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Jahan's Super Sweet October Trip-Trip Report!


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I took a spin on Gwazi Tiger a few days earlier and really liked it--not that rough at all, I thought (Lion wasn't running). My only gripe about it was the one-train, slow-to-load operation, which turned what should've been a five-mintue wait into about fifteen minutes (Eric and I were there on Wednesday).

 

BGA's HoS is a bigger, better version than BGE's (which, in all fairness, is fun and doesn't require an extra ticket). I couldn't figure out Control Alt Deceased's story, such as it was, at all. BGE tried topical humor in their Fiends in the Festhouse show during thie first HoS back in the 1990s, but it didn't fly with the Williamsburg crowd--I vaguely remember some joke about Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, and a cigar (all it got was stunned silence). Still, as corny as it is, I'd rather watch Fiends than Deceased.

 

Overall, I had a great time and I've been enjoying all these TRs.

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And very cool to hear that you agree, Chuck! And Derek, if the Grill is cheaper than Ohanas, than I'm there!

 

California Grill cheaper than Ohanas... HAH!!! For your price of a meal at Ohanas you might be able to get a plate of Sushi at California Grill. It is an excellent restaurant though.

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Thanks for all of the comments guys, and sorry I made you feel bad Ryan!

 

Now its time that we finish Florida up!...

 

Bonus Photos!: Park Hopping Around WDW!

My last day in Florida!

 

 

 

 

Alright, so I know thus far I have been organizing this bureaucracy of a trip report by “Park number”, but for my last day in Florida we went back to Walt Disney World for some Park Hopping…so I cant say that I’m visiting any “new” parks these days. But regardless, I think I took some nice pictures, so I thought I would share this last day with you guys as sort of a “Bonus Photo” page! I guess I’ll do a synopsis of the Florida trip, while I’m at it! Regardless, this report is more to just give you guys some photos, so enjoy!...

 

We’ll start the day back off at DAK.

 

Despite its horrid layout and lack of attractions, there really is no denying that DAK is a VERY beautiful park!

 

The real reason I allowed them to drag me back here!

 

…*cues background music!*

 

After Everest, I finally got to ride Dinosaur.

 

*looks around to make sure that Dave isn’t reading*

 

Dinosaur was a sad, sad little ride. I don’t know if it’s the fact that my favorite ride period is Indiana Jones Adventure (this rides super-cousin) or what, but I just wasn’t too thrilled about Dino…sorry Dave!

 

And on that memento, it’s time to leave DAK!

 

Hmmm…where could Jahan be off to now?!

 

Gorgeous, efficient, smooth…but enough about myself, the monorails were great too!

 

You got it! I’m back at the Magic Kingdom!

 

Despite getting in all of the major attractions the other night at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I still yearned to see the Magic Kingdom in the daytime. I really loved the park, but was deficient on pictures to share, so I thought getting to see it in the daytime would be a great way for me to grab some shots!

 

 

Expect this photo, again…just taken from a vantage point 3,000 miles away.

 

One element of the Magic Kingdom that a Disneylander like myself was TOTALLY digging, was the vast expanses of room! I had to walk like, a half a mile to get to Adventureland!

 

I really have to say, that’s an awesome castle!

 

Oh…by the way, it was under refurbishment, thereby thwarting any attempt at a good picture. Thank God for Paint Shop Pro 4 and a blue Florida sky!

 

… “Y…M, C, A!”

 

A quick walk through Adventureland winds us up at Pirates Jr.

 

“Holy crap! Would you look at that rack on that one!”

 

Take a stroll around the good Splash.

 

I love this picture!

 

Postcard perfect! I personally thought that Fronteirland was the best land in the park.

 

“Refurb me, please!”

 

Against my better judgment, let us take a quick pass through Fantasyland.

 

Holy crap! Strollers! Everywhere!

 

Grrr!...stupid crane ruining my photos!

 

At this point, I made my way into Tomorrowland (there is obviously a vacancy where a Matterhorn should go!) I had to do something, as I had to do the Peoplemover…

 

…tell them what we’re doing Walt!...

 

What?!

 

Ok, so what!...I had a compelling desire to check out the Carousel of Progress! I had the 1964 track practically memorized, so I just had to finally check out the “tribute” version for myself.

 

I was obviously glad I did it, but yea…it needs some major work! The old version was so great…it really focuses on progress…not just out-dated video games! It featured a progression of electronics, as well as a social progression…an element which has since been eliminated.

