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Photo TR: First Time to Orlando! WDW, Universal, Busch, More

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did you not ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster?


Yes I did ride RnR on our previous visit to the park a few days earlier when I went to buy my Elsa Magic Band of awesomeness! Honestly the ride was nothing special, it was about what I expected after having gone on the one in Paris. We only rode it once.

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So next up on the trip was the day I was most looking forward to, the day I had been waiting months for, the day I finally got to meet Elsa! Sadly my date with Elsa wasn't until the evening but all was not lost as we had reservations at Via Napoli!



First stop though was Mexico!


Im not going to lie I had no idea this ride even existed until we rode it.


and maybe that wasn't a bad thing because all I learnt was.......


That Mexicans are CANNIBALS!





After watching Mexican cannibals though it did make us hungry so it was time to head to Via Napoli for lunch!



and HOLY CRAP was this place amazing! As a very picky eater its not always easy for me to find places that I really love to eat at but Via Napoli is AMAZING! Seriously one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten and I mean look at the size of it!! If you are ever at Epcot you would actually be missing out if you didn't eat here!


Trivia question: How many woman/men get turned on by this photo? Post your answers below!


Test Track? Sure why not!


Here is another car that I created. My goal was to get a power rating of 100 by the end of my trip! Did I manage that? You will have to wait and find out!


This is Robb's creation! I think it may have been in an accident already!


As Garbles was down to visit and he though Eric Idle Moon was in this ride and the finale of the ride was you looking at the moon we took him back on Spaceship Moon so he could refresh his memory!


She's foxxxyyyyyyy


Oh god humanity why do you do this too us? These idiots kept standing up during the ride and just being dumb!


As I was meeting Elsa that night I had to visit a good old fashioned English pub to get some liquid courage before I met my woman!




After lunch at Epcot and a few rides it was time to head over to Magic Kingdom for not only my first visit to the park but more importantly my date with Elsa! Literally at this point I was close to exploding with excitement.



When you see this you know full well where you are!


This poor duck had all his water stolen from the moat so had to live in this drain.




First stop at MK was Space Mountain! And yes that is Garbles still trying to figure out what happens in Spaceship Earth!


Okay so as I have mentioned before my only Disney park before WDW was Disney Paris so my Space Mountain experience wasn't fantastic and I honestly wasn't expecting much from this one. Wow was I proved wrong! This coaster is something I just didn't expect from Disney. I mean don't get me wrong I expect awesome fun rides from Disney but this had forces and loads of airtime, neither of which I was expecting. This is NOTHING like the Paris Space Mountain because its SOOOOO much better and the way they just pump trains round it is phenomenal!



During my trip Splash Mountain was due to be down for refurbishment until a day or 2 before I left but........


In true Disney fashion it opened up early so that meant of course that.............






I was thinking to myself "Oh yeah I won't get that wet its Disney after all"


And yet again they proved me wrong! I got SOAKED!


We can rebuild him! We have the technology! I present to you "The Million Dollar Bunny"


Ohhhhh spooky Haunted Mansion!


For those who have never been on this ride I'm sure you are thinking "Is this ride actually scary?"


Well watch this and find out for yourself!





This would totally be Elsa if I stood her up but I would NEVER do that!




Can I just say all I learnt from this is Morgan Freeman will narrate ANYTHING!


One more stop before my date with Elsa and that was the castle projection show!


Even the Chesire Cat is excited for me tonight!


Hmmmm Tanlged scene? Does this signal that I need to take a poop in the hub?


Oh great even the projection show is teasing me now knowing that my excitement level is so high!


Oh god now I'm nervous this is not good!





On a side note and before I get to the best part of this update I will say I absolutely LOVED this show! Its so fantastically well done and feature so many movies yet they all flow together so well. I would assume with how easy it must be for them to add new scenes to the show that a Big Hero 6 section is in the works and who knows maybe even a Frozen Fever section!



So after all my Disney fun for the day it was now time for my moment! The moment I had been waiting so very long for!


