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Walt Disney World: 13-26 september 2005

Author Topic: Walt Disney World: 13-26 september 2005  (Read 16116 times)

Kristof

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Walt Disney World: 13-26 september 2005
« on: October 05, 2005, 06:58:14 PM »
Hey all!  Here's the first day of our trip report!  Have fun reading and feel free to ask any questions!  (Pictures will follow soon!)

September 13, 2005

We got up very early today: 6.45 am and left to the airport around 8am.  Since it was our first time in an airport, we got some help from a Belgian police officer who directed us to the right check point.  The United Boeing 767 had left the ground around 12.30 pm and flew in the direction of Washington.
We had small television screens in the seats in front of us showing some neat movies and shows, including the Hitchhikers Guide into the Galaxy and Disney Channel programs (American Dragon, Lilo & Stitch series, …)
We requested for vegetarian meals upon our reservation, so we got tofu, rice and vegetables, sandwiches and a fruit salad.  Really good and tasty.   =P~
There was apparently a mix up when the stewardesses were handing out lunch: I got a sandwich with turkey meat…  Didn’t care that much since I wasn’t hungry , but the friendly Flemish stewardess (the only Dutch speaking person on the airplane) went “backstage” and brought me a huge plate filled with different kinds of cheese and bread.  
It took only 45 minutes after lunch before we landed in Washington.  The first thing we noticed when got of the plane, was the heat!  That was a promise for Florida!

Our next flight with TED was scheduled for 17.15 pm local time.  The Airbus was a lot smaller, no screens in the seats in front of us, but there were a lot less passengers, so the stewardesses took some more time to hand out the free drinks.  
The captain pointed us out that we could listen to the radio communications between the surrounding airplanes and the control tower, which was really funny.   :lol:  You could actually listen to arguments between those two who was going to leave first!  He also told us that we would fly by Rita but we didn’t see her though.
We also met Jonas (who used to be a member on this board and is moderator on the Disneysites boards).  
Before we knew it, we were already flying over Orlando ground and would land a few minutes early, around 19.20 pm.

In the airport, we had to take a monorail-like vehicle to the main building were a Disney representative was supposed to meet us.  We couldn’t find anyone, but Jonas told us what direction we had to go to.  In the end, we got lost and ended up at luggage pickup.  That’s were we finally saw a person wearing a Magical Express nametag.  He pointed us the direction which we followed.  We found another guy (the Disney Representative) wearing Mickey gloves telling us another way how to get to the DME desk, which we finally found after 20 minutes of looking.  (Maybe a few signs would have been easier).  We had to go to the desk were they looked up our reservation and send us to another cast-member who brought us to the right coach.  
The buses were all brand new with comfortable plush seats, dimmed light and flat screens every few chairs.  They showed us a WDW movie featuring a bunch of characters with voice-overs.  The other video was a featurette from Narnia.  

We arrived at Pop Century after half an hour or so.  We got our room keys from quite a weird guy at the reception, we could hardly understand what he was saying, so I kept on saying yes without knowing the question…

The room we got was very nice and clean and was located in the building with the bicycle (the 70’s block), across the building with the Mickey Phone.   :mickey2:
After a quick shower, we got a visit by our friends Francisco and Keith who were going to be our personal guide during our stay!  

We went to bed around 11pm after a very long flight and we were looking forward to our visit to the Magic Kingdom, the next morning…
« Last Edit: October 07, 2005, 02:16:59 PM by Kristof »

Nikkibelle18

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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2005, 08:58:11 AM »
Quote
we could hardly understand what he was saying, so I kept on saying yes without knowing the question…


LOL! You do that too, huh? :P

Hmm, sounds like you had a tiring day! Can't wait to hear what Magic Kingdom was like :)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Nikkibelle18 »

Kristof

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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2005, 12:37:00 PM »
Well he had some kind of speaking disorder, and I had already said 3 times excuse me?   :wink:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kristof »

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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2005, 11:57:55 PM »
September 14, 2005

The alarm went off at 7.45 am… well that’s what raptor thought.  He told Flor to get up, but then realized it was just 2.15!  Raptor forgot to change the hour on the cell phone, so it went off 6 hours too early…  We went back to sleep and get up at 7.45 am, as like we were supposed too…
Flor bought a refillable cup at the resort’s restaurant: $12.72 which could be refilled during our whole stay!!  

