Studios Central: My Short Weekend Trip To WDW - DHS,MK,EPCOT & AK - Studios Central

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My Short Weekend Trip To WDW - DHS,MK,EPCOT & AK

#1 User is offline   MagicMemories 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:11 PM

Initially my wife and I spent 2 weeks at WDW back in February for our 3rd Anniversary. We spent 14 full days enjoying MK, AK, EPCOT and of course, DHS. Then we ventured back to the World for a few days in March, and scheduled this trip for May to enjoy the 20th of DHS, the Flower & Garden Festival (and Chubby Checker's concert) at EPCOT, and some good old Disney-style fun.

We took off from home early Friday, May 1st - driving to DHS to get there in plenty of time for the opening on the 20th Anniversary. We took some photos with the 20th Anniversary Banners and whatnot, and really felt like it was a truly special day. Both of us were excited about the opening of the park that day, and couldn't wait to get in. We were among the first into the park, and watched the crowd grow behind us as we waited for the rope drop that morning. I actually made it into one of the 20th Anniversary park opening photos on Studios Central, but my wife got cut out :lol: We were surprised to see Rilous Carter out there, and thought that was nice.

Anyhow, we had a great time at opening ceremony, and were excited to get in some attractions before heading over to see the Imagineers presentation at 10:45. That was a VERY nice addition to our weekend. We really learned a lot about the parks and how it was formed. I was excited when they actually used my question as one of the submitted questions for the Imagineers. Great getting some insight into how my favorite park at the World was formed.

From there we met some characters, including Pluto & Goofy, Mickey and The Club Penguins duo. We stopped over at OMD to see the great updates they made for the 20th anniversary, and enjoyed the displays a great deal. If anyone going to the park hasn't stopped by here, please do. It gives you a great feel and appreciation of the hard work and dedication that Walt put into the park, and how much enjoyment he really got out of it.

We got to do the Backlot Tour for our first time since it re-opened. We enjoyed getting some photos of the EFTower, and loved going through Catastrophe Canyon once again. It brought back so many memories - and we liked seeing Walt's plane once again. I enjoyed the story the Imagineers shared about shutting down the roads to bring the plane in, and how parts of the plane wound up being sold off and might have ended up in other planes around the world. We did miss the Golden Girls house though, as we're huge fans of the show.

We got to take in two rides on Toy Story Mania!, which we always enjoy. We also made our journey out to Star Tours, where we love walking through the queue as much as we love riding the ride...LoL. Thankfully there was NO LINE whatsoever. We walked through, took photos, and walked right up the ramp and were given Row 1 with a 3 minute wait or so to get on the ride.

We made our mandatory trip to the Great Movie Ride, and had a great time as always. We caught the 'cowboy' version of the ride, instead of our usual 'gangster' version, so we enjoyed the change of pace quite a bit. It was off to lunch at the 50's PTCafe. We got our food super quick for a place that was packed, and had some really great food and service.

I had brought my old Hollywood Tower Hotel hat that I got at the park back in 1995 with me. It fit me when I was a kid, and was too small for me now, but that didn't stop me from putting it on and getting some photos at the ToT for the 20th Anniversary. I'll be bringing it back with me for the 25th, and hopefully the 30th. That was a really great moment for me, and my wife and I reflected on the 'Disney Magic' that we've enjoyed over the course of our lives.

After catching the parade at the front of the park, we headed back to our hotel for dinner and to rest up for our next day at EPCOT. I'll post about EPCOT and the rest of our trip here in the thread.
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#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:14 PM

Thanks for sharing your trip report with us!
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#3 User is offline   squishybear 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:32 AM

Nice report.
It's cool that you still have that hat. The first thing I ever bought at WDW was the invisible dog with leash that they were selling at the Haunted Mansion. I have a lot of fond memories of that.
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#4 User is offline   MagicMemories 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 01:11 AM

Thanks guys!!! Here's a little more about the rest of our trip.

Saturday morning we got ourselves a great breakfast from Chick-Fil-A, and made our way over to EPCOT for the International Flower & Garden Festival. The topiaries they put out were great. Some of our favorites turned out to be Scar from Lion King, The Seven Dwarfs, and Beast from Beauty and The Beast. Simba and Rafiki were really nice as well. As soon as I can get our photos onto this computer, I'll put some up. They do some really nice things just working with basic materials. It's really amazing.

We got to go on Ellen's Energy Adventure once again, as it had been closed for many of our previous visits. The Dinosaurs on that ride are great, and who doesn't love watching Ellen fight off a giant snake like creature from the comfort of their own ride vehicle??

