A bit of everything trip


#1

Just returned from an 8 day trip. Don’t usually do Florida this time of year, but I was going for a soccer tournament at the Wide World of Sports. I was coaching 14 year old girls, some of which hadn’t been to Disney before, so we tried to do everything. We hit the four Disney parks, Universal, Islands of Adventure, and DisneyQuest. Stayed in the Shades of Green, as some of the people I went with are military. Nice place, but our rooms were way down one end and it’s like a really long maze getting back to them. Sorry the pictures are bad, but there were all taken with my phone…and I take bad pictures anyway.

Let’s start with DisneyQuest: Hadn’t been there is forever, so it was a lot of fun. Pirates of the Caribbean and CyberSpace Mountain are great. Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters is a really slow moving line and there are so many cars on the ride that it’s really tough to move around. The Pinball thing was fun, mainly because I won. Ride the Comix is in need of a serious upgrade. It’s basically a virtual reality thing where you fight supervillians. The problem is that the headgear weighs a ton. It’s huge, awkward, and just heavy.

Other highlights from Downtown Disney included some guy playing a didgeridoo. Not sure why I liked it…


#2

Universal Studios…

Men in Black Alien Attack was the highlight…a lot of fun. I spun the other car about five times, which really helps your score (and keeps the other car from scoring). Revenge of the Mummy is also one of the best things there. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit was okay, but not worth the wait. There are much better coasters in the Orlando area. Don’t do the single rider line; it takes FOREVER.

Overall, Universal does a pretty poor job of running their lines. The lines have little theming and the amount of people cutting through the lines is ridiculous. Knowing someone near the front of the line does not give you the right to cut everyone to catch up with them. Universal doesn’t seem to understand this.

Islands of Adventure…seriously, I don’t get the draw of the Spider-Man ride. It’s mediocre at best and people seem to think it’s the greatest ride ever. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is a short version of every other ride just like it. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls…SSSSSSLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW. Stuck in the line forever, which is annoying anyway, but they have these stupid talking heads on the wall that never shut up. I was ready to take of my shoe and throw it at them. After we finally got on the ride, there was a log that got stuck at the loading area, which lead to a half hour wait at the end of the ride. They did give us a quick-queue ticket good for one ride on any of the other rides, except for the big ones. The Hulk coaster is outstanding.

The Pterandon Flyers…we were too big to go on it. Really? There were adults on it, but you have to go with a little kid. Seriously lame.

Surprises included the magic show…it’s basically a big ad to try to get you to buy their stuff, but the magician in there was really entertaining. The talking fountain in the Lost Continent area (picture 3)…awesome…it was arguing with a little girl and asked us a bunch of trivia questions. The Dr. Seuss area is cool, even though it’s mainly for little kids. The rhyming lady (see picture 4)at the exit of one of the rides was fun. Just don’t go to the restrooms there. There was this recording that kept saying “Q. Q is for Quan. Quan is for Quandary” every four seconds. What does that even mean?


#3

Universal and Islands of Adventure, continued…

I won a snake at Whack a Mole, which caused this lady to yell at her boyfriend for not winning, which was pretty amusing. Turns out he didn’t know I am a professional mole-whacker.

The gem of the Universal parks, by far, is the Harry Potter area. Butterbeer is addicting, although it’s really, really sweet. I had one frozen and one not frozen, and the frozen one isn’t as sweet. If you happen to be there at night, make sure you hit the Harry Potter area. It’s beautiful. Also, make sure you catch the Hogwarts Choir (pic 3). The Forbidden Journey ride is like no other. It’s sort of a simulator, but the parts on the screen are nowhere near as good as the other part. The single rider line saves a ton of time, but does prevent you from seeing the entire castle.


#4

Other highlights included me following some flag lady (they were out in bunches, but this lady seemed to have lost her group!), the kid with the Satan is a nerd hat, taking pictures with random groups, and the ugly bathroom.


#5

Finally, on to Disney…

Lowlights…Captain EO…what…how…why…uh…really? Honestly, if you’ve never been on this, you need to. Drink a few beers and head that way. There are no words to describe this. It’s just…

Okay, moving on…other lowlights…It’s a Small World. I’m not sure why, but besides everything in there being extremely annoying, they’re also in groups of three.


#6

Highlights…

Finding the exit to It’s a Small World. No, seriously, I took a picture.

The flag group of yellow outfits that take flags to a whole new level. They use INFLATABLES! Amazing!

Fireworks at MK, as always, were amazing. What wasn’t amazing was the fact that the monorail was shut down at 10:00 when the park was open hours after that. The boats were packed with people. It was like a herd of sheep. Whoever decided that the monorail should close early should be slapped.