At 8.30 am were we standing in front of the Main Street station, waiting to get in.  Music started and a few “citizens” of Main Street showed up telling everyone welcome.  Several Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie arrived by train for the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom.  After a countdown and a blast of serpentines, we were allowed in the park!  

The first thing we noticed was that the Main Street Station was wrapped up in scaffolding… :-( and refurbishment walls around town square…  Quite a disappointment, but then we saw a bunch of characters coming out, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Max!!!

We met Francisco and Keith in front of City Hall who guided it through Main Street USA.  The buildings here appear to be more simplified, but still quite nice.  Although I couldn’t get used by the fact that they didn’t have any arcades.  

The castle looked magnificent in its 50th overhaul.  The characters and golden ribbons colored the grayish castle.  We weren’t convinced by the giant mirror which showed the Disney Castles around the world, it destroyed the forced perspective, which made it look a lot smaller.  Flor and I agreed that “our” chateau is still the most beautiful and magical of ‘m all. ;-)

After taking lots of pictures, we headed over to Frontierland for our very first ride: Splash Mountain!  We got on our log without queuing: no one around!  Wow, this ride is really awesome: lots of animatronics, great soundtrack and a big splash!  
Our next ride was Splash Mountain’s neighbor: Big Thunder Mountain.  This one is compared to its brother in Paris a huge letdown.  Its lots shorter, less fast and quite a weird ending, although the theming was somewhat similar to the one in Paris.  

Next stop was on Liberty Square: the Haunted Mansion.  The building looked very nice and creepy and the fresh rose on Master Gracey’s grave was a nice touch!  I was less happy when I noticed that the “show building” was in clear side in the queuing area.  I made that comment out loud to our company, which apparently helped, since everything got shielded off after a few days ;-) .
The ride itself clearly has had its better days.  There was no pre-show in the lobby, everyone had to get in the elevator while we were coming inside the building.  The spiel in the elevator was the same as in Paris, but in English ofcourse.  When the lights went out, a few lights started to flicker above our head and we could hear something that sounded like a thunderstorm in mono-sound: raptor wasn’t impressed at all.  Then we had to get in our doombuggies in which the “Ghost Host” would accompany us.  The onboard sound system was so aged that it was hurting our ears and there was a lot of static noise when our host wasn’t speaking.  The air compressors made a lot of noise which was quite a shame.  
This ride has a lot of potential if it would get a decent refurb and state of the art effects.  

We left Liberty Square and headed over to Tomorrowland were we hopped on a rocket in Space Mountain.  SM in Florida is, well, weird.  The queuing and exit line is very dated and so are the on ride effects.  There was no music on board, the only thing we could heard was the our vehicle on the track.  The track was clearly visible because of the huge amount of projected stars.  A huge earth was projected on the ceiling.  The ride is more comparable to Big Thunder Mountain: lots of drops and sharp turns.

Next rides would be Stitch’s Great Escape and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, both very cool!  Stitch was very funny and the animatronic looked awesome.   Buzz Lightyear is a lot of fun, we’re both looking forward to see this coming to Paris now!

After our intergalactic adventures we directed ourselves to Fantasyland.  We had and heard a lot of bad stuff about this part of the Magic Kingdom, because it supposedly looks dated.   Well to be honest, it looked quite ok!  It was no Fantasyland in DLRP, but it wasn’t THAT bad.  Our stop here was Philharmagic!  The first thing we noticed while we were waiting was that they’re using the music loop from Animation Courtyard at the Walt Disney Studios park!  We were overwhelmed by this attraction, it’s the best 3D-movie I’ve ever seen.  There’s lots of beautiful Disney music, the 3D-animation looks very nice and the in-theater effects are awesome.  Please, bring this to Paris!!!!!!

Other stops before lunch were: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Enchanted Tiki-Room under new management, the Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight.

POTC was a big let down: too dark, too old and too short.  :pirate:
The Tiki-Room was funny.
The guide on the Jungle Cruise was very annoying with lots of bad jokes and overacting.
Peter Pan’s Flight was different then the Paris version, but not better or worse.  