Stopping in the Fairy Garden they set up was nice. Each Fairy had her own specific space and layout, which was nice. Our favorite was Fawn. My least favorite was Silvermist, after my unfortunate encounter with her at Magic Kingdom ;) Anyhow, EPCOT's Butterfly Garden was equally as cool, and we got to see these caterpillars EXTREMELY close-up, which was very neat. Butterflies in your face while you're trying to take a picture of said caterpillars, not so neat. :D

Of course we stopped at Club Cool, skipped the Beverly and enjoyed some Vegeta Beta and Kinley Lemon. My wife finally admitted that the Fanta Kolita can be a little sweet. After unsticking our shoes from the floor of Club Cool, we made a stop at a neat little table set up to color your own mini-flower pot from the F&G Festival to take home. We set in the middle of two very young girls, and some elderly people, so I guess being in our 20's we were in the right place. We designed ours based off the F&G Festival logo, and got a cool Disney earth Bag to take them home in (I love free souvenirs).

After that we ventured to SPACESHIP EARTH, home of making ridiculously funny faces for our e-mails to home. We always spot President Monk sleeping in his monastery scene. Thankfully we made it all the way through this time, without our journey being delayed. We got off SE, caught a performance of a dance troupe at the FutureWorldWest Stage. That was cute. It was an act with about a dozen girls and boys ranging from what appeared to be 5 through a girl in her early 20's. It was a pleasant and unexpected addition to our afternoon.

After the act, we stopped at the Cantina de San Angel for a quick lunch. We got 2 Plato Combinacions with chicken taco, beef burrito and a Quesadilla with beans and salsa. It was a good lunch, minus the TOTALLY inappropriate Jimmy Buffett-esque, 50-something couple about two tables over from us who felt it necessary to FULL ON MAKE OUT WITH EACH OTHER, with families sitting at the table next to them. :D Anyhow, the service was FAST, they were super friendly, and the food was great. I wished the Mariachis had been playing again, but we missed them. We relaxed after lunch with a ride on one of my favorites, the Gran Fiesta. I love the scene where Donald gets a kiss from the woman in the boat. Donald is still my favorite after all these years. Can't help it.

We dared to go to Nor-vay and vide the MAELSTROM. We never learn much about Norway on the ride, but we do know that their spirit will always be adventure. We sat in the front, and there were two young girls sat behind us with their mother. Initially they were having a blast, until we were sent back over the water by the trolls, and then took our drop - at which point they both let out these ear-shattering screams. :lol: Ahh, the Disney Magic.

After the MAELSTROM, we made our way over to see the reason we originally planned a trip to EPCOT on this weekend - CHUBBY CHECKER live on stage as part of the Flower Power Concert Series. It was well worth it. It was a great performance, with Chubby breaking out the Twist, Let's Twist Again, a medley of several 60's favorites, and leading the crowd in a great rendition of a good old M-I-C - See ya real soon! K-E-Y - Why? Because we like you! M-O-U-S-E! Reminding us all to sing it very sadly, because the news was coming on next. :lol: What a great concert, and a great addition to our trip. Part of the awesome bonuses you get being an Annual Passholder.

Leaving one great performance for another, we went to what is our favorite live entertainment event at WDW - the acrobats at the China pavilion. These girls are fantastic, and every single time we see them, they do something different and equally impressive. I can not believe how amazingly talented they are, and if anyone has never seen them, PLEASE DO SO. You will be thoroughly impressed with the show, and if you're like us, will want to see more. This act never disappoints, I just wish I could get a picture with them after the show one time. :(

We took advantage of our Fastpasses and rode Test Track, with a 19/20 year old girl who was riding for the first time. The three of us sat in the front, and we all had a blast. We always do on Test Track. Having a screaming woman sitting on either side of you as you take a corner at 55 miles an hour is wildly fun. It would be like driving with me in a car, if you could sit someone to the left of the driver. :lol: We jumped on the less intense version of Mission Space after my wife's not-so-good reaction to the more intense version last time. :( Thankfully there was NO LINE there and we rode the capsule to space with just the two of us. Gary Sinise is remarkably young thanks to the Magic of Disney. The same could be said of Martin Short when you venture into Canada.

We went back for a final spin on Spaceship Earth before calling it a night and heading back to our hotel for our dinner.

I'll post the rest of our trip at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom soon.

