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Everything posted by natatomic

  1. Seriously. "Rafts keep flying off the slide, but these huge metal bars should keep everyone safe."
  2. Stupid things happen in Florida too. When I worked at Expedition Everest, we had a guest who said their hand hit a piece of bamboo. We closed the ride down for a bit, and horticulture came in a trimmed up around the ride path. The next day, about 10% of all the bamboo was gone. Then a few days later, someone got off the ride saying there was a piece of bamboo in the track. We closed the ride, did and inspection, and yes, there was a piece of bamboo UNDER the track, but it was not in danger of hitting anyone or anything (though I do understand the fear of more bamboo falling). The next day, when I came in, we didn't open the ride for SEVEN HOURS. Why? Because they were busy doing this to the entire ride path (Kali River Rapids got the same treatment within the week):
  3. I always thought they overreacted at Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids when they chopped down alllllll the bamboo surrounding the rides. Not that a stick of bamboo would derail a train, but still. I wonder if we'll be seeing a lot more "deforestation" around roller coasters in the future.
  4. I'm surprised that the names of the buttons are in English!
  5. Restraints don't always nail you down and prevent you from going anywhere. There are plenty of rides were I *could* wiggle out if I wanted to (I wouldn't, because I am an adult with at least SOME common sense, but I digress...). That could very well be the case here - that the little girl got scared and simply tried to wiggle out. The video did try to say that that wasn't what happened but when they said her legs were suddenly on one side of the in-between-the-legs bar, it's very possible that she got them there herself. In my (amateur) opinion, I'd say the mother is responsible for allowing the child to go without her. And the ride-op is responsible for not e-stopping (though there are a lot of ride vehicles to keep an eye on. Maybe he genuinely didn't see it happen).
  6. I just found out that I was selected to be a CM on the Star Tours Opening Team!
  7. I was at SFMM the day before (Jan. 8th), and we didn't have any major complaints (aside from the fact that it's a Six Flags, but what can you do, eh?) As far as I know, most of the rides opened on time that day, but I can't say for certain. We were going to start with X2 and Tatsu (the basic GP order, I know, I know), but then I realized I forgot my croakies*, the only store that sold them didn't open until noon, and so we decided to do the other side of the park first where there are more glasses-friendly rides. This ended up being a good thing, since my absentmindedness ended up spurring us on to do the park in a very efficient order, as NO ONE was going toward any ride other than X2 and Tatsu. At that time, only Goliath was running two trains, but we were still able to walk on to everything with no more than a one train wait (we actually walked onto the front row of Batman). Tatsu did have a full queue by the time we finally got to it, but thankfully they were running two trains that day, and our wait was only about 40 minutes (however, it could have been much less if they didn't load so slowly - even on just two trains, the second train was stacked every cycle, which left all the riders forced to stare at the gross fresh loogies and worn-away-from-spit spots on the platform below). By the second time, the line had died down and we waited only about 25 minutes. X2 was only about 30 minutes the first time, and then 45 minutes the second time we got on, when we were going for a ride in the dark. The most frustrating part of the day was when we went to get pizza - we waited 45 minutes with only 3 families ordering in front of us. Now, I may not know all the finer points of the art of pizza making, but I feel like the line could have been a tad bit faster if they had the foresight to take the order of the next party while the order of the previous party was being made. I dunno, just a thought, Six Flags. Just a thought. *I swear, I alone am keeping that company in business. I've yet to remember to bring them with me to a single park.
  8. It looks amazing, even if it's all a bit cramped! I went early this morning hoping to get in on some soft opening action, but sadly, it was only open to vacation package people and resort guests. Although, I heard there were technical difficulties with the ride, so maybe that's why they kept the admission limited today? No idea. But still, I at least have your photos to gaze at to tide me over until I can experience it myself. Nice job!