We had done all this before 2pm!  There was hardly anyone in the park, so we could do lots of rides before lunch at Cosmic Ray’s.  Flor and I got us each a vegetarian burger.  We could choose with fries or ... carrots ...  The food in WDW is great: you get a lot for less money.  Our vegetarian burger was just the burger in the sandwich.  There was a huge “toppingsbar” in the restaurant were you could fill up your burger with anything of your choice!  Raptor was pleased when he saw the bowl of mushrooms (something that most vegetarians adore ;-) )

In the afternoon we decided to head over to the Disney-MGM Studios! (Flor couldn’t wait to do Tower of Terror).  

We hopped on the ferry to the Tickets & Transportation Center were we took the bus to the Studios park.  We stepped through the gates to discover a miniature Hollywood, we could even recognize facades which were also used in “our” Studio 1!

First stop here was of course: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!  Wow what a ride, what an experience!  From walking to Sunset Boulevard and seeing the Hollywood Tower Hotel coming nearer, then the misty queuing line outside and the eerie lobby.  Even all the cast members were in their roles to welcome the “guests”.  One of the bell hoppers apologized for the use of the service elevator, because the management had misplaced the guest elevator...  This ride, even slightly different, will be an excellent addition for the Walt Disney Studios park.

Next stop was the ToT’s neighbor: the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.  This one was a bit of a disappointment.  The queuing line inside was very dark and the introduction movie with Aerosmith was very aged, showing a lot of wear and flickering.  The boarding station was nicely themed as an underground garage where you stepped in your limousine for a ride through Hollywood... Well, ... the Wood part was the only true thing about this.  It was very, very dark in this ride (De la terre a la lune-dark), with just a few signs being lit-up while you pass them.  By the way, the ride is as rough as our Space Mountain.  Please, never bring this version to the WDS park!  =D>

We moved on to Voyage of the Little Mermaid, on Animation Courtyard.  The theater was a lot smaller then Animagique, but the walls around the stage were themed like coral, the rock work was similar to what was used for Legend of the Lion King.  
Ariel remains almost during the whole show on her coral, with on the right of her a big screen which shows parts of the movie.  The whole thing is build up quite weird: (spoilers)
The show started with a laser (similar to Wishes) projection the logo on the screen.
Under the Sea comes first (identical to the scene in Animagique, with the same puppets), then Ariel comes on stage and sings (playbacks) Part of your World, then an Ursulla puppet comes and takes Ariel’s voice, then they show some footage of the movie what happens next and then Prince Eric is lying for death next to Ariel, Triton brakes the spell and Ariel can walk and everyone’s happy.  ;-)  

We now headed over to the Great Movie Ride!  The Chinese Theater, were this ride is located in, is hidden by the Sorcerer’s Hat, too bad, because this building is a beautiful piece of Imagineering!  

The ride is stuffed with Animatronics of famous actors and movie scenes.  I won’t spoil too much, but the interaction by the “CM host” and the scenes is cleverly done.  
This ride is hated by many, but loved by the both of us!!

The most magical moment of the day was meeting Sorcer Mickey in his Soundstage!  His outfit looks magnificent!  Too bad we don't have him in Paris.   :sorcerer:

We had a quick stop at One man’s dream: an exhibition showing Walt’s and the Disney corporation’s accomplishments.  Lots of scale models were up for view: Spaceship Earth, California Adventure, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty Castle and the best one (for us): Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant!  There was also some old Eurodisney merchandise on display.  We skipped the movie to watch the parade, which was about to start.

Chicken Little opened the Stars and Motors Parade, followed by his other Disney Friends, including Playhouse Disney characters and the Power Rangers.  
The soundtrack is fun (DLRP uses it for the Goodmorning WDS parade), but the parade is just some vehicles passing by.  No effects, no real guest interaction and no dancers (except for Chicken Little and Aladdin).  We prefer our modest Cinema Parade... ;-)

After the parade we decided to go and see the Indiana Jones Stuntshow Spectacle.  The show is quite well done with a lot of gags and a few spectacular stunts.  The show is not bad at all and it’s definitely much better then the Motors...Action a few blocks away (more about that later).  

After riding ToT again, we decided to hop back to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime spectacles: Spectromagic and Wishes!