 

Oh well…. *sigh*.

 

At this point, I had made my way back into the Hub…the very, very large Hub!

 

…not without taking some “Elissa-friendly” photos though, of course!

 

Then I thought I would hit up a gift-shop, before trying to meet up with the rest of the gang…

 

…West-side, represent!

 

I was running a hundred bucks under budget, so I thought it would be a great time to finally grab one of these awesome Goofy hats!

 

With that, it was time to head out to MGM, to meet up with the group!

 

I guess I’ll grab a shot of “bad Space Mountain” ( ) on the way out!

 

The MGM entrance centerpiece is just a disguised security tower! (look at those cameras!)

 

At MGM, I had the fortunateness of getting to hit up Good Tower (my favorite ride of the whole trip) once again, as well as take a spin on the Great Movie Ride, which was “cute”.

 

 

After that, it was con ti partio….we said our good byes, split for our separate terminals, and rode off into the sunset.

 

 

Florida—I would consider it to be the theme park and resort destination in the United States. I have always heard so much about these parks, that the chance to finally visit them was almost unreal, especially in the amazing fashion that I did so, with TPR! The trip enabled me to more than triple my credit count, by snatching 24 credits with one swift blow (sad, I know). I visited eight parks in total—the four Walt Disney World parks, two Universal parks, Busch Gardens, and of course, Cypress Gardens, none of which I would consider to be a “disappointment”. The three Halloween-events were all fun in their own unique ways and I can only hope to get a repeat experience in the next few years.

 

 

But more importantly than the theme parks, I have to say that I met some really awesome people on this trip. I cant say that there is a single person that I didn’t feel glad that I met—and trust me, I wouldn’t say that if it weren’t true. I made a ton of friends (which has obviously made the somewhat inclusive Theme Park Review that much easier to navigate). This all made for some amazing conversations, juicy stories, unique situations, and an experience that can only be described with “fun”. Seriously, this was like the highlight of my year, fo’ sho’!

 

So I guess I’ll have to thank the culprits of all of it…Imagineers, Universal’s creative team, B&M…? No…Good old Robb and Elissa! A big thanks guys! I really appreciate all your efforts to include me in this and your persistence to make sure I was enjoying myself! I’ve never come across so much kindness from a host and hostess before!

 

So thanks! I’ll buy you dinner sometime.

 

Welp folks, that’ll have to do it for my Florida update! Thank you so much for reading it, I really, really appreciate it! But that doesn’t mean it’s time to leave!—I still have three more parks to showcase. So please, feel free to stick around. As Walt Disney said, “We’re just getting started, so if any of you starts to rest on your laurels, just forget it.”

 

Thanks again! As always, feel free to post any questions, comments, concerns, or of course, praise.

 

-Jahan

 

 

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Take a stroll around the good Splash.

You mean the one in CA isn't good? I personally thought both were on par with each other, grant it Florida's seating is better, but overall they're each good in thier own way.

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Awesome, awesome TR Jahan! I still wish I could have been there with you guys to see the parks through a couple of newbie's eyes.

I also think it's great that you seem to have kept a really open mind about everything, and didn't fall into that pattern of "just because it's at Disneyland, its better by default" mentality that a lot of west coast Disney fans have. And I pretty much agree with your opinion on most things (except Dinosaur and 'Ohana! )

Oh, and that monorail photo...*really* impressive!!

 

-Julie

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Space Mountain is the best Disney World coaster. Yes, it does lack a crapload of effects, and I agree with that. If they could somehow refurbish it without changing the track layout, it would be great! Because a ride like Space Mountain sincerely needs a good soundtrack.

 

And Dark Dark Dinosaur is a personal favorite of mine. Our entire group loved it. Fast-paced, intense, and a bunch of fun.

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Ah, Darkness (Dinosaur) strikes again. That was probably one of my least favorite rides of my trip, really lame compared to Indy. Anyways, glad you enjoyed Florida as much as me Jahan! Great photos, maybe next time for me.

Brent "That's not our dino!" Shenton

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Space Mountain is the best Disney World coaster. Yes, it does lack a crapload of effects, and I agree with that. If they could somehow refurbish it without changing the track layout, it would be great! Because a ride like Space Mountain sincerely needs a good soundtrack.