  9. ^^From what I understand, the new lighting is actually the lighting used when she moves, although the Yeti is still very much not moving. There have been a handful of imagineers walking around the mountain and riding occasionally in the last few months in order to take a look at the Yeti, but no one has heard what the official plan is to fix her yet.
  10. Um, that might be the coolest backstage I've ever seen. I'm so jealous.
  11. Yes, it would be impossible to take a class in-seat at a local college, because you really do have to have complete open availability. Having said that, I am currently taking two online classes while here on my program (Expedition Everest) and I am so far handling my workload okay. Even with my 57 hour work weeks (overtime, baby)! This is my second program (I worked Splash Mountain in 2007), and I didn't take any classes back then (online, Disney, nor other), so I had a LOT more time to go to the parks and relax. I kind of miss that, but then again, I don't like being almost 24 and still in school, so I gotta make some sacrifices for my degree somehow. Anyway, I have nothing but fantastic things to say about the program. And yes, I know some people have issues with housing, but honestly, if you just suck it up for a few months and play by the rules, you'll be fine. I did almost no networking my first program, but I was completely different person back then (I was ever the wilting flower), so I basically just tried to do my job and not get anyone angry at me. Plus, I wasn't too fond of some of my managers there (Splash Mountain was much more fun to operate, but Everest management is so much better, so it all evens out in my book), so I didn't really ever go to them too often anyway. It's a totally different story now. I love 90% of my managers and I have so much more confidence in myself (most of which, I think, stems from being toughened up from working at Disney before), so networking is definitely something I'm trying to do this time around. So far, I've been invited to audition for the Disney Cast Member orchestra coming up in May, which I'm very excited about. And when it comes time to extend my program, I'd like to request a location change, and many of my current managers are from the areas I am interested in (not that Everest isn't great - I LOVE my job, I just have a few dream attractions I'd like to work). I am also interested in either a Professional Internship with the company or possibly going over to Guest Relations so that I can eventually work as a VIP tour guide, so I'm always trying to be a role model CM so that my managers will be willing to put in a good word for me wherever I wish to go. My homeroom manager was actually a WDW Ambassador a few years back, he's an EXCELLENT reference to have. Also, one of the girls I work with wants nothing more than to work for the holiday decoration department, and one of our managers is working on getting her an interview. So yes, if Disney is a company in which you'd like to move up, definitely talk to as many people as you can. Introduce yourself to everyone with a name tag, that's my strategy.
  12. I'm doing my second Disney College Program, and I'm currently a ride op on Expedition Everest. The Yeti says hi. Anyway, come visit me there. I love meeting fellow TPRers!
  13. Day 8, part 1 - Legoland Hi, I'm Natalie. You may or may not remember me, but I pop in every few years or so to update a trip report. This trip report, in fact. (I just felt like I needed to refresh everyone's memory). If you're lucky, one of these days I'm gonna get around to finishing my Disney World trip report from 2008. Now, two very important things have happened since my last update: 1) I started my second Disney College Program at WDW, so come say hi to me on Expedition Everest and 2) I forgot every single thing that happened on the West Coast Trip. So more than likely, I made up every thing you read in all future updates including this one. Honestly, though, there wasn't much for me to forget about Legoland, because I was still awfully sick and I didn't have a chance to form any solid memories of it in the first place. I remember it being adorable, I remember it had the most flavorless-pizza I've ever eaten, and I remember that I nearly killed myself on that firefighter ride because I couldn't stop myself competitive nature from shoving aside my illness, and in the midst of my resulting lassitude I just KNEW my obituary was about to read, "died tragically while pumping water out of a Lego fire hydrant." Beyond that, the park is very much a blur. A blur built entirely of legos. (HOLY CRAP! JUST NOTICED THE NEW "SAVE AS DRAFT" BUTTON. I LOVE YOU R&E! You have made my TPR life SO much easier now!) No, I thought it was Tinker Toy Town! First stop, Future World East. "Okay, let's move 'em up to the test area." "Vehicle 1 is clear for hill climb." "Okay, let's go." "The torque and transmission load data