First off we met Anna though and she totally called me out on the fact that I had started giggling like a little school girl! Then not only that she then told me I had a frozen heart and I had to stand at the end. Robb didn't mind this because it meant he could have Anna all to himself and I didn't mind because I was there for her sister.






Oh thank god panic over we made up and all is good between us again! Look how happy we both are together! If anyone needs me I will be moving to Arendelle asap!


Im sure someone will bring this up so I'm going to mention it now. Yes my shorts are wet and yes this was caused by the excitement of getting to meet Elsa!


Also isn't it interesting that when we are in a room with a super hot girl that Garbles puts his arm around a guy...................


WOW after all that excitement I think I needed a trip here to clean up!


As we left I got to see the greatest electrical based water parade in the history of the world featuring electric octopus!


Overall its safe to say I LOVED Magic Kingdom and I loved Elsa even more than I did before! I really had such a fantastic day and I hadn't even covered all of Magic Kingdom yet! I did have to endure Hall of Presidents though TOM! but as my first taste of MK I don't think I could have asked for anything better. Coming up in my next update you will see my day of many kingdoms where I got to go to Animal Kingdom and then come back to Magic Kingdom!

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I saw that lagoon show for the first time last month, myself. Odd that I've been to WDW a number of times over the years, but still hadn't seen that weird holdover from the 1970s.

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I'm so insanely jealous of this picture. I was about to add a "you have no idea" at the end of my statement, but judging from your trip report I think you might be an even bigger Elsa fanboy than me, and that say a lot. Good thing that this time in 9 weeks I'll be on a plane across the Atlantic ocean...


I also missed Celebrate the Magic during my last visit, so really looking forward to see it in person. I have watched the whole show on youtube, and I must say it looks absolutely fantastic!



Edited by viking86
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^Ah, but did he endure the American Adventure at Epcot (which does have a lot of cool animatronics)?


Unfortunately, this was both the beginning and the end of the "Craig takes Tom's ride suggestions" portion of the trip report.

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I also missed Celebrate the Magic during my last visit, so really looking forward to see it in person. I have watched the whole show on youtube, and I must say it looks absolutely fantastic!

CtM is seriously one of my favorite things on property! It's just such a cool show from a technical stance, it's entertaining, and it includes clips from some of my favorite Disney films. I also just love how accessible it is. We have literally walked up *seconds* before the show started, and stood right in front of the castle!


Just make sure you always see the show AFTER Wishes, otherwise it can be a nightmare with the crowd who are really there to see the Fireworks.

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I'm so insanely jealous of this picture. I was about to add a "you have no idea" at the end of my statement, but judging from your trip report I think you might be an even bigger Elsa fanboy than me, and that say a lot.


I don't think there is any might about it. Robb will back me up on this, when he asked me what I wanted to make sure I deffinetly did when we went to Disney the ONLY thing I said was meet Elsa! Literally would have been devastated if I had not seen her!


^Ah, but did he endure the American Adventure at Epcot (which does have a lot of cool animatronics)?


Unfortunately, this was both the beginning and the end of the "Craig takes Tom's ride suggestions" portion of the trip report.


Craig did not endure American Adventure or Ellen's Lesbian Hour and has NO REGRETS about missing either of them! Tom is correct that is the first and last time "Craig takes Tom's ride suggestions" possibly for the rest of my life!


It's just such a cool show from a technical stance, it's entertaining, and it includes clips from some of my favorite Disney films.


Yeah the show is amazing from a technical stance for sure and definitely cements my thought that Disney have a philosophy of "If we can projection map onto something we will!"

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I thought all first-time Epcot visitors were required to take in Ellen's Energy Adventure due to Florida state law. You may be an international fugitive!

We nearly did it several times, but every time there just ended up being some excuse why we couldn't. Next time...for SURE!

