Matt N's Florida Adventure 9th-19th April 2019

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 9th Apr 2019.

  1. TheBolt

    TheBolt TowersStreet Member

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    Our first visit to a Disney park was MK in Paris, and we had not really understood that the Shows and atmosphere are such an important part of visiting a Disney Park. We just missed seeing Tarzan (although we did catch it later at DAK in Florida).

    If you don't see the shows, do some of the walk throughs or stretemosphere things; see a theatre show or two and the parades or fireworks; then you won't get what Disney parks are about.
    The rides are a small fraction of what is on offer. If you treat Disney like Alton Towers as a list of rides to cross off, you really won't see the best side of it.

    Just been to WDW and I don't think we went on anything with more than a 20 minute queue by uing Fastpass (did FoP 3x) and leaving rides until quieter periods - doing theatres to deal with the 90 degrees temps etc.
    Saw Lion King twice, it is still amazing.... Nemo is also a great show, and both are easy to get into. Hollywood Studios has a whole set of fantastic shows. The regulars might see them as a bit long in the tooth, but for us less frequent visitors they are all worth your time.
     
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    We have watched some of the street entertainment; we just haven't watched any of the scheduled shows, so to speak. We intend to watch Happily Ever After on Thursday, however.
     
  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    17th April 2019 (Typhoon Lagoon)
    All right; Typhoon Lagoon today! This trip report will be a bit shorter as we spent about 4 hours in the park. It might also be worth me mentioning that unlike Blizzard Beach, I have visited this water park on a previous trip in 2014. Our day started at about 10:30am when we arrived at the park, and after a brief period storing bags and changing, we headed into what is arguably the signature attraction of Typhoon Lagoon; despite not being a waterslide, it definitely deserves its own paragraph:
    Surf Pool
    Yes, the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon is absolutely insane! Instead of multiple undulating, smaller waves like at Blizzard Beach and most other water parks, Typhoon Lagoon's wave pool consists of one massive 6ft high wave that sweeps over every 2 minutes or so! It is insane, and the level of anticipation is amazing; you know when it's coming because you suddenly hear a loud thud and everyone screaming! There are also multiple ways you can handle this wave, as I discovered; you can jump head first into it and get smacked in the face, you can just stand and let it drag you along or you can just go underwater and barely feel it at all! For the best wave experience, I'd personally recommend standing just past the red line in the water; just before the point where it says "5ft 5in" on the wall. There, I found that you got dragged along a greater distance than further up the wave pool, but you didn't scuff along the ground like you did in the shallower depths. I suppose it might depend on how tall you are or just your taste in waves, but that's my personal recommendation! After our time in the wave pool, we went and got in the 15 minute queue for...
    Miss Adventure Falls
    Miss Adventure Falls had been added since our last visit to Typhoon Lagoon in 2014, and I was excited to ride it; I was excited to see Disney's first audio animatronic on a water slide in the form of a parrot, and my family and I do like a good family raft slide, so what's not to like? I did like how the announcements were themed compared to the other Disney water slides, and I found it unique boarding on the ground as opposed to high up like you normally do on a water slide. So, how was the ride? Well, despite the fact that the animatronic wasn't working, I thought it was good fun! There was some nice theming compared to Disney's other water slides, and there were quite a few good drops and turns, along with many surprise water effects! Overall, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed it! After Miss Adventure Falls, we headed to ride...
    Crush'n'Gusher
    Now, I had ridden Crush'n'Gusher on my previous visit in 2014 and I remember really liking it, so I was naturally excited to reride! We picked the Banana Blaster side, and it was quite a short queue, which is always good! So, how was the ride? Well, it was very good! The ride felt very fast throughout, and there were even some light pops of airtime over the humps! Overall, I enjoyed it! After that, we headed to eat lunch before heading back into the wave pool, then into the relaxing lazy river, then back into the wave pool again before heading home.

    Overall, I enjoyed my time at Typhoon Lagoon. As with Blizzard Beach on Saturday, I found it to be a very fun water park with many good attractions; the wave pool was a particular highlight of mine! The theming is also fantastic!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! Join me tomorrow for an evening at Magic Kingdom, including Happily Ever After!
     
