Great tr. I miss Florida already, can't believe it's been almost a year since I last went. I didn't visit Disney World on my last trip, however but I really need to go back. I bet so much has changed since the last time I was there (1999).
Thank you TPR for putting my last report on the front page again and to everyone out there following along - it's been a long journey, but we're not finished yet!
After separate days at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, our goal was to do the other two Walt Disney World Resort parks in one day. We felt this was a realistic goal judging by the number of things we wanted to do at each park, and by and large we felt successful.
First of all we knew Disney's Animal Kingdom closed earlier than the other parks, so we went there first. None of us are really 'animal people' but we enjoyed what the park had on offer, with Expedition Everest the stand-out attraction. The themeing is extraordinary, and it definitely became my favourite mine train-style coaster, even though the Yeti ain't what he used to be.
I have to agree with others out there mystified by Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama area. I read the backstory and 'get' what the park was trying to do but it just looks run down and very far below what I'd expect from Disney's Imagineers. On top of that Primeval Whirl is just two knock-off Reverchon spinning wild mouse coasters side by side. But of course I will take two new credits any day!
We found Dinosaur pretty fun and, despite the chance of a soaking, gave Kali River Rapids a spin. All in all we enjoyed our brief sampling of Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's a stunning park and I'm sure Avatar: World of Pandora will be a great fit for Disney.
Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios we found plenty to occupy the rest of our day. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was absolutely fantastic, the Great Movie Ride was a nice homage to (mostly non-Disney) classics, and I was shocked at the smoothness of Vekoma's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. It was a fun ride but definitely less intense than I was expecting from a coaster with three inversions. We also did Star Tours but it mustn't have left much of an impression on me - I was surprised to find photos of it!
The park's Hollywood architectural reacreations are well done but overall Disney's Hollywood Studios didn't feel very 'Disney' to me. I guess having a park that is basically a number of 'streets' with few trees and little shade took something away from the experience for me.
We rounded out our day at Downtown Disney which was absolutely packed. The place is consumer-central and we were ready to do a little shopping of our own but were quite disappointed at the stores, especially World of Disney, and ended up buying very little. Maybe it was too hot and crowded for us. Fortunately we found a nice little bar by the waterfront and knocked back a few margaritas before dining at Rainforest Cafe, a noisy but unique experience! There is nothing whatsoever like it back home.
We were up bright and early to hustle another day outta Disney but with more bang for our buck - park hopping across two destinations!
First up was Disney's Animal Kingdom and we were struck by the beauty of the park. Here's the amazing, sculpted Tree of Life.
The details on the tree were really extraordinary.
Our first port of call was Expedition Everest. I've been fascinated by this coaster for a long time thanks to TPR, e.g. I made sure I looked out for 'bird on a stick'.
The queue was almost as amazing as the ride.
Lots of details about the Yeti legend and artifacts to see.
Boarding area. The train is really quite long - and, as always, Disney pumped the crowds through.
I was excited to ride!
The ride did not disappoint, even though I could neither see nor hear 'bird on a stick'!
Next up was the weird DinoLand U.S.A. area.
I thought the ride was quite enjoyable - it 'did the trick'.
Moving on to Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama...
Hmm. I 'get' what they were trying to do in terms of the theme, but really...
I mean, look at this photo - cracked pavement, cheap caravan, drab carnival atmosphere. Six Flags could do a better job!
But I will never sneeze at not one, but two new credits!
Primeval Whirl experienced a couple of break-downs while we waited but we managed to get on both rides.
I think Disney need to re-imagineer this corner of the park.
Onwards to a nicer locale!
I liked how the park incorporated animal life into each themed area.
There was also a bit of 'culture'.
Beautiful buildings fitting the theme.
We lined up for Kali River Rapids.
Another amazing Disney queue.
The ride was interesting - especially the bit with the illegal logging operation!
It wasn't as long as I was expecting though.
But definitely wet! My TPR poncho blew up like a dress and barely saved the day!
Also - needless to say - the themeing was second to none.
We had an enjoyable visit to Animal Kingdom. I'll definitely try the jungle trek and safari next time I'm here.
We scheduled more time for ourselves over at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The park was striking.
But it didn't feel very 'Disney' to me.
This was to be my second Tower of Terror after California's version.
I'm not sure I noticed that it was better than it's Californian counterpart, but it definitely packed a punch!
Some details inside.
The attention to detail really adds to the experience (for me).
Moving on down another 'street' at the park.
The Hollywood recreations certainly looked authentic to me.
The Chinese Theatre was particularly impressive.
Inside looked equally amazing.
The theatre housed the Great Movie Ride. I liked the queue through the cinema.
The ride employed a "traveling theatre"-style ride system much like Universe of Energy (but smaller).
Singin' in the Rain - my favourite musical!
Mary Poppins was followed by my favourite part of the ride - dedicated to gangsters and The Public Enemy. But my photos sucked. So here's John Wayne.
At certain points on the ride we stopped for a little live action.
The Alien section got me good!
After a few more stops we found ourselves in Munchkinland!
Unsurprising to many, I'm a fan of The Wizard of Oz!
The giant gift store at the exit had a lot of pretty good movie merch.
We stopped for a much-needed iced coffee. Did I mention it was another really hot Florida day?
The Streets of America section of the park.
San Francisco with...earthquake damage?
We randomly found an open door leading to nowhere!
This just doesn't scream 'Disney' to me...
So apparently we rode Star Tours! I like the look of the Ewok Village entrance. I don't care what anyone says, when I was a kid the Ewoks were pretty awesome to me.
But I'm not a big enough nerd to tell you what this thing is called.
The 3D motion simulator vehicle.
Hey girl, hey!
The Sunset Boulevard area is home to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.
What a shame Aerosmith suck.
The ride vehicles were very cool and the ride a lot of fun. Just not as intense as I was expecting!
The Florida skies opened on schedule for another stormy afternoon downpour, which was just in time for Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.
I'm not usually a 'show person' but this was nicely done. Which takes us to the end of our enjoyable Disney park-hopping day!
Before I go on can I just say how incredibly cheap we found food in the United States to be. Even wine!
After a little supermarket shopping it was time to hit up Downtown Disney.
Which left us a bit exhausted after an already busy day.
Andrew's look kind of says it all.
But we found a nice spot to knock back a few margaritas.
World of Disney was too busy and a kind of disappointing...
When we emerged it was dinner time.
Rainforest Cafe was loud in more ways than one.
I have no caption for this photo!
Those are the only real animals you'll see...
Everything else is animatronic.
A LOUD dining experience, for sure - but in a good way, because it was fun!
I always enjoy the Florida tower more because of one reason. It moves forward. Otherwise the rides are very similar. I totally agree on the Dino area of Aninal Kingdom. I get what they are trying to do but it still doesn't feel right. Great photos.
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.