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Next up was my final new park of the trip, Animal Kingdom. All I knew about Animal Kingdom before my visit was Expedition Everest was there, I literally knew nothing else. That being said as I discovered there actually isn't much else there anyway but I will elaborate on that later on. Now on to the pictures!



Welcome to Disney's Zoo is pretty much what this should say.


First stop was of course Expedition Everest.


Damn the track is out, ride over! No wait, what that? Is it bird on a stick? Nope he was broken........


I took so many pictures like this that no one has ever taken before EVER! Im so freaking creative and amazing its unbelievable.........


Okay so Expedition Everest is a REALLY good ride and as per usual has fantastic theming. I don't know what the Yeti was like when he worked but I thought disco Yeti was awesome! The biggest problem with this ride is very simple and its the fact that its in Animal Kingdom. It is without doubt the STAR attraction of the park but it really is in its own league there, there was nothing even close to the level of this attraction on park which is such a shame.



Would you trust me with the time? Apparently Disney would!


Not our dino!


So Dinosaur was really dumb but awesome at the same time. For a ride that must be at least 70% darkness its a lot of fun with the god awful commentary.



This is an instant look of fear once she realised me and Robb were in the truck!




This is a Giraffe, his name is Jolly Tall!




Ewwwww they are naked!


This is the best name for a pizza restaurant ever!


And this is what you will end up doing after eating the pizza. You will create your very own Turd Frog!


If you don't fancy pizza you can always have something off the bird menu!


So after the safari we were pretty much done with Animal Kingdom. Honestly I wasn't overly impressed with Animal Kingdom. To me it really didn't seem like there was a lot to do at the park and we were pretty much done in 2 and half hour. 45 mins of that was queueing for the safari! Im sure if you wanted to do everything at the park you could spend a decent amount of time there but I don't think even if you wanted to it would be possible to spend an entire day at the park. Hopefully Avatar Land will help with that some what and the park will continue to grow, but until that point I will say Animal Kingdom was my least favourite of the Disney parks. It is still better than 74.6% of other parks though!


After Animal Kingdom we had a bit of rest then we took a trip back to Magic Kingdom!



"I hear those things are awfully loud! It glides as softly as a cloud!"


It is impossible to not have a smile on your face when you see this view.


Do you think Mickey gets his fan mail via e-mail now?


So we did go and meet talking Mickey and it really was very un nerving. There was something really off putting about it and I can't quite put my finger on what it was. Oh yeah its probably the fact HE WAS TALKING!



After experiencing the progression of meet and greets it made sense to next experience the Carousel of Progress!


And apparently in the future your Grandma will kick your arse at video games!


I could build a SPACESHIP!


Do you prefer the blue tunnel or the red tunnel?


I have been on the Paris version of Pirates pre Jack Sparrow and now this version with Jack Sparrow. I prefer the original. Thats all I need to say on the matter really.


Yes this happened in my pants when I met Elsa!


Don't you just love entering something pink!


Im sorry but Ariel in Once Upon a Time is WAY hotter!


Who wants a big Ursula hug?


OMG Ariel gets naked a Disney World!


Hi Ho, Hi Ho its off to ride we go!


What do you mean you gave Ursula a hug but not me?


So I LOVED Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Not only is it a great ride but it is stunning to look at. The mountain is a thing of beauty and the first time I walked up to it I didn't even realise it was a ride I thought it was just an amazing piece of landscaping! The swinging feature on the train is amazing because the ride doesn't even need it but it really does add to the experience more than you would think. I will say to anyone who wants to ride make sure you FP+ this ride though because even though they pump trains through it gets big queues and to be honest they are well deserved because its a great ride!



Check me out I got knighted in America! Is it because I'm English?


Belle was STUNNING! When she walked out the door I'm pretty sure I needed to pick my jaw up from the floor!


Please please don't tell Elsa about this!


I had to take a trip to Tangled Toilets after meeting Belle to wash the shame I felt after betraying Elsa!


"On guard touché!" "Oh that is so cliche!"