  4. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    18th April 2019 (Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom)
    OK; another 2-in-1 day today! Firstly Hollywood Studios and then to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks! We started a bit later today; around 4pm. We got to Hollywood Studios at about 4:30pm; we initially had the intention of taking my dad on Tower of Terror, as he didn’t ride it on Friday, but my parents and I determined that the 90 minute queue was too long. We thought we may as well ride something while at Hollywood Studios, so we instead rode...
    Star Tours
    Now, Star Tours had a 45 minute queue, but we thankfully only waited around 25 minutes. The queue theming was very nice, including fantastic animatronics of C3PO and R2D2! So, how was the ride? Well, it was better than me or my family had expected! My parents were not huge fans of the original version in Paris, but they really liked this version, and I also found it very enjoyable:
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    After our surprisingly good ride on Star Tours, we left for our next destination; Magic Kingdom! We quickly drove between the two parks and before we knew it, we were in Magic Kingdom! Our first attraction of the evening came in the form of a Fastpass for...
    Haunted Mansion
    Now, I wanted to ride Haunted Mansion after a recommendation from another forum member, so I was excited to experience this Disney classic for the first time. The pre-show was a good start to the experience, with many cool illusions and a good introduction to our Ghost Host. So, how was the ride? Well, I personally thought it was quite good! There was a lot to look at, and there were many cool effects during the ride experience! I'd also say it was very ambient, in a similar manner to Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios:
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    After our ride on Haunted Mansion, we had a little sit down before our next Fastpass beckoned, this time for...
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was only a short walk from where we were sat, so we scanned our Fastpasses and joined the Fastpass queue. I was glad to have Fastpasses, as the main queue was reportedly 2 hours long! So, how was the ride? Well, it was pretty similar to how I found it last Wednesday, although this time it was a dusk ride, as the Fantasyland lighting was starting to come on. After our ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we headed for Adventureland so that we could ride...
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Pirates of the Caribbean was on a 20 minute queue, so we joined it. We enjoyed this ride on Wednesday, so we thought it might be worth doing again. As for the ride itself, it was very much the same as it was last week, although I got somewhat wetter on this go than I did last week! After Pirates of the Caribbean, we headed to Main Street USA and took our spots in preparation for...
    Happily Ever After
    The fireworks are a staple of Disney, and we picked tonight as our night to watch them. By the time we got to Main Street USA, it was already quite busy, and there were another 20 minutes before the show started! So, how was the show? Well, I thought it was very good! The fireworks themselves were good, and the projection mapping on the castle just added another layer to it! It really was a fantastic fireworks display; have a few pictures, although I'm not sure how much justice they do the show:
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    After Happily Ever After, we headed home.

    Overall, we had a lovely evening at Magic Kingdom (and briefly at Hollywood Studios)! The fireworks were very good, and the rides we rode were good fun! It provided a lovely closure to our trip from a theme parks perspective!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! I probably won't write one tomorrow, as we're only doing Disney Springs and the other mini golf course, although I'll probably write a bit of a summary when I'm back in the UK; I hope you've all enjoyed this series of trip reports!
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    Trip Summary
    All right, I'm back in the UK (well, I have been since yesterday morning) after a 7 hour flight from Orlando to Manchester! So that means it's time for that summary I was referring to in my last trip report. I know it sounds a bit pointless, but I thought it might be nice to look back over my personal highlights of this trip and all the things I've done.

