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dreynolds1982

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Everything posted by dreynolds1982

  1. Looks like yall had a blast. My fiancée and I head that way in a couple of weeks as part of our two-week California coast honeymoon!!! She's never been and I haven't been to DL in 10 or so years so can't wait!
  2. I'm psyched to check out the new land when we head out west in August. I know people are let down by the new ride, but like some others have said, it looks like they're taking the same approach they did with SGE. Get it open with an introductory lower-ticket attraction then work on the e-ticket. Almost like a soft opening for the entire land. Of course I haven't been to DCA in years so all of the Marvel stuff, Cars Land, etc. will all be new to me, so I'll take whatever I can get!
  3. Definitely think it's time for an extensive overhaul. From the look of the concept art, looks like they are going to really ramp up/plus the existing scenes (looks like some really nice projection mapping in play in Egypt). Then I've heard they are going to completely replace some of the later scenes. I like the focus on "storytelling" instead of communication. Will help keep it from getting dated too quickly. I'd hope/think some new ride vehicles are in order. Plus be interested to see what they do with the back half (post planetarium scene), as that has always seemed like really wasted real estate to me. I love SSE and glad to see it getting some well deserved attention.
  4. I've always thought Tokyo, and Japan in general, looked interesting but it was never high on my travel bucket list until I started following all of y'all's travels. Incredible. Always love the reports. It's #1 on my list and I can't wait!
  5. You could have 1000 Birds on a Stick for the cost of one Fire Farting Skrewt on a Stick
  6. The irony of the idea of Universal making fun of Disney for the Yeti is that Universal themselves just made some of the exact same thematic mistakes on Hagrid's as Disney did on Everest! Bird on a Stick > Fire Farting Skrewt on a Stick IMO.
  7. Just watched a POV of that version and yeah, seems like that's how it should have been done from the get go. Though I will say, I secretly love the cheesy fake ending bit in the UO version. It's about as random as can be, but having a ride op get sandblasted into a skeleton is a nice touch ha.
  8. Yeah I'm with you Rob. I was originally thinking this was going to be more on the par of Mummy. That is, an actual blend of a dark ride and coaster. Mummy is probably one of my all time favorite themed attractions, Universal or otherwise. Aside from the somewhat confusing "this is a movie set, but also actually in Egypt" queue/pre-show story, the ride itself is fantastic. Well themed, well paced, great mix of sets, SFX, coaster elements, etc. This is more of what I envision the GotG coaster at Epcot being like. Hagrid's looks like a blast for sure. A really great ride. But yeah the whole "story coaster" stuff and everything. Not so sure about all that.
  9. Whoops! Honestly, shame on UO for not seeing this coming and at least having a better plan in place. I get that HP stuff is popular and has a rabid fan base, but for a ride to have 8-10 hour waits, that's more than just an issue with popularity. It seems to have inherent capacity limitations right off the bat, then you factor in weather issues which....I mean central Florida, those aren't going away any time soon...on top of the technical glitches you're going to have with any new attraction. Granted, I don't know all the ends and outs by any means, but just seems to me like one big operational screwing of the pooch IMO.
  10. Yup, in the live tweeting thread re: the wait, they are 3.5 hours and still in The Lost Continent (by the talking fountain). And the last hour was spent in waiting in the rain. Woof.
  11. Anything over an hour is too much of a wait for me, but the 6-10 hours being reported for this are just ludicrous. If you wait in a line like that, you've essentially paid well over $100 to ride ONE ride. NO ride is worth that. Someone is live tweeting their experience in the line right now. It was a posted 6-hr wait when they got in the line. 2 hours in and they are still in The Lost Continent section and it just started raining on them haha. Oh but Universal did have food vendors going up and down the line selling hotdogs....for $9!!! Captive audience I guess ha.
  12. Sounds about like what I was expecting aside from the lack of theming, though as construction progressed it did start to look like most of the ride would be outdoors and be continously moving rather than slowing down for show scenes. That's a shame. I definitely want to ride but it'll be tough not to lament about the loss of DD. I was fortunate enough to get to ride it A TON back in its glory days when they still dueled. At its prime, absolutely a top 10 coaster. RIP!
  13. It looks like they are real props, though I'm not sure how much they will actually move. From the looks of it, it looks like the pixies will be still figures, just peppered throughout a few scenes of the ride. I'd imagine the centaurs will be mostly still (fixed in that position with the bow arched) but will likely move a little. The Devils Snare is rumored to be part of the drop track scene so I'd guess there will be a mix of projection effects with the physical limbs. Just due to the massive size of fluffy, I'm thinking the heads will move up and down some, maybe mouth movement, but again mostly still. I'd think the most dynamic figure would be the blast ended skrewt since it's sort of the spotlight figure of the ride. All just guesses on my part though. Like you said it looks pretty cool either way and seems like UO has realized that they need to step away from the screens some and go back to more practical effects.
  14. Those AAs look incredible. At one point in the video, I thought I was looking at a CGI version of Belle before realizing it was an AA. With this, Star Wars: RotR, etc, it's nice to see Disney doubling down on AAs, practical effects, etc, while so many other parks (cough cough Universal) are so screen focused. And if these and other recent WDI AAs are any indication, I can't wait to see all the stormtroopers in RotR.
  15. Wow that looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. I was initially thinking controlled sideways turning just to point you at show scenes, ala Gringotts at UO, but the idea of pointing you backwards and forwards is really intriguing. Perhaps an enemy ship is tailing you so you're turned around backwards to face it, only to be zipped back around forward to see that you're flying right towards a meteor or something. Sounds like an incredibly immersive, 360 degree experience.