 

And Dark Dark Dinosaur is a personal favorite of mine. Our entire group loved it. Fast-paced, intense, and a bunch of fun.

 

Just my two cents...

 

This past August I finally got to go out West and experience the DLR for myself, as I had been to the WDW Resort about 6 times. So technically, I hit the 50th Anniversary for DL at WDW in 2005, and for DL at the DLR in 2006. And let me tell you, Space Mountain East is really lacking. I don't think it can even be compared to its West coast version, but more to the Matterhorn. Even then, the Matterhorn has an edge on Space Mountain East. If WDW executives would finally realize that Disneyland takes better care of its attractions, then WDW's Magic Kingdom could easily become on par with Disneyland. Yes, Disneyland itself is smaller than the Magic Kingdom, but to me it felt bigger due to the many more attractions. Fantasyland at DL is tight, but elegant and gorgeous and with extra attractions. I grew up going to WDW year after year and love it, however, I now prefer Disneyland Resort over WDW. Space Mountain West has the retracked glass-smooth ride, amazing on-ride audio, and cool special effects. Space Mountain East feels like it was never changed since its opening date in 1975...and for the most part, that is true. Haunted Mansion West opened in 1969, but is continuously updated and refurbished. Haunted Mansion East also feels like it was never changed since its opening date...with the park in 1971. Instead of raising more and more DVC's and hotels, Disney is better off sinking money into making the Magic Kingdom into the amazing park it has the potential to become, restoring the glory of Epcot's Futureworld, making MGM worthwhile, and making Animal Kingdom at least a half-day park.

 

As far as Dinosaur goes, it's okay. When I rode it in 2005 I thought it was a great ride. Then I rode what is essentially the same ride with different theming and AA's and such, the Indiana Jones Adventure, and realized that Dinosaur is #@!$. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye just blew me away. And what's sad is, it opened in 1995. Dinosaur opened as Countdown to Extinction in 1998...so Disney had the potential to outdo Indiana Jones...and they did not.

 

I've always wondered why people like Splash Mountain East better than Splash Mountain West. The AA's are practically in your log at Disneyland, and it just feels more...alive than the Magic Kingdom's version. Greater capacity on the Magic Kingdom's? Woo hoo. The number of people at Disneyland doesn't necesitate the double across logs.

 

Frontierland at WDW definately has the advantage over DL's. Disneyland's feels like a ghostown, while Magic Kingdom's has Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and the Country Bear Jamboree. Tomorrowland at Disneyland, as of right now, is on par with the Magic Kingdom's. On par because although it lacks a Carousel of Progress and PeopleMover, it has a superior Buzz darkride shooter, the recently redone Tomorrowland Terrace, and a FAR superior Space Mountain. By the end of 2007, with the Subs back in action and the retro monorails running on the Highway in the Sky, Tomorrowland West will easily recapture the dominant hand over Tomorrowland East. The only real disappointing things about TL West right now are the Astro Orbitor's colors and current location, empty PeopleMover tracks, and Innoventions in a wasted Carousel Theater.

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You people are not getting why Dinosaur is awesome. It's not because it's good, it's because it gets dumber every time you ride it! I don't know how they managed to design a ride that achieves this effect, but every time I'm at AK I must ride this travesty to see if it makes me laugh even more than the last time, and it has never failed me. I'm not sure how the stars aligned themselves to give this craptacular attraction the amazing power it has, but I will not question the gods, and instead prepare myself for a few minutes of indoor dark comedy the next time I'm in Orlando!

 

Dave "Dark Dark Dinosaur forever!" Thomas

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^See, that's the thing. I was SO excited to finally ride X at Thorpe, but was totally disappointed. I really wanted it to be dumb fun, but it just didn't quite achieve the awesomeness of something like Dinosaur. I sort of remember someone mentioning they made some changes to X, so perhaps that angered the gods or something and they decreed that X shall no longer have its awesome power, and will instead just be a ride in the dark. Ah well...

 

dt

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As for the battle of the EMV argument between Dinosaurs and IJ, I have to say I also like IJ better, but I also enjoy Disnosaurs, though not quite as much as Indy. What I liked about Dinosaurs was that the thrill came from the sound effects. I though the Carnitaur was pretty scary with the roar and everything, and I just thought it was cool that they did the ride like that. But to me, they're completely different rides. Other then the ride vehicle being the same, the layout is different, and so is the enviornment. But what I will say is that Dinosaurs was absolutely way to dark and you could barely see anything. I guess its so that they wouldn't have to show the entire dinosaur, but they could have easily hidden the body behind some trees or bushes, or something.