BTW - The Invisible Dog On A Leash. :)
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#5 User is offline   MagicMemories 

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:00 AM

At this point, my short weekend trip is sounding like a LONG weekend trip.

Sunday morning, we missed out on Chick-Fil-A, as they are always closed on Sundays.

We took a ride over to Celebration, and went sightseeing. It was nice looking at neighborhoods out of our price range, :lol: , but it was a pleasant little place. A little too cramped in certain places for me, but nice and quiet nonetheless. They have some very unique and fascinating architecture too. We sat for a while at the lake there and watched the kids play in the shooting sidewalk fountains. It was VERY, quiet there - a good spot to take some nice photos, reflect or do some writing / sketching. Lots of scenery.

After grabbing some Checkers (this was also a fast-food weekend), we drove to Downtown Disney - hoping to be lucky enough to be one of the 10 people a week that get to actually RIDE Characters In Flight, and not just look at it :P Unfortunately, we became one of the thousands who just pass it or stop for a photo op in front of the balloon - capturing Dumbo and Mary Poppins silhouettes in the background. :lol: A lot of people were stopping wanting to get on, but they had the 'Closed Due to Weather' sign out and three employees were standing together talking.

So, we made our way over to Magic Kingdom, taking the Ferry over to enjoy the boat ride and the scenery. It was a pretty empty Ferry, so it was nice. We got there just in time to catch the end of the CADCT Parade. We got a GREAT GREAT viewing spot, right behind the flag pole on the walkway, so we got some nice photos and an unobstructed view of all the floats and characters. Seeing Sebastian from LM was cool. I wish there was a photo-op with him, that would be great.

We took our traditional walk into Tommorrowland to get to Stitch's Great Escape. After catching a whiff of the chili dog induced burp, we had a 5 minute wait to get on the Indy Speedway. That's always a fun ride for us, and we always get some great / fun photos. I usually wind up driving after my wife's bumpety experience on our first trip there :lol: We then took in one of our favorites - The Carousel of Progress. A co-worker of mine who hasn't been to WDW in YEARS asked me, "Do they still have that show thing that G.E. sponsors?". ;) Considering the fact that they stopped sponsoring the COP the year I was born, I told him it was time to make the trip to WDW and catch up on things just a little bit.

After CoP, it was time to take a spin on the teacups. My wife, who finds Expedition Everest to be the coolest ride ever - has a hard time on these unless she focuses directly on me. I always get a kick out of that. We then stumbled out and over to Philharmagic :) This is one of the greatest attractions, IMO, no matter how many times we go. It's just amazing. One of my favorite parts is when Ariel just reaches over the audience. And the 'whoosh' of the corks from the bottles gets you every time. I always get a kick out of how many people gasp and / or scream when Simba reaches the roar. :lol:

We then caught a break where NO ONE was waiting to get on IASW. So we enjoyed the world of laughter and the world of tears, as we always do. Skipping the 70 minute wait to Peter Pan's Flight, we took a 2 minute wait at The Haunted Mansion. We always see this one cast member there every time we go, and he's great. He's always in character and personable - well - as much as you can be while in character. Who doesn't love the hitchhiking ghosts?? I hope there is going to be a photo capture added to the ride in the future.

After being scared at The HM, it was over to Big Thunder Mountain, walking behind the already forming line to watch SpectroMagic. We had about a 10 minute of a posted 15 minute wait to get on BTM. It's always worth the wait. Ears ringing from the cranking and ratcheting noises of climbing uphill, we enjoy being twisted and turned through what is always a fun attraction. We did sit in the front car this time, which made my wife upset because she wanted the back - but made my back happy because it wanted the front car. :lol:

Our next ride again gave us the first seat, unfortunately that ride was Splash Mountain. There was NO WAIT to get on SM, and we loved that. The water cannons got us on the bend, and we were DRENCHED. I swear they must have added about a 1,000 gallons of water to those cannons since our last visit, as EVERYTHING - including items INSIDE our backpacks was drenched. That didn't happen to us last time or the time before. However, that only added to our laughter as we chatted with the couple behind us who were equally as drenched. After pulling back up the exit / entrance area and seeing no one in sight, we - and the couple behind us - opted to stay on the ride and get punished with water once again. It was F-U-N. Never in my life did I think wearing pants that make squishy noises and carrying a drenched backpack would be fun, but only WDW can make it so. :) The views we got of the Spectro Magic parade from SplashMountain were great.