Captain Juan, the most important guy ever! Okay, so he was waiting to clear tables at the counter service place in Tomorrowland. Still, he posed like a true superhero.


#7

Turns out I’m pretty good at Buzz Lightyear.

Some things happen at Disney that don’t happen anywhere else. Anywhere else you would just think it’s stupid and not okay…well, these things are stupid at Disney as well. First of all, the group shirt thing…no. Just don’t. It’s overplayed and tacky.

Second, your kid is not a dog. Putting your son or daughter on a leash is not okay. Am I the only one that wants to go up to this lady and say “What is your kid’s name? Fido?”…ugh.

Oh, and the ugliest hat ever. Who would wear this?

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is beautiful. Very nice complex. There were soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball tournaments going on and the facilities are really nice. That’s the good news. Bad news: Food prices there make the theme parks look cheap. Three dollars for a bag of chips? Really? The parking there is a laughable. People were parking everywhere (pic 5). Come on, man, you’re in the bushes! The staff there is extremely grumpy and not very helpful. Really pales in comparasion with the theme parks and resorts.


#8

Just gotta throw a comment out there about the leash. I have never ever used one, but I have seen many kids who needed one and if available I wouldve bought one form their parent. For instance the child who snatches away from his mom and ran right into the street with oncoming traffic, that was a kid who needed a leash and believe me I saw it happen. Some kids really are runners and even if you’re fast they could get hurt before you catch them. Just in the defense of those who have used them.

On a much happier note awesome 999999 on TS Mania. :mickey: I also was in search of the Its a Small World Exit lol.


#9

I enjoyed your TR and the photos too, its refreshingly honest and thought provoking too- like, ‘why do they put the Small World Dolls in 3’s?’ I mean I never noticed that, but I know I’ll be looking for it next trip :slight_smile:
I have to agree with Christina above on the ‘leash’ thing too- little kids can be so quick, gone in the blink of an eye, and WDW is just not the place to lose them. I know it doesn’t look great, and I never used ‘reins’ as we call them, but for some kids that are prone to wandering off, they are invaluable. Better safe than sorry.


#10

Your TR is definitely a breath of fresh air, well written and very entertaining!


#11

I guess that explains why we have so many moles in the back yard?!?!? Get your butt out there and start wacking!


#12

LOVED the report! I am so seriously sick of PC!!:happy:

As a mother I have to agree with Dixie & Christina. Personally I would never use a leash on my kids - but my kids were pretty laid-back - some might call them boring - and stayed pretty close to mummy; but I remember having friends whose kids were totally unpredictable and couldn’t be trusted. Let go of their hand for one second and they’d be gone. With the crowds at WDW, I can see how some parents might resort to “walking the kid”.

(ok - the “groups of three” at IASW is now freaking me out - do you think there is some hidden meaning there? hmmm:blink:)

I have always wondered about the mindset “hey we’re at WDW! Let’s find the ugliest hat possible!”


#13

Great TR! And yes I’m one of the parents who have used a harness on my little boy. But he was a runner at 2 and there was no way I was risking him getting lost. You would write even worse things about a parent who lost their child. He is now 4 and much better at staying with mom & dad so we haven’t used his monkey harness in awhile. TRUST me I have eaten a WHOLE LOT of words with DS! Never a judge a parent when you don’t know the full story, you may have to eat those words some day and they don’t taste good.


#14

It is refreshing to see a different perspective in a trip report. Keep up the good work! Sometimes people get attacked for being critical about Disney here, but I think it is good to show some areas that people think need improvement and others think are great. Best thing about Disney is that there is something for everyone!


#15

Absolutely! Never say never!:happy: Every child is different. And you do what you have to do to keep them safe. I always laugh remembering that my biggest critic as a mother was a “friend” that had no children. But she had all the answers!:dry:


#16

Great TR! The groups of 3 thing is kind of creepy…make you wonder!


#17

Never, ever, ever will use a leash. I may duct-tape a kid to a stroller, but the leash thing bothers me. If you are gonna use one, can you at least use one of the cute monkey ones?

No idea about the groups of threes. Look for them…it makes the ride more bearable.


#18

Tell me more about Capt EO, having never to see it, I was planning to this time around. (The pre-gaming is a given.)


#19

Would like to hear about it too. Wondering if it has changed at all since I was a kid …


#20

Definitely have to see Captain EO just to see it. But, all through the film, you’ll be sitting there saying to yourself, what in the world am I doing here. Let’s just say it’s VERY “80’s.”