But Indiana Jones is a very amazing ride in itself. The only thing I don't like about it is the nothingness between going under the bridge and the room where they through the spears at you. You see a smoke screen which projects rats onto you (which isn't very exciting to me) and that's about it. Where as Tokyo's, you come to a stop, and a guy screams something at you then blows a huge smoke ring towards you.

Though if I'm going to compare the Tokyo to DLR one, I'd say they're on par with each other siply because only minor things have been tweaked based off of videos I've watched. Tokyo has better lighting and a tornado, then the smoke ring. Disneyland has the crappy Gold room, then the awsomely lit purple and terquoise rooms, with a destroyed mara that shoots laser's at you, along with English. What's better between the two? I'd say Tokyo, but if DLR's would replace the rats with something as cool as what the Tokyo version has, I'd probably say DLR, simply because it's near by.

 

/end EMV comparison.

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Thanks for the comments guys!

 

You know, I think its safe to say that Reed, Ryan, and I exhausted the WDW/DLR debate, as it has been exhausted for 35 years, so I needn't contribute to this one! I thought their Space was fun...I only called it "bad" to grind some gears.

 

And Dave...thanks for your insight on Dinosaur. When you put it that way...I'm sold!

 

I also think it's great that you seem to have kept a really open mind about everything, and didn't fall into that pattern of "just because it's at Disneyland, its better by default" mentality that a lot of west coast Disney fans have.

 

Well just because its Disneyland does make it better by default! Just kidding! In my mind, I was finally able to separate "the best" with "personal favorite", so I could allow myself to admit Florida's superiority without imposing on my home-bred love for the CA park.

 

 

Anyway, onward! We're getting there!...

 

 

 

Park XI: Knott’s Berry Farm

Halloween Haunt

 

I have some advice for you folks….don’t wait for the weekend before Halloween to go to a Halloween event.

 

 

That’s right. October was coming to a close back home in Southern California, and I had a mere one weekend left to cram in the remaining parks on the tour. After sorting out the schedule with my friends, I almost called it quits, I admit. The only day available to make it to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Haunt, would be Friday, October 27th…the Friday before Halloween. Ouch. But I couldn’t quit….I had already started the PTR thread! Some how each year, we always manage to get stuck going to the Haunt the last weekend before Halloween!

 

After getting out of my 3-hour philosophy class on Friday afternoon it was time to hit the road. I bought me the new Chili Peppers album, earlier that day, to accompany on me on the drive and good thing—it took me 2 hours to drive the 65 miles to TJ’s place! But I digress…upon arrival, TJ, Julian, and I piled into Julian’s car and we were off to Knott’s…but not without grabbing some In ‘N Out first. We weren’t even off the freeway yet when we started to hit the Haunt-induced traffic! My God it was bad! It took 45 minutes to get from the freeway to the parking lot (a distance of like, a mile!)!

 

Yes…let me explain…that’s 3 lanes-worth of cars, in 2 lanes, all trying to merge into 1 lane!

 

*sigh*…Welcome back to California.

 

Finally we parked and made our way to the park (we were in an overflow lot, across the street!)

 

*drools*

 

We made it to the back-side entrance and got in past security with too much ease… . Finally, we were inside. And it was crowded as hell! Very chaotic. We decided that the best course of action would be to just walk to the first maze we see and wait for it, first skipping any maze that we did last visit….and without complaining! So that’s what we did. Unfortunately this report, the pictures don’t quite tell the story of what we did as they do in other reports. Truth is, I cant really remember exactly what I felt about the mazes! Anyway, try to bear with me please, and I’ll see you at the end of the report!

 

…Yup!

 

Up first was Hatchet High.

 

Julian seems a little more excited to be waiting in these lines than TJ.

 

I find me some head.

 

Do you guys remember the cartoon Gargoyles? I miss that show.

 

I LOVE the look of light filtering through the trees like that!

 

We then made our way to the two mazes over by Ghostrider.

 

A 2.5 hour wait to smash your spinal cord into small fragments. No thanks.

 

“It would appear that he has lost…his mind. Obviously he wont be getting, a head, in life.”

 

“Ok, I’m done.”