are looking good!" "Great. Let's proceed to the rough road tests." "You got it." Huh, seems to be heavier on the cornering and hairpin turns portions than what I remember. Okay, okay, I'm done with the lame Epcot Test Track references. Sorry. There was a dark ride in that building back there, but I honestly don't remember a single second of it. It might have been a shooting ride. Then again, it might not. Now this? *This* I'm kind of ambivalent about. It was kinda fun, but kinda painful, and they wouldn't let me wear my glasses, so it was REALLY blurry. And, to steal a photo from Mike L. (thanks Mike!), exceptionally hairy. I'm pretty sure this is the longest kiddie credit in the world. And between that and the fact that there was theming (think Dueling Dragons-lite) it was basically the only kiddie credit on earth a childless adult can ride without feeling dirty and whorish. I love how parks take the most generic word possible, add "-saurus" to the end of it, and then pat themselves on the back for an attraction well-named. Coastersaurus at Legoland, Restaurantasaurus at Animal Kingdom, and even Castasaurus for Cast Member cafeteria backstage. Lameosaurus. Anyway, the coaster is called Coastersaurus because 1) it's a coaster and 2) there's a dinosaur somewhere within a 200 yard radius of it. However, the train is not properly themed to dinosaurs at all (I don't believe Velociraptors got around by way of mine cars), nor is the track even vaguely shaped like a dinosaur, so all in all, I'd say it's about as un-saurus as a coaster can get. A more appropriate name would have been "Coaster: There's a Parasaurolophus Near By" (I think Ben agrees) OH MY GOSH. I forgot about this whole fiasco until I saw these stupid, stupid pictures, and now I'm angry about the situation all over again. Okay, so we were in line to have our pictures taken with these Lego Star Wars folks, and when it was our turn, what happened? Obnoxious parents sent their kids into the pictures WHILE WE WERE THERE. So then we tried just stepping back into the line to wait for THOSE snobby kids to be done, but then the people behind us would simply cut in front of us like we didn't exist. Obviously, since we're over 8 years old we have NO interest in actually having our pictures taken with Lego characters, and we were just standing in line for KICKS AND GIGGLES BECAUSE WE'RE QUEUE ENTHUSIASTS. Seriously, we're WHORES for waiting. That's the reason for Ben's face here (I cut the stupid kid out of the picture because UGH. STUPID. KID. I hate you and your parents.) And these are the kids that tried to get in on MY picture, and at that point I had just HAD IT (Sick Natalie is not a Patient Natalie) and so I think I made some loud sarcastic comment about how I didn't want my picture taken with Darth Vader anyway GOSH, and then I walked away in a huff and had a good cry about it. Yeah, I totally won that one. Showed those parents, I did. Now, it seems to me that Legoland was really just a Lego-made Tiny Town that just happened to have a few rides, because these little exhibits went on and on and on... Ben's all, "I'm so tough because my pants come with a cupholder, haHA!" Honestly now? A replica of a replica of a landmark? That's borderline ridiculous. There was a picture of the top portion of this on the cover of the WCT booklet, and it wasn't until AFTER I GOT BACK FROM THE TRIP that I realized that it was a picture of THIS version of the Stratosphere - not the ACTUAL Stratosphere. All summer long, I had been thinking, "Why would R&E pick such a pixelated picture?" (Duh, Natalie) And thus begins a massive series of Lego structure photos. Enjoy. Hey, it's the Great Movie Ride! Somewhere in there, there's a little Lego replica of a Visage family reunion. I was gonna try to make some joke about how that Lego guy is making all the Lego structures hardy har har, but it was just not working. Man, I'm rusty at this. I'm sure this was a hoot and a half to ride, but I skipped out on it. The hair, you know. It must never touch water. And to give you an example of how out of it I was from my sickness, I saw that sign and thought it said, "AUNDRE TE." It kinda *sounded* French, but I certainly didn't remember those particular words being in the French language, so I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the hell that building was supposed to be. Aaaand then a week later when I was going through all these pictures, that's when it hit me. Laundrette, Natalie. *Laundrette* All I can say is they better bring these over to the Florida Legoland, otherwise I'm not going. Well, I'll get the credits, but then I'll never go AGAIN. Yeah, that'll teach 'em. TPR TAKEOVER! No comment. Nope, I'm not even gonna TOUCH this one. Okay, I don't care if I can drive real cars on real roads, I was VERY disappointed that I wasn't allowed to do this. And I'll end with Lego Stegosaurus. He's my buddy. Next up (eventually): Castle Park.
