen, like the bus on it's way vanished into another dimension!

    But this year, it’s no contest. We have a winner. I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.
    That's perfect! You are going to have such great things to embarrass him with his future wife!

    I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
    That's pretty neat! Now I want to ride it again just cause I know that!

    Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!
    :rotfl2: :rotfl: :lmao:

    Drew held on for dear life, but when we reached the end, he looked at Julie...and smiled. He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
    Yay Drew!

    The big kids had the same opinion as Julie and me. The Mine Train is cute, and a nice little warmup ride. We all wish it was longer.
    Same, it's cute but i wouldn't wait a tremendous amount of time for it.

    Amidst my family’s admonishments of, “It’s not that bad,” and “Drew’s never been on it before,” I reluctantly got in line.
    :laughing:

    On a visit later in the week, Julie took Drew by herself and said the view was much better from the back of the theater. So keep that in mind if you find yourself there.
    That's where the accessible seats are, so I've always seen it from the back.

    It’s not a Disney trip until you start taking Stupid Hat Photos®.
    ::yes::

    The wait for the Barnstormer was only 5 minutes, so our FP’s really weren’t necessary. We tried convincing Drew to go again, but he wouldn’t budge. So I rode it with the big kids. We thought maybe if they went on it, Drew would be convinced to give it a go.


    That’s a negative, Houston. Mission aborted.
    :laughing:

    Yep, the math checked out. One milkshake would serve as the family dessert.
    Very thrifty! I'm sure lots of other families do that too!

    A few minutes later, just as dinner was being served, she had produced this:
    She's definitely talented!

    Drew, for his part, couldn’t wait.
    I think I've seen a very similar picture of him, just younger. He looks so peaceful.

    (whispers) Coming Up Next: We head to Epcot. Should we tell Drew how fast Test Track goes?
    Nah, just let him figure it out while he's on the ride.
     
  • SoccerDogWithEars

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2005
    We'll have to get you a proper Philly cheesesteak someday. I actually prefer mine with real cheese as well. American or provolone is best.
    Provolone please!

    I did have a cheesesteak while in Philadelphia. I don't remember where it was from though. I remember thinking it was good but not amazing.

    If I ever make my way up north, I'll take you up on that!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Geez....I was 2 updates behind. I've been sick and I'm finally feeling better enough that I can go back to posting from my phone.
    Yuck. I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well!

    There are worse....
    Yes, I covered that. :rotfl2:

    I never visited Disney as a child, I didn't get there until I was a teenager.
    But I bet you still have fond memories of that.

    This was actually my first experience with Disney.
    So, are you saying you only visit 2 versions of Disney?

    Good thing I carry credit cards and not cash, I don't have nickels in my pockets for them to squeeze out!
    :rotfl: They seem plenty happy to take your credit card as well!

    That makes sense, I mean the nuance of Epcot may go over the head of a four year old hell bent on riding stuff.
    To be fair, his Dad is hell-bent on riding stuff, too.:rolleyes1

    It makes sense when you put it that way.
    Oh, good! That beats the alternative.

    Yes the ever changing bus stop signs, it's even worse when all of a sudden the time just disappears from the screen, like the bus on it's way vanished into another dimension!
    :scared1: It turned into a Tardis!

    That's perfect! You are going to have such great things to embarrass him with his future wife!
    ::yes:: Don't think I haven't thought of that.

    That's pretty neat! Now I want to ride it again just cause I know that!
    Wow, it's not often I get to spring a Disney tidbit on you!

    Same, it's cute but i wouldn't wait a tremendous amount of time for it.
    It was a great ride for Drew.

    That's where the accessible seats are, so I've always seen it from the back.
    Gotcha. Did anything seem fuzzy to you?

    Very thrifty! I'm sure lots of other families do that too!
    Aw, and here I thought I'd figured out a secret trick.

    She's definitely talented!
    Love that girl.

    I think I've seen a very similar picture of him, just younger. He looks so peaceful.
    This one? From Disneyland?



    Nah, just let him figure it out while he's on the ride.
    Stay tuned...