 

 

What was cool about this, is you would wait in one line, for two mazes. More bang for your wait….

 

…What wasn’t cool about this, is it felt like they had one maze-worth of scare-actors managing two mazes! They really lacked on people!

 

They made for some cool views of Ghostrider though.

 

The bad news is, after seeing all the Halloween events I did this year, I clearly wasn’t entirely impressed with Haunt, thus far. The good news is, the flash in these conditions makes me look tanner than normal!

 

It was a little crowded.

 

After those two mazes, we made our way around front, for Red Beards Revenge. It’s long line allowed me to grab some shots of Silver Bullet. I took like, 20 pictures, and they all look the same, so I might as well post one!

 

Oooooooooohhhh…….who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!

 

Red Beards Revenge was my favorite maze of the night because as I nearing the end, one of the scare actors came over to me and moaned a “See you on TPR!” Best scare of the night, fo sho!

 

Cell phone #1! What?! It’s just so natural for me now!

 

I don’t know if it was the secondhand pot-smoke, or what, but I paid 3.50 for a churro!

 

Lore of the Vampire….grrr!...Your stupid for buying a churro!....grrr!

 

This guy made me happy.

 

Did I mention it was crowded?

 

At this point, we had finished all of the mazes, minus the ones we did last time and the Grudge 2, which had like, a 4-hour line! Julian didn’t have his Xcelerator credit, and REALLY wanted to ride, so we granted him the favor.

 

Oh God…I think I’m going to regret this.

 

WTF? Laser pens?!

 

*licks lips* Despite the long line, I really needed to get my Xcelerator fix, so I stayed motivated. The line was actually moving quite well.

 

Was I sad because I was waiting so long, or hiding from some gang members gave me dirty looks for introducing my theory on Mavericks LIFT HILL and how it relates to potential/kinetic energy in line?

 

I need to die.

 

Xcelerator is still one of my favorite rides! I was actually really glad that I waited for it!

 

Another TPR story…

 

As I was boarding the ride, I walked over to the cubby to set my stuff down and as I was walking back to sit down, the operator goes, “I’m sorry sir, I’m afraid you cant ride, since you’re wearing a Theme Park Review shirt.” I said, “Oh, I suppose that means your going to staple me real tight now!” He was all, “Yea…especially since I haven’t had the chance to staple Robb Alvey yet.”

 

The best part is, he didn’t staple me!

 

The Annoying Thing is at Knott’s now?

 

Wow! I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes! Flash photography really DOES set off all the effects!

 

At this point, the park had closed….yup. But they were smart, and kept their upcharge Screamin Swing open. Julian hadn’t ever been on one, so we had to take him on it, as well.

 

I love these rides!

 

On occasion, it’s ok to treat yourself to a cycle on this baby…even if it does cost 5-bucks.

 

Now coming to Universal Studios Hollywood!

 

 

 

In the end, I was glad I went to Knott’s Haunt. Despite the crowds and waits and high-prices and traffic and all, I still had a very fun night. As far as the event itself is concerned, I was a little disappointed. Compared to the Universal mazes I just experienced, these mazes felt rather “thrown together”…but I suppose it isn’t necessarily fair to compare them. But what I can compare is the talent and I gotta tell you—they just weren’t feeling it tonight at Knott’s. Firstly, a lot of the mazes seemed to lack actors—not something you would expect, the Friday before Halloween. Second, the actual acting “talent” just wasn’t really up to par with years in the past. But as I said, despite the fact that everything seemed to play against us, as we made some bad choices as to how to hit the park, I’m definitely glad I went!...even if only for an Xcelerator fix.

 

 

 

Welp folks, that should just about do it. We’re almost there! Just two more parks!

 

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, and of course, praise!

 

Thanks again!

 

-Jahan

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^Yeah, I was at Knott's on Scion Night and it was the same way... I'm just glad that Xcelerator ties with Tatsu for my favorite coaster, or I wouldn't have waited!

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At Knotts the monsters are called Talent, not Scare Actors. Please give us the credit for it since we did start the whole halloween theme park thing.

 

Hmmm..Im not all too sure WHAT to think of this reply...

 

Scare Actors or "Talents" It really doesnt matter. Jahan did put in a good word for you guys and said you were short handed. Thats all! He gave you guys "credit"!

 

-Ryan "Nice PTR Jahan!" King

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