Three Weeks of Bliss

spencem

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
This is the first time I've tried to do one of these and the first time I've tried to use Photobucket so please let me know when I go wrong...

A little about us, we are Me 35 bloke, my DW 36, My DS 11, My Dsis 47 and my DBiL 50. We stayed in a villa near but not in Champions Gate for three weeks starting February 1st.



We had two cars between us as we did not all want to do the same stuff all the time.


Day 1 MGM

This being the quiet time of year we didn't see any point in adopting the full on 'theme park commando' mentality and so got up when we woke up, and then took our time over breakfast and getting ready.:eek:

We (me, DW&DS) got to MGM around 10:30 and went straight to ToT, only pausing to take this.



It was a walk on with no wait at all, other than for the car to arrive in the basement.

From there we walked down to RnR, on the way a guy walked up to me asking would we like these, holding out 3 unused dream Fast Passes, as they were on their way out of the park.:cool1: Of course I said yes thanks. As I posted before it was so quiet that day that Fast Pass was not in use, so we have some great souvenirs of the day.

It was the first time DW had been on the ride, and it will be her last! Some coasters she loves, other she hates, and I cannot work out the patten to help her choose in advance what will be what.:confused:

From there it was a quick walk to GMR (Gangster version) and onto lunch in the ABC. Muppets 3D followed and then onto Star Tours.

Star Tours is not a ride for DW, and I had never been on it due to queue length last year. I have to say that the line is better for the ride IMO, even if we did walk straight past it all. While waiting for our simulator doors to open a Storm Trooper came round the corner and 'checked' us all over, some great looks from the kids in the line.



We then did the Back Lot tour, noticing that they have added the bone cages from Pirates 2. We walked back along Mickey Avenue, taking in the Animation show, to Tot where there was now a line.



This being day one and all of us feeling the travel shock we decided to head of to Walmart to get the stuff I had missed the night before and then onto food and bed. One the way out though we came across this show on Sunset.



I don't know if any of you have seen it, but it is supposed to be a comedy talent show (maybe finding material for Monster's Inc?). It was just not funny, people stopped to look, heard the material and walked on. I felt quiet sorry of the CM's, but after a while we too walked on.
 

mark&sue

<font color=teal>I keep trying to convert everybod
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Love your photos. Looking forward to hearing all about day 2.


Susan
 
  • wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    It's a shame you didn't enjoy Streetmosphere. Personally, I think they are one of the best things at Disney World - I admit that sometimes the humour can be quite subtle but I have watched them perform several times and they have never failed to make me laugh out loud.

    Nice start to your trippies though.
     

    jns

    <font color=cc3366>Tries hard to get the jelly off
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2004
    great start
    love all the photos
     
  • spencem

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2006
    Thanks for the kind words guys, it really brings it all back writing it out like this.:thumbsup2

    I was going to do day 2 earlier, but the 'real world' got in the way when they wanted me to work at the office.:scared1:

    Day 2 follows below...
     

    spencem

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2006
    DAY 2 Magic Kingdom

    Well a slightly earlier start saw the three of us there for around 10am, in the showery rain. I should say that DSiS and DBiL go to Orlando most years around Feb as he is a NASCAR fan. They tend to do 'other things' to parks now and so didn't get any Disney passes in advance at all. That's not to say the don't like it, or that they didn't go in at all this holiday as you'll see later...



    As you can see it was a bit wet, and there were a few more people around than MGM yesterday.

    This holiday we wanted to try and do stuff we had not done before and so picked up quite a few of the 'lesser' attractions of MK today.

    I take it you've all seen this above the ice cream shop at the top of Main Street?



    We went right at the top of main street, into Tomorrow land and into the back of the massive 10 minute line for Space Mountain.:thumbsup2 This was our first time on it as last year I never saw it with less than an hours line. DW loved it.:confused:

    From there we went over to Buzz and picked up a Fast Pass as the line was 30 mins and the return time was only about an hour away.

    We went up onto TLTA, which was quite fun, and gave a new angle for photos.



    From there we went on the CoP, another first for us all, and now I can't get that song out of my head again:mad: .

    It was now time to ride Buzz, which I won. Of Course;) .

    We had wanted to have lunch in the Noodle bar, but it was closed the whole time we were in Florida so we ended up in Star Light Rays.