    Someone???
    Yes, one. Singular. Why do you ask?:rolleyes1

    Hey! Those are classics.
    Homer Simpson, to Bart: "We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun??? Well, I didn't hear anybody laughing. Did you???"

    Provolone please!

    I did have a cheesesteak while in Philadelphia. I don't remember where it was from though. I remember thinking it was good but not amazing.

    If I ever make my way up north, I'll take you up on that!
    Quality can vary, even in Philadelphia. My favorite one is actually in Delaware!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 4: If It Ain’t Broke…


    For several years now, Epcot has been my family’s favorite park. This may come as a shock to you, but I’m going to share a secret: we’re all nerds. The idea of getting a window into the next great technological advances of society always gets us excited. Plus, we love to travel, and a Disney World vacation is still ever-so-slightly less expensive than flying six people to Asia, so the World Showcase appeals to our adventurous side. Add them together, and we are the target audience for Epcot. It hits us in both of our sweet spots.


    However, several of the biggest attractions had undergone changes since we’d last visited as a family. We were all curious to see the new versions of Soarin’ and Mission: Space, as well as the new Frozen ride. Would we still love Epcot as much this time around?


    You know the drill by now: scarf down nutritious Pop Tarts for breakfast, drink crappy hotel room coffee, pile into the minivan, arrive at Epcot in time for Rope Drop. The plan went without a hitch. Once the park was opened, we walked with every single person who was present at Epcot at that moment over to get in the line for Test Track.


    This was due to the ever-popular Tier system for Fast Passes. You can only have a FP for one of Test Track, Soarin’, or Frozen Ever After. I had been mistaken in thinking that having a FP for Test Track means you get an abbreviated car design experience, and I knew my boys would want the full show. So I had reserved FP’s for Soarin’ instead, and planned to hit Test Track first thing in the morning, which is the best the standby line would be all day. The tiers are certainly a frustration when it comes to the FP system. I do understand the idea that everyone gets a chance to ride the headliner rides. But unlike the paper FP system, where I could get multiple rides on the headliners if I was willing to go make a run for the tickets, the current system ensures that you will get one (1) and only one (1) ride on the best ride in the park each day. Unless you’re willing to stand in a 90-minute (or longer) line to ride it again, which I am not.


    Some people have reported that they can get FP’s for the headliners by using their original 3, making a new FP reservation for any ride, and then immediately trying to modify that new FP. By constantly refreshing the app in the modification menu, they claim they can get FP’s for any ride to show up. My experience was that this was not the case. I couldn't get any availability on the headliners beyond what I had reserved at the 60-day window. But that could have something to do with traveling during a more crowded time of year.


    It’s never a good feeling when you get in line at this spot, but fortunately they were just stacking the line before letting everyone in.





    Despite our Barnstormer experience, someone was excited to ride. This was another one we’d viewed ahead of time on YouTube. Really, all we had to do was say the words “race car” and he was on board with the idea. Did we tell him how fast it went? Of course not.





    As we walked through the line, though, Drew started having second thoughts. He didn’t want to go too fast. We comforted and assured him in infinite patience, by which I mean we kind of ignored him and worked on distracting him with the car design stuff along the queue. Once we reached the car design studio, all of the kids were fully engaged.


    We split up to work on 3 separate computer screens. Scotty and I worked the first one, and I let him take the lead. He decided he was going to try and build the Batmobile. My only requirement was that the car use a plasma burner for an engine. Because any time you can make a car use rocket fuel, you gotta do it. Environment, Schmironment.





    Sarah and Dave teamed up to build a purple sports car of some sort. No fancy name was given, but this car was so fast you couldn’t even capture it in focus on the computer screen.





    And last, but certainly not least, Julie let Drew play mad scientist with his car. Ladies and gentlemen, I present….The Jetanero.





    I’m not exactly sure what a “Jetanero” is, but I believe it may be a mix of a fighter plane and a chili pepper.


    From there, we climbed into our test car. Drew was still a little skittish, but to his credit, he went along and didn’t make much of a fuss.


    By the end of the ride, he was a big fan! Turns out going really fast is a lot of fun, even if you get the Mike Wazowski treatment in the ride photo.