Spectromagic has a catchy soundtrack with lots of colorful floats and lots of characters.  The only downer is that there are no stops, huge empty space between different “sets” and the aging of the whole thing.

Wishes was a HUGE fireworks, with lots of noisy fireworks.  The fireworks were very impressive, but we missed the show-element (like the projections our Wishes had).

We went to our room for a good night sleep after this spectacular ending of the day.

Animal Kingdom was planned for the day after...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2006, 06:01:59 PM by Kristof »

Anthony

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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2005, 04:04:38 PM »
Thanks for the excellent reports so far.  :D

I like how you relate a lot of it to DLRP too, since it helps us (well, me) to get a better idea of what WDW is *really* like.  You did a lot just in those two days in the parks, and I'm glad you like ToT and Buzz.  :D

How would you say the parks compare to the Paris ones in terms of being "Disney parks"?  The atmosphere, the CMs, the "magic", etc.?  You always hear people saying the atmosphere and CMs in the US are much better than Paris...  :?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Anthony »
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Kristof

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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 04:17:53 PM »
Baloo, I intented to make the ballance at the end of the trip report, but I'll do it right now for you.  

The WDW parks are NOT better or WORSE (like some DLRP fans claim) compared to the parks in Paris.  The Disney-MGM Studios is cleary much bigger compared to WDS, but it's very complicated to find you way there and there's not THAT much to offer.  Lots of show which you do once, and only ToT and RNRC are rides you can do all over again.  (Where have we heard this before???)

The Magic Kingdom is a lot older and less structurised compared to our DLP.  The elder rides are mostly, well, old, but the new ones (Stitch, Buzz, Philharmagic) are fantastic!  This park really needs a refurb and lots of rides have to be modernised.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kristof »

Anthony

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 04:20:51 PM »
Thanks for your opinion!  I'll leave you to judge the rest of the parks at the end of the report.  :wink:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Anthony »
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2005, 09:08:09 PM »
September 15, 2005

Got up quite early today, 8.45am.  Refilled the cup with coffee and had a Red Bull and apple we purchased at Walmart, the night before.

Animal Kingdom was programmed today, so that’s were we went to.  

When we passed the turnstiles, the huge Tree of Life rose in the distance.  It’s a beautiful centerpiece, much more impressive then the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon at Disney-MGM Studios.  

Keith directed is to Africa for the Kilimanjaro Safari, because it wasn’t too hot that morning.  The warmer it gets, the less animals you’ll see in that ride, according to him.
When we arrived at the loading station, we noticed a long queue, and as in most of the parks, no Fast Pass available today.  We passed one of the Cast Members, who called us back and asked if Flor wanted to trade a pin.  He got a “It’s tough to be a bug”-pin (we only trade for attraction pins) which looked great.  He also asked us if we wanted to have Fastpass tickets for the attraction, so we didn’t have to queue!  Great idea!  We passed the whole line and got on one of the safari buses after a few minutes.  The benches looked like the ones on the Studio Trams.  The whole ride was very rough but we got to see a lot of beautiful animals.  Okapi’s,  crocodiles, hippo’s, elephants, lions, zebra’s, …  The surroundings were the animals lived looked very realistic, and we even got proof that the animals were living creatures and no animatronics ;-)  One of the giraffes thought that the branch hanging over the road was a lot tastier than the others, so he decided to block to the road for over 15 minutes!  We had to wait until the animal moved by itself, the Cast Members were not allowed to interfere! There was a pile up of other buses behind us, they all had to wait until the giraffe moved along… Everyone cheered when he did!  

The Pangani Forest Trail was next.  This was basically a path through some beautiful settings, with several stops on the way.  One of the stops was a “research facility” where smaller animals could be observed.
The highlight of the tour was the Gorilla habitat were these animals were up for view behind a glass wall.  A Cast Member was on location to explain more about these creatures.
Be sure to check out the pictures for the “real” Timon…

We headed over Rafiki’s Planet Watch, only accessible by an old steam train.  We got a tour backstage, showing several habitats of the animals.
When we got nearer to the main building, we noticed Pocahontas, chatting with the ice-cream vender!  We got an autograph and picture, but she clearly didn’t care for us and the other guests, so she turned around after our meeting and started chatting again.  Never seen this in Paris to be honest!  
We got inside the main building were there was an exhibition about the rain forest.  Several rooms, behind windows of course, showed an operating room were a team of vets were operation a white rat…  There was no where any blood and I wondered why they would operate an animal that gets fed to the reptiles a few miles away…  :-s  The other room was filled with plants and real life butterflies.  
Outside of the building was a petting zoo.  Guests could pet several tame animals like donkey’s, a lama and goats.  