    So, let's cut to the chase; this trip was fantastic! I really liked seeing Walt Disney World properly for the first time; well, I've been to Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon before as an enthusiast and I did Epcot pre-enthusiast, but we've never really gone full-on Disney before on any of our holidays to Florida; we normally have Universal and/or SeaWorld interspersed in with one or two Disney parks, or in the case of our 2016 trip, none. So, what did I think to Walt Disney World as a whole? Well, I thought it was really good; I think I personally prefer Universal due to the theming being just as good and due to the type of product they offer, but I really enjoyed Disney as a whole. My favourite park in WDW is still Animal Kingdom, although I must admit that Epcot takes a surprising second place for me! That park was probably my biggest surprise of the trip, although I'll get onto that later. In terms of how I'd rank the parks, it probably goes something like this for me:

    1. Animal Kingdom
    2. Epcot
    3. Magic Kingdom
    4. Hollywood Studios
    Highlights/Favourite Rides
    Now, I think it's time to get on to my personal favourite rides of the trip! In terms of my top 3, it goes something like this:
    1. Tower of Terror
    2. Mine Blower (I know it's not WDW, but I really enjoyed this!)
    3. Rock'n'Rollercoaster
    Honourable mentions go to Test Track & Flight of Passage. I've ridden some really good rides on this trip, but those 3 were the ones I liked best; Tower of Terror was just amazing, combining insane airtime with fantastic immersion! Mine Blower was a really good wooden coaster and packed surprising airtime and pacing for a coaster of its size! Rock'n'Rollercoaster has one of the most amazing launches I've ever done and a reasonably forceful layout to follow! Having said that, though; everything I did on this trip was good in its own way. Those were probably my personal highlights of the trip, but let's get on to some surprises...
    Biggest Surprises of the Trip
    Now it's time for my biggest surprises, and I certainly have a few!

    Now, I think the biggest one for me was probably Epcot. If I'm being honest, my expectations were quite low; enthusiasts and my family alike had not said very positive things about the park. However, I had a fantastic day here! World Showcase is just beautiful and has a lovely atmosphere, and while Future World is a bit on the dated side, Test Track was a particular highlight! On the whole, I thought that the park had a really nice atmosphere and was just a lovely place to spend time in, which is why it rolled in as my #2 park in WDW and my #5 park overall!

    Another big surprise for me is actually Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Again, my expectations were low going in, having had people say it was forceless and such, and the POVs don't make for particularly promising viewing. However, I thought that this coaster was immensely enjoyable, and I think it's one of the better family coasters I've done! While there are a few spots where it could go a little faster, the ride felt well paced for the most part, had some gentle pops of airtime and was quite smooth, with some adorable theming! A very fun coaster for its target audience; Mack and Disney did a great job here, on my opinion!

    Now, I think that's the main surprises done! Let's close off with a few stats...
    The Stats of Matt N's Florida Adventure

    • New coasters ridden: 8
    • New parks visited: 4 (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Fun Spot Kissimmee)
    • Favourite new coaster: Mine Blower
    • Favourite new park: Epcot
    • Favourite new ride overall: Tower of Terror
    • Biggest surprise (park): Epcot
    • Biggest surprise (ride): Slinky Dog Dash
    I hope you've enjoyed this series of trip reports; I know I've certainly enjoyed writing them! I know I enjoyed the trip too; here's to the next one!
     
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  6. ScottishChris

    ScottishChris TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Lancashire
    Favourite Ride:
    Legend
    Quite a few years ago I worked for the mouse (not at the Parks though) - I visited all 4 of their proper parks too many times to count. I always loved Epcot, I think it was because it wasn't really a theme park, which made it work.

    There is a bit of a tradition amongst the mouses slaves... Getting drunk around the world. Which is simply a (very expensive) pub crawl around the pavilions. Now, you should always drink responsibly (and not until you are 21 @Matt N ) but what I hold most fondly about my visits to WDW is being with awesome people and having a great time. I know it is a bit of a cliché, but what Disney does best is memories.

    Speaking as someone who has just realised he is older than he thought, @Matt N - you are clearly a very fortunate chap having the opportunity to go on a quite pricey holiday, but what money can never buy you is time with family and friends. Treasure every second you have... And yes, we all get frustrated with family - just try to hold back on the strops! And take lots and lots of pictures, not of rides, but of those you love and care about. Sentimental rant over.
     
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  7. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    That’s interesting what you say about space mountain, out of the 2 sides I find alpha rougher than (I think) omega. Due to how they handle wheelchair guests I nearly always ride omega I only ride alpha when I’m on a after hours event where I literally can stay inside the ride building for the duration of the event (3 hours) and can get a ride every 5 mins.
     
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