    So that’s two “big” rides conquered for Drew. Not too shabby. Test Track is still a great ride. Originally, I was not a fan of the change from the more straight-forward car test story to the Tron effects. I felt like the story behind the ride was lost a bit. But after riding again, I have to admit that the car design portion is a great addition and a lot of fun, and the kids had a blast with it. So overall it’s a wash for me. I think it’s the best ride in Epcot.


    The kids played a while in the post-show area, where they have a lot of cool games that feature the car you just designed. Dave and Scotty have become big Formula One race fans and car geeks in general, so they were having fun checking out the various models of sports cars. Me? I went straight for the pickup truck.





    We walked across Future World to the Land pavilion. I know this because it’s the next photo in my album.








    It wasn’t quite time for our Soarin’ FP yet, so we hopped in line for The Slow Boat Tour Of The Place Where We Grow All Of The Vegetables You End Up Shoving To The Side Of Your Plate And Eventually Throwing In The Trash In All Of Our Restaurants (also known as Living With The Land). We figured Drew would always be up for a boat ride. This turned out to be a great move for him due to the sheer number of Hidden Mickeys available to find along the ride. He had a lot of fun finding them and pointing them out to us.








    They also had the raw ingredients for manufacturing more Jetaneros.




    All joking aside, I do find the gardens fascinating. Despite being a vegetable-hater, the science side of the farming techniques is fascinating. And they grow pineapple in there, which is a Food of the Gods®.


    Now it was time for Soarin’ Around The World. This was new to us—the last time we’d ridden Soarin’ (of any kind) was in 2014 in Disneyland, when it still flew over various sites in California. We all loved Soarin’ Over California. I loved the way it gave you the rush of swooping through Yosemite canyons and over the mountains. The scenery was gorgeous, and so was the score by the late, great Jerry Goldsmith. I thought the Imagineers had done as good a job as possible at making you feel like you were hang-gliding.


    We hadn’t seen the new version yet, and based on the reviews I’d read here on the DISboards, I was a little nervous. It seemed like the majority of readers were down on the latest flight. Nevertheless, we kept an open mind. Or, in the case of Drew, a caffeinated mind.





    The good news: Drew had a great time. Yet another conquest!


    The bad news: we were all disappointed with the new version. I tried to think about my issues with it, and I came up with three strikes.


    Strike One: the new musical score is a re-worked version of the old one, and it doesn’t flow nearly as beautifully.


    Strike Two: For some reason, they opted for more CGI “surprises” jumping out of the screen at you and forgot to include the actual sensation of, you know, soaring. I had far fewer moments where I felt like I was swooping along over the scenery. Instead, each scene moved slower, making me feel like I was just hovering in place and waiting for the next poorly-animated creature to jump out at me. I preferred the sense of movement of the old ride.


    Strike Three: I don’t know all of the technical aspects of filming, but I know the old version didn’t seem to have any issues with being projected on a massive curved screen. The new version, however, makes everything look bow-shaped (I’m assuming that’s unless you’re sitting dead-center in the room). It pulls you right out of any suspension of disbelief. By the time we left the ride, the kids had already re-named the Eiffel Tower as the Scoliosis Tower.


    So, yeah. That was a bummer.


    Still, a day in Disney beats a day most anywhere else. Here’s an obligatory monorail/pond/Spaceship Earth shot, just because I like it.





    We sat outside the Land and ate our PB&J sandwiches for lunch. It was a little early because we had an early dinner reservation that day. Once we’d finished choking them down, we went inside the character greeting area in the Innoventions building. The line for Baymax didn’t look to bad, and he’s one of Julie’s favorite characters ever, so we jumped in.


    I admit, I’m not much into the character greets. I hate to break this to you, but they’re actually just some random dude (or more often, dudette) in a costume. Spoiler alert.


    Yes, I understand that everyone is a kid again at Disney, but still...I feel weird getting in line to "meet" a character unless my kids are with me. I mean, I don't get in line to see Santa at the mall, either. At least, not since the Coal Incident.