  14. I want to marry this thread. <3 Epcot <3 But... Not me. I MUCH prefer the previous version to this latest one, minus the first half of the ride. Obviously there were some very nice improvements there, but I feel like they completely gutted the ride from the room right before the observatory onward. Now you just watch a cheesy cartoon while moving through nothing but a black hallway, and really now, I can watch TV at home. I miss the all the lights and fiber optics...tie that all in with the absolutely gorgeous score for the background music (don't even get me started on the lack-luster, indistinct music they've got now) and it was my favorite part of the ride. Just my humble opinion.
  15. I believe it was late 2005, and I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown (you know, same old same old) and memories of my trips to Universal were the one thing that was keeping me from totally losing it, so in my google search for all things Universal, I found you! And look! All better! You've cured me of the crazies! Eh, kinda.
  16. Well, goodness, aren't you a sweet thing. Oh, I'm sure I could make it up. That's basically what I've been doing here the last few updates. I mean, we're going on 4 months since the West Coast trip. I don't even remember taking half these pictures anymore.
  17. ^^I love that photo. It's like his right foot is on upside down. I'm probably gonna get kicked out of TPR for saying this, but I really don't like beer. Or at least, I don't like any of the beers I've so far tried (and I'm pretty sure I tried a Fat Tire on the trip). Anyone out there have any recommendations that I'm just 100% guaranteed to love? Surely there is a beer even for a picky girl like me.
  18. Day 7, part 2: Belmont This will be a relatively "caption-lite" update as most of the pictures are of people on the Flowrider, and there's only so many ways I can say, "He looks funny surfing, ha ha ha," but that's okay. Many of the photos speak for themselves anyway. I enjoyed this quaint beach-side amusement park, especially since I had been craving Mexican for the entire trip and that was what was on the menu that night (ahh, miracles), but I only got to ride the coaster once - on a dreaded axle seat that nearly broke my boobs clean off my body - because by the time ERT had rolled around, I was sick, emphasis on the ICK. Just a few short hours after Flowriding, whatever sickness was festering within had completely overpowered me, and I spent the rest of the night all by my lonesome shivering in a fetal position on a cabana cushion which doubled as my personal Kleenex (shhh, don't tell Belmont). I vaguely remember Robb coming by and taking a picture of me in this death-state. I bet it's hot. And that's the story of how I missed the epic roller coaster/glowstick ERT. Thanks a lot, immune system. As for the flowrider, right as I was getting ready for my first go, the female lifeguard warned me that my boobs were pretty much guaranteed to fall out. Huh. Did not think of that. Here I was focused on how I was going glasses-less and wouldn't be able to see a single thing (I'm near sighted, but I still can't read a book without glasses unless it's within four inches of my face), and now I have to worry about flashing the ALMOST ENTIRELY MALE group I was with. Sure, half of them weren't really into boobs (ahem), but that really doesn't matter when your privates go public. And while I don't know if anyone ever DID get an eyeful, the girls definitely DID pop out a time or two, but I think the water covered up most of their peep shows. Lord, I hope so, anyway. So ladies - all three of you on this board - BE YE NOT AS STUPID. Wear a t-shirt. And, I dunno, a chastity belt. Something that WILL NOT BUDGE. Then I died by Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Or