Next destination was Dinoland USA!  We arrived at Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama.  Everything was setup as a huge traveling fair.  The Wild Mouse ride, Primeval Whirl was very violent and rough.  We decided to leave this place as soon as possible and headed over to one of the best rides in the Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR!  The queuing line was setup as a tour in a museum with several dinosaur skeletons and a short lesson in dinosaur history.   Then we were directed to the basement of the building were the Timerovers were waiting for us.  Our task was to go back in time and bring back Aladar, the Iguanodon from the Dinosaur movie.  The ride was filled with pefect animatronics of dinosaurs.  
This one is one of the best attractions of all the parks, especially for Raptor.  

We went to Pizzasafari for lunch after this.  The pizza’s were quite smaller then at Bella Note’s in Paris, but of a much better quality.   An elder woman from the cleaning crew came to Flor and asked if he wanted to trade pins (yes that happened quite a lot in WDW).  He got a very cool Illuminations pin, from which the lady said he had to keep that one, because it was a Cast Lanyard Exclusive.  

After lunch we directed ourselves to the Kali River Rapids.  According to the WDW planning dvd, we would get SOAKED.  Well… we didn’t!  The ride was quite short, but very well themed.  There was a huge burning plain with real fire, smoke and burned sent.   We came out rather dry and a bit disappointed about the length of it.

It became time now for Mickey’s Jungle Jammin’ Parade, so we found ourselves a nice spot to watch it.  The family in front of us had 3 strollers, filled with annoying and noisy children.  They pushed over their cup filled with coke 2 times, nearly hitting us…  Anyway, the parade was very creative and full of colors and rhythm.  Very nice, especially compared to the Stars & Motors Parade.

Next stop was Camp Minnie & Mickey for a meet ‘n greet with the same named characters.  We posed for a picture, after which Minnie pushed away Mickey to get a picture with the both of us.  We even had to give her a kiss... ;-)  

We went to one of the boutiques to find some CM’s with a lanyard, we didn’t want to come home with just a few WDW pins.  Flor found a castmember with a cool which he traded.  He told the lady that the pin he was trading for was from Paris, which caught her attention.  In the end were there 4 other CM’s standing round him to look at his pins and ask questions about DLRP!  

The last attraction here was It’s tough to be a bug, located underneath the Tree of Life.  The movie was really funny with some nice in-theater effects, like sent and Animatronics!    

It’s tough to be a bug concluded our visit to the Animal Kingdom.  We hopped to Disney-MGM Studios to meet up with Francisco who’s workday ended.  

We did the Sounds Dangerous movie which was really boring!  After another drop in Tower of Terror, did we do the Beauty and the Beast show.  It was a very simple show, with no special effects or impressive decors.  Mostly simple painted backdrops of the castle and the village.  Only the ballroom inside the castle was “real”.  The scene in the village is exactly the same as the one in Belle’s Christmas Village at DLRP.  The whole show was in this style with dancers.  We both loved this show, because of it’s simplicity.

We left to the room a bit early to get ready for a night of fun at Please Island!  We arrived there with Keith and Francisco around 11pm and got our wristband which allowed us access to all the clubs.   First stop was at the Adventurers Club, themed like Colonel Hathi’s at DLRP with several rooms with live animation.  
It was almost 12pm, so we went to the main stage were there they celebrated New Year everyday!  There was a countdown and even fireworks (which looked very similar to Wishes in Paris according to Raptor).  Next club was Motion with more pop music.  Not quite Raptor’s taste, so we hopped for some Techno-music to Mannequins, where we stayed for the rest of the night.  Some guy (his name was Spencer) kept on flirting with Flor by pointing out how nice his DLRP shirt was.  All lights went on a 2am, which meant… time to go to bed!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2006, 06:02:29 PM by Kristof »