    Character greets really depend on how good the actor is at portraying the character and being spontaneous. Some are obviously better than others. So, I don’t generally make it a priority to meet characters. But the kids have always liked interacting with them and getting their autographs. My general rule of thumb is to only get in line if the wait is 15 minutes or less.


    With Baymax, there’s not a whole lot going on as far as interaction goes. But I did get him to do the fist-bump thing (“Ba-la-la-la”), and he did attempt to swallow my children whole.








    From there, we moved on to our second FP of the day: Spaceship Earth.





    Time for some more potential Christmas card photos. We’ll just get a nice backdrop and…





    Perfect! Everyone looks so thrilled and happy and—





    Sigh. Let’s move on.


    I’ve always enjoyed the Big Golf Ball. I feel like it’s earned Classic Disney Dark Ride status. My only issue with it this time around was that I usually make a really stupid face (or, as @pkondz would say, I just look normal) for the photo to be used in the cartoon later, and this time around it didn’t take my picture. So I got the generic animation. I can only assume that I was so hideous, I broke the camera.


    Anyway, I’ll leave you with my handiwork from a few years ago.





    Coming Up Next: We’ll try out the new version of Mission: Space. Maybe it will go over better than Soarin’? Also, Drew will try a nice palate-cleanser from Italy.
     
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    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    For several years now, Epcot has been my family’s favorite park. This may come as a shock to you, but I’m going to share a secret: we’re all nerds.
    1. I'm surprised it's everyone's fave.
    2. I'm not surprised your all nerds.
    3. Being all nerds... I'm envious of you.

    The idea of getting a window into the next great technological advances of society always gets us excited.
    Yes... which is why I find the FW part of Epcot so... disappointing. I sure hope they can put some of the wonder back into it with the massive refurb that's coming.

    a Disney World vacation is still ever-so-slightly less expensive than flying six people to Asia
    Are you sure about that?

    we walked with every single person who was present at Epcot at that moment over to get in the line for Test Track.
    Incorrect. There are still a fairly healthy portion who run to Soarin' first. Because they want to ride it twice and will use TT's single rider line later.

    This was due to the ever-popular Tier system for Fast Passes.
    Yeah... :sad2:

    If I recall correctly, having a FP for Test Track means you get an abbreviated car design experience, and I knew my boys would want the full show.
    Oh? I'm not sure? Maybe? Pretty sure I've always designed a car... and I don't think I've gone on it without a FP...

    So I had reserved FP’s for Soarin’ instead, and planned to hit Test Track first thing in the morning, which is the best the standby line would be all day.
    ::yes::

    the current system ensures that you will get one (1) and only one (1) ride on the best ride in the park each day. Unless you’re willing to stand in a 90-minute (or longer) line to ride it again, which I am not.
    Yeah... I get the whole "FP means you don't stand in line", but... wouldn't it be nice if you could do, say,
    2 FPs for TT and one for Soarin'?

    Some people have reported that they can get FP’s for the headliners by using their original 3, making a new FP reservation for any ride, and then immediately trying to modify that new FP. By constantly refreshing the app in the modification menu, they claim they can get FP’s for any ride to show up.
    Hadn't heard of that. And am very skeptical. It could be that they lucked out because someone changed at about the same time? Maybe?

    It’s never a good feeling when you get in line at this spot, but fortunately they were just stacking the line before letting everyone in.
    Phew! Had me worried there for a sec.

    Really, all we had to do was say the words “race car” and he was on board with the idea.
    :laughing: He is a boy after all!

    Did we tell him how fast it went? Of course not.
    Of course.

    He didn’t want to go too fast. We comforted and assured him in infinite patience, by which I mean we kind of ignored him and worked on distracting him with the car design stuff along the queue.
    Oh? This is not particularly effective parenting Mark.
    If I may make a gently worded, non-judgmental suggestion here...

    Lie to him.

    That works wonders.

    My only requirement was that the car use a plasma burner for an engine. Because any time you can make a car use rocket fuel, you gotta do it. Environment, Schmironment.
    ::yes:: No way you wouldn't do that IRL.

    this car was so fast you couldn’t even capture it in focus on the computer screen.
    Whoa! zzzzzzzzzoooooooommmmmm!!!!