Squid. Or whatever. Just trying to make the reference work here. But that does end this update. It was nothing but snot and chills and moaning for the remaining three hours after this picture was taken. You really don't want me to post photos of that. Up next: Legoland. Which is just as fancy as the real golf, I say. And then we played a round of glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. Here's a couple of night shots for you. In true TPR fashion, we all celebrated a Flow well Rided by drinking to our hearts' content. This - THIS - is the only picture I took of the food. Yep. Some napkins and plastic utensils. I really know how to capture the important things, don't I? But then I stole this photo from Ben, so I could show you what a mess my hair is. Wait, no, so I could show you that yay! I did it! This was actually pretty difficult. I hadn't even let go of the rope before falling. Honestly, the whole event was one big battle of Water vs. Suit, and Water was kicking some serious @$$. I decide that catching the board on its return trip is a lot less important than the fact that HOLY CRAP MY NIPPLES FEEL A BREEZE. Lesson learned. Well, almost... I decided to try the trick too, and I'm sure I don't even need to TELL you what a giant mistake that was. After all, the only thing separating me from the GUSHING water was that board. So what happens when I push away that lone barrier while in the CHEST-FIRST POSITION? And he did it! Needed to pull his trunks up though, but still! Success! Neil tried this trick where you push the board away from you, let the water push it back, and then continue riding as though you never parted. Sounds easy enough. Well, it was fun while it lasted. (So was being not naked) Seriously, every time I fell off the board, the top of my top would come down, the bottom of my top would hike up, and my bottoms would nearly fall off, and I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAVE FIRST. I thought I knew what panic was, until that day... Ta daaaaaa! And my gay boyfriend is so proud of me! Alright...not too bad, not too bad... Let's see how good I am at this... My group was up next, so all pictures of flowriding from here on out were taken by Robbie. Though I think Tyler would like to show us how something ELSE is done. O.O At least someone knows how it's done. As did Tyler, but he tweaked the technique by using his nipples as his balancing point(s) Mike utilizes the Shamu pose Eh, A for Effort, anyway. Elissa does a good job at showing the boys up. Ben reminds me of those naked people who wear barrels on suspenders. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA This is the picture I look at when I need a good cheering up. Robby? Not so much. Tyler likes anything that gets him wet. ...kinda Josh gives us an impressive start... The first group to Flowride. (FYI, incest in compulsory in Alabama) And this is the last coaster-related photo of this update. I don't remember the story of what was happening here, but honestly, this is the position men are often in when I'm around. I'm kinda feisty. For being a clone of the EXCELLENT coaster we rode at SCBB, this one pretty much sucked. But again, I never rode on a non-axle seat, so I probably can't judge it accurately.
  19. I visited Epcot for the first time in 2007, so I never got to see it in it's "golden years," but with what it is now, it IS my favorite park at WDW. However, when I read descriptions of Horizons and World of Motion, I think I would have loved it even more then in its heyday. Eh, to each his own. \ Anyway, nice trip report!
  20. ^Mine gets so frizzy that it starts to resemble Carrot Top's poofy mess of hair. Only not ginger. And I thank you all for your kind comments too! Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