    As we walked up though Fantasy Land they were loading Philarmagic, so we walked right in and were blown away, DW was in tears by the end.:thumbsup2

    Then it was time for one of DW's favourites from last year, the Haunted Mansion. Despite trying all weeks we never did find the wedding ring outside, but we did see the hidden Mickey in the dining room.

    By now DW was cold, so cutting though by the rest rooms we picked up a Pirates hoddie for her on the way into Adventure land. I also went down and got our fast passes for the Jungle Cruise as that had now built a line.

    In general this area of the park was busier as you can see.



    Although this may have been something to do with the sword fighting lessons going on. We waited about 20mins for Pirates, further held up by the idiot who decided to stand up just as they were despatching the boat. Yet another demonstration of how good the CMs are at getting their point across while being friendly and polite.:thumbsup2

    By the time we got off it was time to do Jungle Cruise, which was it's usual corny but fun self. It got even better when the boat got back to find three others in front of us waiting to get on the dock and the captain got to ad lib for a few minutes.

    Picking up on the unseen theme we next went into the Tiki birds, which I can only describe as 'odd'. From there it was the Country Bears, which could have done with turning up a few db. I understand they want to keep it down for the kids, but I couldn't hear it all at the back.

    By now BTMRR had also gotten a line so we picked up some fast passes.



    With DW already cold it was not a day for Splash Mountain, so we had our first ride on the steam boat, which filled the half hour well.



    As we got to the bottom of the ramp to get on the train on BTMRR it broke down, I have no idea what the issue was but it was another demonstration of how different things are at Disney from the UK parks. Within moments there were CMs everywhere helping guests. As they ushered us out so we were given FOTL access tickets to any ride in MK. It was only walking away that I noticed they were out of date, but a quick trip to GS on the way out soon sorted that.

    By now we had enough so we caught the train (another first) back to the main entrance for the short drive to the villa.
     
  • spencem

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2006
    DAY 3, Golf and Epcot

    After two days in the parks it was time for a rest, so following a slow start we went and played 36 holes of Tiki Golf on I Drive.



    For those that don't know it there are a load of plastic dinosaurs dotted around some holes of mini golf, and a volcano that goes off everytime someone gets a hole in one on the ball return hole.



    After lunch and a nap we decided we did need a Disney fix after all and so went to Epcot to catch Illuminations.

    We got there about 6pm and surprisingly there were still fast passes available for Soarin, so we grabbed them before heading over to see the new Nemo ride. I liked the ride, but I'm not sure it fits in that well at Epcot, being more about the character than the science of oceanography. Unfortunately Turtle Talk was still in rehab so we could only walk around the tanks.

    DS wanted to try and kill me again with Mission Space (Sickness:sick: ) so we cut though Innovations to that side of the park. We promised ourselves that we really must come back and do innovations properly one day, but it didn't happen this holiday so it is another reason to go back.

    DW does not do MS, and nor would I if I could put up with the mickey taking from an 11 year old. It's not the take off part or the pressure that makes me feel bad, its the final bit where your trying to land. If the ride ended where the first attempt at landing is I'd go on all day as I think the take off and 'weightlessness' is great.

    Test track was showing hardly any line so on there we went to settle my stomach down, DW likes this as well.

    Then it was back across the park to Snoring, which I enjoyed much more this year on a fast pass than last year on a 75 minute wait! It was also DW first time and she loved it.

    I was still a bit green from Mission :sick: so decided something to eat would help (which it did) so we had a quick bite in Seasons. DS and DW like the kids sandwich meals in here, and since it is a CS place we can get them no problem.

    It was nearly 9 by now so we walked up past the upside down waterfall to the lagoon.



    We got a spot on the rail no problem, even with only a few minutes to spare before the show.

    I'm a registered pyrotechnician here in the UK, so I love all the fireworks in Disney and Illuminations is their best show IMO. Although for straight fireworks, without the fountains and globe, Wishes has it beat hands down. The company I fire for has done much larger shows than this, and I've worked on many, but for tightness to it's theme and audio track Illuminations is stunning. The opening voice over about being round the fire, and the play out song never fail to get 'something in my eye';) .