    And last, but certainly not least, Julie let Drew play mad scientist with his car. Ladies and gentlemen, I present….The Jetanero.
    :laughing:
    I like it! Bet it won at least one round.

    I’m not exactly sure what a “Jetanero” is, but I believe it may be a mix of a fighter plane and a chili pepper.
    Sure. Creative. Makes total sense.

    By the end of the ride, he was a big fan!
    Great!

    Now you can stop lying to him.

    :laughing:

    Frame that for his collection of memories of the first trip to Disney.

    I have to admit that the car design portion is a great addition
    Agreed. And people get super competitive with it. I don't, since I don't really know what I'm doing. I'd have to do it much more often.

    I think it’s the best ride in Epcot.
    Hmmm.... Can't say that I disagree with you. Soarin', the old version was a contender. Now... unless you're smack in the middle... not close.

    they were having fun checking out the various models of sports cars. Me? I went straight for the pickup truck.
    I'll hang with the obviously more intelligent kids.

    We walked across Future World to the Land pavilion. I know this because it’s the next photo in my album.
    Better than taking notes.

    we hopped in line for The Slow Boat Tour Of The Place Where We Grow All Of The Vegetables You End Up Shoving To The Side Of Your Plate And Eventually Throwing In The Trash In All Of Our Restaurants (also known as Living With The Land).
    This becomes problematic when talking about it on the DIS.

    "So we rode SBTotPWWGAotVYEUSttSoYPaETitTiAoOR and it was really a nice break."

    They also had the raw ingredients for manufacturing more Jetaneros.
    :laughing:

    And they grow pineapple in there, which is a Food of the Gods®.
    No argument here.

    We hadn’t seen the new version yet, and based on the reviews I’d read here on the DISboards, I was a little nervous. It seemed like the majority of readers were down on the latest flight.
    Yeah... standing by for your report.

    The good news: Drew had a great time. Yet another conquest!
    Good!

    The bad news: we were all disappointed with the new version.
    Ah... I was afraid of that. But...

    Strike One: the new musical score is a re-worked version of the old one, and it doesn’t flow nearly as beautifully.
    Huh. Now that I had not noticed.

    Strike Two: For some reason, they opted for more CGI “surprises” jumping out of the screen at you and forgot to include the actual sensation of, you know, soaring. I had far fewer moments where I felt like I was swooping along over the scenery. Instead, each scene moved slower, making me feel like I was just hovering in place and waiting for the next poorly-animated creature to jump out at me. I preferred the sense of movement of the old ride.
    I wish there'd been actual film footage. It would have made it soooo much better. Movement would've been better as well as the actual footage. Those fake polar bears drive me nuts!

    Strike Three: I don’t know all of the technical aspects of filming, but I know the old version didn’t seem to have any issues with being projected on a massive curved screen. The new version, however, makes everything look bow-shaped (I’m assuming that’s unless you’re sitting dead-center in the room).
    Yep. You have to ask for dead center (and I prefer top.. no feet dangling) even if it means waiting a bit longer. You just... have to.

    It pulls you right out of any suspension of disbelief.
    Yeah... I remember the Eiffel Tower especially... and the Taj Mahal looked... awful.

    By the time we left the ride, the kids had already re-named the Eiffel Tower as the Scoliosis Tower.
    :lmao:
    OMG. Did they really?

    Here’s an obligatory monorail/pond/Spaceship Earth shot, just because I like it.
    Nice!

    We sat outside the Land and ate our PB&J sandwiches for lunch.
    Yessss...

    Once we’d finished choking them down
    "choking down"? Don't you mean "Devouring our hand held ambrosia"?

    I admit, I’m not much into the character greets.
    Me neither.
    I've done a few for the TR, but...

    I hate to break this to you, but they’re actually just some random dude (or more often, dudette) in a costume. Spoiler alert.
    Yeah... It's not like you're meeting... say Johnny Depp.
    And even then.. I've never been blinded by that sort of thing. Or wanted autographs.