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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2005, 04:43:14 AM »
Quote from: "raptor1982"
we noticed Pocahontas, chatting with the ice-cream vender!  We got an autograph and picture, but she clearly didn’t care for us and the other guests, so she turned around after our meeting and started chatting again.  Never seen this in Paris to be honest!  
/

 No , in Paris they dont stop to do Autographs and pictures they run from the guest !
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Aladdin »
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Kristof

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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2005, 12:30:46 PM »
Quote
No , in Paris they dont stop to do Autographs and pictures they run from the guest !


lol yes, the Lilo story...  :lol:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kristof »

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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2005, 03:00:30 PM »
Oh yeah that one stupid character :lol: , still I have to say wow WDW has a lot of characters that Paris never has, also fantastic report of course apart from earlier before you changed it when you were self obsessing about your looks instead of Fantasyland :wink: .
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Patrick »

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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2005, 03:15:44 PM »
It looks like you guys had a wonderfull time

Quote
We had done all this before 2pm! There was hardly anyone in the park, so we could do lots of rides before lunch at Cosmic Ray’s


It must be great to do so much in so little time  :lol:  gives you a chance to do things a second time and enjoy the sphere a bit more...

About the haunted mansion.. you guys are one of the many people I hear complaining about the soundeffect in the doombuggie (ghost host) and that the mansion is old... It's a shame because this is a famous ride.. why don't they put the thing in rehab for a few weeks..  :roll:

thanks for the report already  :D
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Inge »

Kristof

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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2005, 03:52:40 PM »
Well, it doesn't really need a rehab, it needs more of a make-over, more state of the art effects.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kristof »

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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2005, 08:49:15 PM »
September 16, 2005

We arrived at Epcot around 10.30 am and first thing we saw was the HUGE Spaceship Earth.  Behind it was a huge fountain which performed a “show” every hour or so.  The water went really high on the tones of The Rocketeer.  

When Keith and Francisco arrived, we went to the first attraction here: Ellen’s Energy Adventure.  We had to get into some kind of trams, similar to the ones of the Great Movie Ride.  When everyone was seated, a movie started starring Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Alex Trebek.  Ellen dreamed she was in Jeopardy and took up against Albert Einstein and Dr. Judy Peterson (Jamie Lee Curtis), who got all the right answers.  Bill takes her on an adventure through time to learn her and us about energy.  This attraction uses both Animatronics and huge screens.  Very, very funny, but a bit dated (her cell phone has the size of a book ;-) )

When then boarded our Crash Test vehicles for a ride on Test Track.  Each vehicle has onboard screens and regular safety belts.  Your vehicle gets through several tests, like real vehicles do.  Driving up a hill, Belgian & German blocks, brake tests with and without ABS, curves, cold & heat, …  The finally is a high speed ride on the track outside.  The exit of the ride is a car factory and then you end up in a showroom for GM-vehicles.  Test Track is really unique and very cool!  

Next was Soarin’!  This ride was cleverly done with some nice smell effects and nice scenes (flying over Disneyland California dressed in Chrismas decorations) but we felt that this ride was a bit overrated.  Fun and nice, but not the best at the Resort.

Living with the land was located in the same building and was basically a boat ride through the different ways of harvest.  It concluded with a ride through several glasshouses were real plants were grown (Mickey shaped tomatoes and pumpkins).  It was a very boring ride, mostly because of the voice of our tour guide, who clearly didn’t care about everything what was happening.  

We walked through Innoventions were a lot of computers and stuff were showing how devices and stuff work.  Educating for kids, but not much to do for grown ups.  

We decided to leave Future World (Discovery World would be more appropriate actually) and head over to World Showcase.

First country we visited was Canada.  A Circle Vision movie (yes Paddy, they still have those here) showed some the beautiful places of this country.  It was accompanied by a beautiful song (well at least according to Keith).  Like most of the movies at Epcot, it was very dated.

Next country was Great Britain.  The buildings looked very nice and realistic.  There was even a meet ‘n greet location which looked like Mary Poppins room, with her bag and lamp included!   Behind all the buildings was a small pavilion were a band performed hits from The Beatles.  