  16. The sheer volume of high quality new attractions/lands/shows being added (or in the case of Pandora and others, already added) to WDW over the next several years is really astonishing. I don't know if there has ever been this much quality growth and expansion at the parks all at one time. The Guardians ride sounds fantastic. One of, if not my favorite, rides at UO is Mummy based on its wonderful blend of dark ride and coaster. I expect something similar (not in actual ride mechanics but in overall spirit) with the Guardians ride.
  17. I'm going to be down that way in early January and might check this out. Looks like such an awesome VR experience. I know they put you through in groups (of 10 I think?) but is it suitable for someone to do by themselves or is it a more team-oriented thing? Wasn't sure there was a lot of team work and coordination involved or anything.
  18. The park looks awesome. Theming is great (though I do think they missed an opportunity by not theming the interior of the volcano and leaving it open on the back side so it's just a mass of slides and staircases) and just looks like a great park to explore and spend a full day at. That being said, as everyone else has said, the Tapu Tapu system issues are a major problem (though not terribly surprising). The extreme long waits for the reservations are one thing. But to me the single biggest kicker is having to wait another 30-40 mins in an actual queue. I would consider a 30-40 minute wait for a water slide a long time already, but if you're having to twiddle your thumbs for 4-5 hrs or longer you should be going basically straight on the ride, 5-10 min wait max. I would guess that as the crowds calm down in general and the system is tweaked, things will improve, but I'd think they'd need to at least entertain the idea of maybe opening up some of the slides to stand-by only so that guests can be waiting in line for one ride while they are virtually in line for the other.
  19. Fantastic TR with some really excellent pictures! I agree with your assessment of UO in general, but especially IOA. It was really phenomenal when it first opened, but I actually don't feel like it has aged very well (especially the original sections/rides). I agree with you on FJ though. I think it is a prime example of the proper mix of physical sets/effects, a unique ride system, thrills and media. I think Gringotts and others focus too heavily on the media portion. As you said, really it's pretty easy to do both parks in one day depending on crowds, especially if you're by yourself as almost every ride has a single rider line. If the barks aren't busy and you avoid the water rides (as I do as well b/c they really do get you soaked) IOA almost becomes a half day park. The only downside to doing both in one day is IMO it really does give you media-based attraction burnout, hitting one after the other after the other.
  20. Nice thanks for sharing the pic! I'd seen the "official" hotel pics and concept drawings of the refurbed rooms but you never know how those stand up to how a place really looks. Looking forward to staying there.
  21. All these pics and talk of opening weekend have me pumped. I fly out to Cleveland Saturday (RnR HOF Saturday afternoon) then on to Sandusky that night, staying at the newly refurbed CP Express. CP on Sunday and Monday. First ever trip so I'm like a kid counting down the days till Christmas morning! And weather forecast looks great so far... (and that's all I'll say about the weather )
  22. I've been on quite a few, more than I can remember. Most notable experiences: After Burn (Top Gun at the time) at Carowinds - I worked there then and was literally on the second train ever sent with people on it. Still one of my favorite inverteds. Superman: Ultimate Flight at SFOG - Went to the media preview event. Rode it at least 10 times. Expedition Everest - Working in marketing at WDW at the time so got to be among the first to ride it. Also got to ride it a night at an exclusive disney corporate event before opening (that was before AK was open after dark so it was really unique to see it at night, very dimly lit and kinda creepy!) Tower of Terror version 4 - Not technically a new ride. This was the last major enhancement they did to ToT that included the randomized drop sequences, minor show scenes/elements in drop towers, etc. I was working at ToT at the time so go to do early cast previews during testing.
  23. Weather.gov is very solid. The NWS (weather.gov) is where most weather apps, stations, etc. get a lot of their info so you are essentially going straight to the source. Which is the way to go. Weather Underground (wunderground.com) is my personal go to. Their "best forecast" system pulls info from a variety of neighborhood, community, personal, etc weather stations to generate very accurate (and more importantly locationally specific) forecasts. They also provide you the option of seeing the NWS forecast and they publish the accuracy of their recent past forecasts to provide some transparency. Rule of thumb though, no matter what forecast you look at, don't sweat over anything until 3-days out MAX. Anything beyond that is going to be woefully inaccurate, and don't even both with those super-long extended looks (10+ days) on sites like accuweather.com. Useless. Forecasts 3 days out are decent and of course they get more accurate from there.
  24. I always loved AK. Despite the lack of rides (esp before EE) the themeing, immersion and level of detail was IMO above and beyond any of the other parks. I could spend hours just walking around looking at everything. It looks like Pandora is taking this to a whole other level. Also I applaud WDI on their use of the IP. Instead of focusing on the movie plot, characters, etc., which would have dated the area and possibly isolated those who weren't familiar with the story, they simply used the incredibly design of pandora (which was the highlight of the movie anyways) and built around it. That way you don't have to be familiar with the story or movie to appreciate it. Also the tie into AK's overall message of conservation and living with nature really makes it feel right at home in the park (from what I can see anyways). For the person asking about the signage, from what I read WDI didn't want to have bold ride signs or anything because they didn't want to break the immersion. Same reason why the shops have their own bags (rather than WDW bags), etc. If this is any indication of what WDI has in store for us, just imagine what the Star Wars stuff is going to look like!
  25. Yeah I'm staying in CPE in 2.5 weeks for my first trip up there and am looking forward to the renovated/new rooms. From the pics I've seen everything looks very nice. I know that it was a bit rundown before but now it is quite a deal. I got a great rate plus early entry and got a really good deal on tickets through the hotel. I'll be sure to post a TR after my stay with pics/review of the renovated rooms and everything.
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