    Yes, I understand that everyone is a kid again at Disney, but still...I feel weird getting in line to "meet" a character unless my kids are with me. I mean, I don't get in line to see Santa at the mall, either.
    Yep. I will do it for the kids too. But for the most part they weren't interested either.

    At least, not since the Coal Incident.
    Only one coal incident?


    huh.

    bit surprised.

    My general rule of thumb is to only get in line if the wait is 15 minutes or less.
    ::yes::

    Is there a child in this photo?

    Perfect! Everyone looks so thrilled and happy and—
    :lmao:

    I’ve always enjoyed the Big Golf Ball. I feel like it’s earned Classic Disney Dark Ride status.
    It has. Hope the coming refurb doesn't change it too much. Wonder if they'll change the narrator again?
    Nooo! I don't want to not thank the Phoenicians!

    My only issue with it this time around was that I usually make a really stupid face (or, as @pkondz would say, I just look normal)
    correct

    So I got the generic animation.
    I wonder if the software just doesn't recognize it, or if there's a human going "nope!"
     

    SoccerDogWithEars

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2005
    The idea of getting a window into the next great technological advances of society always gets us excited.
    So funny story. I'm not a huge tech geek. My dad is. So most of my life I've had to hear about/read about/spend hours looking at things I don't really care about. One of the worst offenders was Innoventions (back in its glory days). Mom and I would be ready to go explore the countries or ride Test Track, and Dad would be slowly absorbing every little detail about every little exhibit.

    Joe is the same as my Dad. So on our first trip to Disney together, with Joe not knowing anything about it....I maybe sort of neglected to mention the existence of Innoventions. Until Joe was flipping through the guide books and saw the Sum of All Thrills. And asked me what it was. And where it was. And why I hadn't mentioned anything about Innoventions before. :rolleyes:

    My experience was that this was not the case. I couldn't get any availability on the headliners beyond what I had reserved at the 60-day window.
    On our last trip, I was able to successfully do this once. We were in DHS and I managed to snag a FP for Swirling Saucers at the same time as my parents. I tried a couple of other times, but I found that the constant refreshing was taking up my attention, and I'd rather spend time talking to the people I was with. So I stopped trying.

    Scotty and I worked the first one, and I let him take the lead. He decided he was going to try and build the Batmobile.
    This is one of the places I'm weirdly competitive. I want my car to come in first. But the first trip, I was nice and let Joe design the car. Until I saw the timer start flashing down, and Joe was still ignorantly playing with all the features you could add. I mentioned that he should be finalizing what he wanted. He ignored me. And we ended up with a car with random police lights on top :headache:

    So in discussing family size, I have always said that I want an even numbered family, because otherwise someone has to sit by themselves on Expedition Everest. I like this argument for 4 kids...you fill an entire Test Track car!
    (side note: I mentioned this to Joe. And he pointed out we would also fill a Space Mountain train. I think I'm slowly getting him onboard :rotfl2:)

    Originally, I was not a fan of the change from the more straight-forward car test story to the Tron effects. I felt like the story behind the ride was lost a bit. But after riding again, I have to admit that the car design portion is a great addition and a lot of fun, and the kids had a blast with it.
    I still miss the old version. I think the new one loses some excitement on the indoor portion of the ride. We still quote the old one frequently...I have a habit of after any abrupt driving maneuver saying "And this time with the anti-lock brakes"

    The bad news: we were all disappointed with the new version. I tried to think about my issues with it, and I came up with three strikes.
    These are the main issues I have with it as well. Our first time with the new version we were on the complete end of one of the side rows, so it was super distorted. And I'd much rather have real footage of the scenery rather than fake footage of something that doesn't even need to happen.

    With Baymax, there’s not a whole lot going on as far as interaction goes. But I did get him to do the fist-bump thing (“Ba-la-la-la”), and he did attempt to swallow my children whole.
    Baymax is one of Joe's favorite characters, so on our honeymoon of course we had to meet him. Then they went through a whole spiel about no pins, sharp objects, etc., and I was terrified that somehow some way I would be the person to pop Baymax. So our photo ended up looking like this:



    "up north"....


    :lmao:
    It is north. You're just way north.
     

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