This scene actually brought back a lot of memories from my childhood! Not because id ever been on the ride before but because something very similar to this was in Wicked Witches Haunt at Thorpe Park!


"Why have a ballroom with no balls?"


Everyone love fireworks don't they!


And Disney know this cause holy crap did they launch a lot of them!


I had never personally seen anything close to the amount of fireworks Disney lets off. It is truly impressive to see in person!


This is Robb, Me and Tom in front of Big Thunder Mountain earlier in the day when we rode.


Doesn't the ride look so innocent!


Well we thought so, so why not put 3 people in a row, that will be fine right?


Maybe not! (Tom seems to enjoy this man bonding experience more than me and Robb!)


Another successfully Disney day complete which included stunning woman and man bonding. Is that common theme for a Disney day?


So yet again I had an amazing day at Disney and I saw a turd frog! Not something I ever expected to say happened in my life! Sadly this day signalled the beginning of the end of my Orlando adventure so the next update will cover my last days in America so stay tuned to see what mayhem I could cause before I left!

Edited by robbalvey
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Everest aside, Animal Kingdom's biggest asset is its scenic beauty. It also has Yak and Yeti. That being said, we didn't visit it when I was there last February, and that was OK with me.


I have yet to do the "talking MIckey" meet and greet. Maybe next time. And how much will you pay me not to rat you out to Elsa?

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Great pictures! Every update from you is making me more and more excited for my return trip to Orlando in May. Love the fact that you mention Elsa three times despite not having anything Frozen related in this update. Oh and I'm sorry, but I will sooooo have to tell Elsa about your affair with Belle so that I can have her for my own...



I agree that Animal Kingdom needs more things to do. We spent probably 3/4 of a day at the park, but we did everything at a relaxing pace, we watched "Festival of the Lion King", we did the safari and we had dinner at the amazing Yak & Yeti restaurant. Oh, and Everest broke down while we were in line for our first ride so we had to come back later to ride. That also added some time to our visit. We also spent some time just strolling around looking at the various animal. It sure is a stunningly beautiful park, and I'm excited to see how the new Avatarland will turn out.

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Loving the honesty in your reports Craig, a few months after coming back I keep getting memory loss and think Orlando is the best place on earth, like Lourdes for us TPR'ers, but reading your experiences reminds me that it's maybe not all great but with quite a "great" price tag, still astounded after all these years at just how little things have changed at WDW in comparison to Universal.

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^Well heres the thing its not like I'm purposely trying to be negative because I had an absolutely fantastic time in Orlando and would love to go back, but I personally believe that there is no such thing as the perfect park and when reviewing a park its always good to focus on both the good and bad parts of your experience. I will sum up over all what I thought in the next update but the point still stands that all Disney parks are better than almost every other park I've been too.

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...but I personally believe that there is no such thing as the perfect park...


Uh, Tokyo Disney Sea?


Great TR of your first time trip to WDW and Orlando, Craig.

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still astounded after all these years at just how little things have changed at WDW in comparison to Universal.

You have to understand the type of resort Walt Disney World is. They cater much more to "first time visitors" or "first time in forever" visitors than even Universal does. Your average WDW visitor either hasn't ever been to the parks before, or hasn't been in something like ten years. So they don't need to constantly be adding things. You also have to remember that the vast majority of your Orlando tourists are here because of Disney. That is the draw and the main reason they are here. Universal on the other hand, as much as we like their parks and the resort, they ARE people's 2nd choice of parks behind WDW. So they NEED to constantly be doing things to attract people to their resort. They also get a lot more of a locals crowd since their annual passes are much cheaper (about half the price of Disney).


In the last ten years each of the parks has received a MAJOR new attraction - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin', Toy Story Mania, Expedition Everest, and that doesn't even include all the minor improvements and upgrades that have happened all around the parks. There has actually been a LOT that's happened at WDW in the last decade.


So I think it's a very incorrect and unfair statement to say "how little things have changed at WDW compared to Universal." I think you simply just don't understand the demographic or the needs of the resort.

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