    After admiring the new laser artwork on the Epcot globe and letting the stroller derby run it's course we made our way home.
     

    fizz13

    <font color=33cc99>Dreams about being stuck on Spa
    Joined
    May 6, 2004
    Stunning photos of Epcot:goodvibes great report so far,
     

    carolfoy

    <font color=cc6633>One has Ones hat and One's orf.
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2005
    really enjoying your report and the pics are stunning, good to see lots of firsts too, it never fails to amaze me just how much there is to do in The World.
    Also interested to hear that as a pyrotechnician you really rate their fireworks, I always love them but its good to have confirmation from the experts :thumbsup2
     

    sandshal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2003
    I know the song .................................. "Theres a great big beautiful tomorrow waiting there for you and me" (or something very similar)

    I couldnt get it out of my head either, and to be honest I thought the ride was pants !!!!!:rotfl2:
     

    spencem

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2006
    Day 4 saw us get to AK around 11am, with a 17:40 ADR at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    We went straight to EE, and with the standby showing 30mins we decided to queue having heard great things about how well the line is themed.



    It is quite stunning how much attention has been paid to this area of the park, stuff like all the nails used in construction coming from Tibet so they would look right.
    We were lucky enough to ride this last year during the soft opening, but always used the single rider line. The ride itself is even better now the landscaping has had time to grow-in.

    From there we went over and got in line for the 12:45 Nemo show, which was great, but let down by some of the worst follow spot work I have ever seen. If I had been LD that day (something else I do as a hobby) the guy auditorium right would have been looking for a new job. He kept missing his pickups and was obviously not watching as the actor would move and then the light would follow a few second later. I've trained high school kids better in a couple of hours.

    Lunch in the McDonnalds was followed by DS & I doing Dinosaur and Primeval whirl in quick succession. The CM on the line entrance of Primeval Whirl insisted on height checking me (6'4") before giving DS one of those red tags and asking would we mind going in the fast pass entrance as they needed to time check it:cool1: .



    The reason I'm pointing is that this was about to 'eat' DW who was concentrating on getting our picture.



    From there we went back to EE (20mins in single rider) and up to Africa, narrowly avoiding the parade start to get onto the Safari while it was quiet. The only problem was that not many animals were around due to the cold and the late hour. What was around seemed to be heading off somewhere.



    We left AK shortly after the worst of the rush following the parade finishing to head over to AKL. For those who have never been (like we hadn't) it is well worth it to see the savannah out the back and the huge atrium inside, complete with a very welcome fire pit. This is the back view, who in their right mind thatches a building in a hurricane zone?:confused3



    Dinner at Boma was excellent, I can highly recommend it. I would describe the food as being American with an African influence rather than the other way round, but very tasty indeed.
     

    spencem

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2006
    Day 5 Disney Quest & Cirque Du Soleil

    Well today didn't start so well with DW not feeling great, so DS and I headed down to DTD to exchange our Cirque vouchers for real tickets. We already had tonight's show booked, but I thought it best to do the exchange during the day while it was quiet than just before the show.

    While we were there we decided to take a look in Disney Quest since it was included on our 21 day ultimate passes.:thumbsup2



    I didn't really know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by DQ, although quite what it is like on a weekend evening I'm not sure:crowded: . DS & I started with the rapids ride but didn't get on so well with just two of us doing it and neither of us sure what to do! After that we went into the Pirates thing and got teamed up with a mother and daughter about the same age as us which was a lot of fun. I think this is the best attraction in there by a long way. After that we both had plenty of goes on the various arcade machines, especially enjoying not having to constantly feed them money!

    I called DW to discover she was feeling better so we went back to the villa to get her. With hindsight I could have left DS in DQ while I did this, in fact I could have left him in there the next two weeks and he would have been happy.:happytv:

    We had lunch in the Wolfgang Puck Express which was excellent. Always keeping an eye on cost I was not going to pay $$ more for the same meal in the cafe and even more $$$$ to sit upstairs.

    Then we forced our way though the crowds to go show DW DQ and in particular Pirates.



    DW and I spent most of the afternoon in the Cheesecake Factory while DS had a great time going on the arcade machines, but we did all have a go on Pirates together.

    What can you say about Cirque? It is an amazing show, probably the best I have ever seen. For those that haven't been and are wondering if it worth the money, YES IT IS. You don't need to spend money on the top price seats though, all of them give a great view, and it could be argued that some of the cheaper seats offer a better view of the overhead action than the expensive front block seats.
    One thing I did like was that all of the music and singing was live, with the band in two towers either side of the stage and the singers on stage, or more often than not suspended somewhere above it.
    It is an amazing show from the moment the house opens with the pre-show clowns to the final bow.
     


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