Next stop was France!  We were welcomed by a Disneyland Paris sign (yes, the old logo) which is Part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth.  It looked all quite realistic, but smaller of course ;-).  We discovered a small bistro which served a cheese dish!  Great, and apparently, all the CM’s in the pavilion were actually from the country itself, so we could speak some French again!
We spotted Belle in the area, so we got some pictures with her!  This is a great idea at Epcot: meeting the characters at their country of origin!  
We decided to watch the Impressions de France movie later that day.

Morocco was beautiful designed!  The interior looked very similar to the Adventureland Bazar at DLRP.  Aladdin and Jasmine were greeting guests outside.  Aladdin did a great job as a face character!  He was very interactive with the guests, especially children.  He was actually the best Aladdin we’d ever seen, he even tried to speak a few words of French.  

We hopped to Japan after lunch, Tokyo Disneyland was advertised here too.  A huge exhibition of Japanese toys was the major attraction here, but we skipped it.  Instead we visited the huge store, selling all kinds of Japanese stuff: Pokémon, Godzilla, Power Rangers, Japanese food, …  They even sold small crabs like they were chips :-& .

We walked by the American pavilion, but skipped this one for another day.

Italy had no major attractions either, just a relaxing area and a store with beautiful masks from Venice.

Germany had a dinner show, which we didn’t see.  The facades looked a lot like our Fantasyland buildings!  Really neat to see.
The African section was very minimal: a Coolpost and a few huts housing a store.

Next was China where a Circle Vision movie was located, but which we skipped too.  We visited the Hong Kong Disneyland preview center instead.  Wow, that’s a Small Park after all.   There wasn’t that much too see, most concept art was online before on their website.  
After the Kingdom of Dreams exhibition (yes that’s how they call HKDL), we met Mulan and Mushu!  She was one of the weirdest face characters I’ve ever seen.  She spoke with the same voice as The Nanny…  (Keith and Francisco did a great impression).

Norway was the next stop.  Maelstrom was a very confusing ride.  It showed a bunch of Viking animatronics and next we were sailing between oilrigs.  The fiberglass pixie dust was nicely done!  

Mexico had the Rio del Tiempo.  A very aged version of It’s a Small World with Mexican puppets, video and film screens and life size animatronics.  Again, as the rest of the rides in World Pavilion: old!

We decided to go back to the Impressions de France movie.  It had a nice soundtrack by French composers and featured some nice shots from all over the country.  This was one of the better movies in the World Pavilion, because it was a bit more timeless, due to the classical score.

After France, we went back to Future World for Mission: Space!  We’d heard a lot of terrible stories about this attraction, which made us rather curious then scared.  The outside of the building looks really stunning: the use of the colors and shapes is perfect!  
The ride itself is very intense, we got pushed in our chairs and it caused it bit of a noxious feeling.  It looked all very cool, but we wondered how long it would take before this ride was dated.  

It was almost dark now, so we looked for a place to see Illuminations.  A perfect spot was in front of Italy, according to our American friends, so that’s were we watched it.  
This fireworks show is really stunning!  The music and the effects were beautiful.  It was a bit weird to see fireworks explode that “close in your face”.  

We went to Downtown Disney later that night for some shopping at Virgin and the World of Disney.  We got our postcards to send home and went to sleep after a long trip around the world… sort of…
« Last Edit: May 22, 2006, 06:03:02 PM by Kristof »

Kristof

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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2005, 02:19:04 PM »
September 17, 2005

We slept in today!  Got up around 11 am and started writing our postcards.

We decided to go back to the Magic Kingdom and re-ride our favourite rides overthere.
But first we went to the Noodle Station for lunch.  We got quite a lot for less money, as usual here.  

Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain were the first rides we did.  
After meeting up with Francisco and Keith, we went for some more rides at Tomorrowland.

We then went looking for a spot to watch the parade at “Frontierland”!  Finally!!!  We heard a lot of bad things about the parade, especially DLRP fans don’t like the rumours that this parade is coming to Paris someday.  Well, maybe they’re wrong…

The parade announcement was by Julie Andrews.  Then after a few minutes Peter Pan’s and Tinkerbell’s voice introduced the Share a Dream Come Through parade.  The orchestral theme started to roll and the first vehicle came insight.  An animator, who looked like Walt, draws Mickey on the opening title vehicle.  Several other animators on foot and on bike joined him and the other floats.