Walking through the crowd that had now gathered for the Wishes fireworks, we made it just in time to get on the near empty Snow White attraction. The couple in front of us unfortunately had to be 'RR's' or ride-ruiners, as they had to mock EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT THE RIDE. Why go on it to just nitpick the entire ride and talk about how 'corny' it is?? Ugh. Anyhow, we still love seeing the Dwarfs, and kept our few gripes about the attraction to ourselves.

We caught about a 5 minute wait to Winnie The Pooh, and spotted our Owl and Mr. Toad photo that always makes us smile - yet miss Mr. Toad. Then it was back to the Mad Tea Party one last time, before heading out through the now MASSIVE crowd all pushing for the exit (and the monorail), so we could get back to our hotel before 1 AM. It was about a 20 minute wait to get onto the monorail, and about another 15 minutes to actually get the tram moving to take us back to where we parked. Thankfully, we made it back to our hotel and had 'dinner' before 1 AM, so everything turned out OK.

Monday was a half day for us, just taking in a few sights at Animal Kingdom before making our way back home. We got up and got to the park at about 11 I believe, but still managed to get on Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Kilamanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest with spending about 30 minutes in line total for all the attractions - most of which was at Primeval Whirl. We got some fun photos at a lot of the stops around the park, watched some people take the drop on Everest and headed out of the grueling heat for the day - much to the delight of my already severly sun-burned forehead. :( We grabbed a bite to eat, and made our rode trip home to spend some time with out family before resuming our 'Tuesday lives'.
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#6 User is offline   squishybear 

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:40 AM

Good story again.

If I can ask, what happened with the Silvermist character in Magic Kingdom?

I also really get annoyed by people making out non-stop. When I was in Disneyland Paris, i had a couple in front of me that just couldn't keep their mouths of each other.
I understand if its your honeymoon or whatever, but nonstop for like 30 minutes seems a bit much to me. Whatever happened to just holding hands?

I also got blasted by the water cannons once, and was soaked for the rest of the day... We loved it though!
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#7 User is offline   MagicMemories 

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:05 AM

View Postsquishybear, on May 15 2009, 07:40 AM, said:

Good story again.

If I can ask, what happened with the Silvermist character in Magic Kingdom?

I also really get annoyed by people making out non-stop. When I was in Disneyland Paris, i had a couple in front of me that just couldn't keep their mouths of each other.
I understand if its your honeymoon or whatever, but nonstop for like 30 minutes seems a bit much to me. Whatever happened to just holding hands?

I also got blasted by the water cannons once, and was soaked for the rest of the day... We loved it though!



Our stories prove that there is no way that you can't love getting soaked at SM. :P

On to the Silvermist story....

My wife and I had waited in line at the JT in Mickey's TTF to see the Fairies. We waited the expected long, long time. We had purchased a PhotoPass and wanted to get some nice shots inside the area, as it's decorated nicely for photos, with the Fairies. When we first got in, the first 'Fairy' we met was Iridessa. She was great, had a conversation while still keeping the photos and whatnot moving along and was polite. Next up was Tinkerbell, who played the character well and was friendly with us. Then we get to Silvermist.

She seemed VERY unenthusiastic once she saw we were two adults in line, as she asked where our child was - and when we said, 'It's just us, we are the children' and laughed, she lacked any interest at all in even talking to us. Her smile disappeared, etc. She then kept conversation for about 20 seconds - long enough to let the Photographer get ready (otherwise I'm pretty sure she never would have even said 'Hello'), which consisted of, "What type of fairy are you?" to my wife - which she replied, "I guess a water fairy, I love water", and then saying to me, "And what kind of fairy are you?" - to which I replied, "I guess I'm a sky fairy". She then actually got pretty loud with me, and said, "YOU'RE NOT A FAIRY. Fairies are girls, you're a sparrow. Don't be ridiculous." From then on she was totally silent, didn't even smile in our photos and left us with a bad taste in our mouth of the signing / photo-op we'd waited over 40 minutes for. ;)

I know it was an off chance or whatever (at least I'm hoping so, and that she doesn't verbally insult other people or their kids), but it was enough to be a turn-off to waiting to see them again, and we LOVE meeting the characters for photos. Even the photographer was a little startled by her, and he kind of just looked at us on the way out almost as if to say, 'I'm so sorry about that / what was that about'.
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#8 User is offline   squishybear 

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:50 PM

That is a terrible story.
I've never heard of one quite that bad. I'm an adult myself and I love visiting characters.
Sometimes I know that the characters have a bit of a hard time trying to come up with something to say to me, but they are never rude.

At least the rest of your trip was fun!
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