  21. Great TR, Mike! I hope to take photos as amazing as yours one day!
  22. Day 7, part 1 - Seaworld (Wait, is it SeaWorld? Sea World? Or maybe SEA World, all anagram-style like EPCOT Center once was. Maybe for Super Exciting Animal World or Swimming Everywhere Adorably World or something? I dunno, I can never remember such details. ANYWAY!) It started out innocently enough, this day. I woke up a bit lethargic with a hint of a sore throat that had been lingering for the previous few days, but by lunchtime I was feeling better, and so I was lured into the comforting delusion that my symptoms were simply due to exhaustion and all the coaster-induced screaming, respectively. Little did I know that by the end of that day, I would be dead. Yes, dead. Literally dead. Killed by lethal amounts of snot, general ickiness, and then more snot. No folks, it was not a pretty sight. But don't let me get ahead of myself. That all won't happen until Part 2 of Day 7, so let's focus on the goodness that is Part 1. To sum up S e A w O R l D (there, solved that mystery), it went like this: Atlantis was good, FL Shamu>CA Shamu>SFDK Shooka, and some guy working the Rapid's queue area where the Fastpass-thing (I forget the name of SW's version) lane and the regular lane merge was an jerk. I wish I could remember his name because I would SO type it on here for you all to read, and THAT WOULD TOTALLY SHOW HIM. Lesson would be learned, wouldn't it, buddy? Georgio! That was his name. Okay, no, it wasn't, but see the impact it would have had if I knew it and told you what it was? Then the whole of TPR would know some guy with the first name of "_____" was mean to us and WOW, talk about payback. I know...my cruelty knows no bounds sometimes. Makes you think twice about getting on my bad side doesn't it? ¬¬ And because all things should end so cute-ly, I give you this picture of an otter. Aww. Next: Belmont Park FLAMINGO! I really don't know a good way to segue from a slightly religion-themed Rapids ride photos to a shot of a bunch of flamingos. I'm sure the word "flock" would be involved, but my brain is just not putting the pieces together tonight. Which also explains the next lack-luster caption: But with that much water, no wonder he doubts. After realizing that we're standing by the water canon things, Neil, who is saying "No, you wouldn't!" clearly does not have faith in the poncho he dons. Poor lost soul... This and Atlantis were two of the very few water rides I rode on this trip (have I mentioned? The hair? It must never be dampened), thanks to the free ponchos SW so generously gave us! "With ponchos, all water rides are possible." Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's how that Bible verse goes. Haha, and then he ate that woman's boob. (Sorry, I'm a 12 year old boy) Don't get me wrong, now - I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own million-gallon saltwater swimming pool at home, but do we all have to see it? For shame. I didn't think this kind of stuff was legal, but then I remembered... ...California. You know, it's a shame I didn't want to get my camera wet, because few things in this world are more delightful than being soaked by water from what I'm sure is a minty-fresh, non-fishy mouth of a whale. And then a whale swam around and jumped a bit. Followed by a brief Paul Reynolds impression done by Robbie the Polar Bear Next was Sesame Street Live. How do penguins drink their coke? On the rocks! Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk. Oh, the quality of this TR is taking a nosedive. Next, we went back to this, which finally opened. And it was a fine ride and all, but I never really thought much about how the boats got to the top of the first drop, and had I not seen the boat in front of us go up the indoor elevator lift, I would have been in for a mild but fun surprise, and I'm sad that it was spoiled for me. Eh, what can you do? Belugas suffer from a condition known as "Cankle of the Neck." Very serious, very sad. Actually, it was some Star-Tours-type ride that had a post-ride Expedition-Everest-Queue-esque walk-through area which then led to an arctic zoo. Everyone still with me? If I were you, I'd have been gone by the 4th hyphen. Expedition Everest. Wait, no. Wrong park. Atlantis wasn't quite open by the time we had walked to it (and I almost used some corny "Atlantis was still being discovered..." joke - hardy har har - so you're welcome that I decided to go the more straightforward & boring route than the embarrassingly stupid one), so we headed over to... First we rode the SkyTower (Skytower? Sky Tower? Oh, here we go again...) (And please allow me to make one of my notorious parenthetical asides to say that this was about the 28th ride in this overall trip report whose name I had to look up because I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was called. And I feel awful - just AWFUL - for such a level of ignorance. I mean, what kind of enthusiast am I? Because *SkyTower*? REALLY? Aside from the obviousness of the name, aren't all tower-type rides that slowly ascend sky-wards called SkyTower? How on earth was this one of the names that alluded me?) On a completely unrelated note, now that I'm stuck using my desktop computer, I notice that all my photos appear significantly darker on here than they did on my laptop. I have no idea which computer has the "correct" settings, so let me just apologize if my pictures always seem shadow-heavy on your monitor.
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