The first float was Mickey’s snowglobe, dubbed “It was all started by a mouse”.  It showed several Mickey statues in his previous forms: Steamboat Willie, Sorcerer Apprentice, the Brave Little Tailor, …. Unlike our WWDP, all characters had their voice here!  The Fantasia brooms followed Mickey’s float, which were really awesome!!!  

Next float “Wish upon a star”, starring Pinocchio inside the bubble.  Snowwhite and her 7 friends were standing on the back of the float.  It was really nice to see the Blue Fairy!

“A hunderd-thousand dreams to see” with Aladdin, Winnie the Pooh and friends and Mary Poppins.

Face the darkest fears had all our favorite villains: Cruella, Maleficent (they use the fake chin at WDW, looks more comical then scary), the Evil Queen and Captain Hook!  

Next was the float featuring Peter Pan and Wendy.  Followed by “A dream is a wish your heart makes” with Cinderella, Prince Charming and the Fairy Godmother.  

The finale float featured the castle with the rest of the Disney princesses and their princes: Aurora and Phillippe, Ariel and Eric, Belle and the Beast.  This float and the Cinderella one were the only that had parade dancers.  

This parade could actually work in Paris!!!  The floats are really nicely themed.  A different, more upbeat soundtrack and parade dancers can make this a sparkling addition to DLRP!!!

We returned to the Haunted Mansion after the parade and then headed over to Tomorrowland.  

Carrousel of Progress was a lot of fun!  It’s not a thrill ride, it’s not really a show, it’s… something Disney!  The Audio-Animatronic people tell their story, each in their own time: 1900’s, 40’s, 60’s, 90’s.  Each scene ends with the catchy song: There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!

The People Mover showed us around Tomorrowland.  Very relaxing!

After another spin on Buzz Lightyear, we tried the Indy Speedway.  It is boring, compared to our Autopia.  It looks like… well a speedway!  Autopia has a lot more stuff to see under way with low hanging trees and bushes, while at the IS, it’s all open road.  (But it’s still a lot of fun to drive your own car ;-) )  But a possitive note: the loading and unloading goes a lot faster then at Autopia!

Toon Town was next!  We made a quick visit at Minnie’s house but skipped the rest of another day because Cinderellabration was about to start!  :cinderella:

We found a spot in front of the castle, on the ground, no benches here!  The show was kind of weird.  Francisco, who had seen the original one in Tokyo 2 months before, said the Florida version was watered down.  The show begins with the Fairy Godmother and the Grand Duke announcing the coronation of Cinderella.  Dancers come on stage followed by the king.  Cinderella and Prince Charming make their grand entry through the gates of her castle.  Next the princes and princesses of four other kingdoms are announced: Snow White and the Prince, Aurora and Phillippe, Aladdin and Jasmine and finally Belle and the Beast (no sign of Ariel).  Before we realised what happenend was Cinderella being crowned.  Fireworks was shot from the castle and everyone left the stage with a final goodbye wave from Cinderella.  Wow, that went fast.  :-s

Still not sure what to think of this show, headed we over to Fantasyland for the Winnie the Pooh ride.  The ride is cute, if you like Pooh!  It was great that we found the picture of Mr. Toad in the ride!  

We crossed the road to Pooh’s Playful Spot to find the hidden submarine (we read that somewhere on the internet).  Couldn’t find it anywhere…

Next was a visit to Ariel in her Grotto.  The queuing was nicely themed and the character did a great job!  We got a souvenire picture with her.  :ariel

We walked around Fantasyland for some night pictures and ended up near Snow White’s Scary Adventures.  Since Raptor LOVES this ride at DLRP, he had to do this one…  
Wow what a ride!   =D> This version is much better then the one at DLRP.  Twice as long, keeping the right order of the story and a lot more characters inside the ride.  Too bad they didn’t build this one at DLRP!

We went back to Tomorrowland for some more night pictures and a wild ride on Space Mountain.  A few more pictures over at Frontierland and Liberty Square before we left back to the resort for a Scene It Disney game with Francisco and Keith on our room.  :D/
« Last Edit: May 22, 2006, 06:03:28 PM by Kristof »