Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Day 1, Part 2: Disney's Hollywood Studios
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Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby jlp94 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:27 am

Welcome to my first ever photo trip report on Theme Park Review!

So yesterday, after 9 days away from home in the Southeast, I returned to Illinois exhausted but ready to do this for all of you. I'll try to complete this as quick as possible because I loved this trip dearly and I hope you love this trip report just as much.

25 new coaster credits, 5 new parks, it was a great way to start off my 2019 coaster season!

Day 0: Arrival (see below)
Day 1: Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios (pg. 2)

Coming soon
Day 2: Epcot
Day 3: Magic Kingdom
Day 4: Universal Studios Orlando and Fun Spot Orlando
Day 5: SeaWorld Orlando and Fun Spot Kissimmee
Day 6: Busch Gardens Tampa
Day 7: Six Flags Over Georgia and Fun Spot Atlanta

So let's get started.

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Day 0: Saturday, March 23 - Travel Day

For those of you who weren't following along with my planning thread for this trip, the basis of this entire adventure and why we planned the extra parks is because my school's band program was going down to Disney and Universal for Spring Break (I play trumpet because I know someone is going to ask). We rented out a bus from Entourage Management for transportation, and we were due for departure from the high school from 7:15 AM. So it was a super early morning for me and my sister (who is a senior) but we packed up, met up with our hotel groups, and left fairly quickly.

It was a pretty uneventful day, but the bus ride was fun. We played some games, watched some movies, listened to some music, and saw some random sights at out stops, including the Whitehaven Welcome Center in Kentucky, driving through the city of Nashville, etc. The bus drove through the night; our last rest stop for the day was just outside of Chattanooga. The entire bus, including myself, slept through Georgia and most of Florida before waking up around 6:00 AM to the sights of Volcano Bay and White Lightning. It was a great wake-up call, especially when we drove by some other sights like the record-breaking flats (Slingshot, Starflyer, etc.), Mako and more.

For those of you who didn't see my thread (as I said earlier), our hotel was in Kissimmee literally right across the street from Fun Spot.
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Once we got to the Comfort Suites, the group leaders and chaperones told us we had two and a half hours to shower, get ready and packed, and eat breakfast before departure to Animal Kingdom.

Up next... Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Last edited by jlp94 on Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:51 am.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby Dombot » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:42 am

Geez, your hotel's close to Fun Spot. I would abuse Mine Blower every night if I was staying there. :lol:

Great start! Looking forward to the full reports.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby coasterbill » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:51 am

I'm looking forward to this.

How was the hotel? On one hand, staying across the street from Old Town sounds like a bad idea but it's also a Comfort Suites and those are always good so I was always curious about this place. :lol:

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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:34 pm

That is an amazing location for a hotel...filing away for later.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:35 am

Dombot wrote:Geez, your hotel's close to Fun Spot. I would abuse Mine Blower every night if I was staying there. :lol:

Great start! Looking forward to the full reports.


I've thought the same thing when I saw that hotel. But usually I just stay at the Econo Lodge another 2-3 miles down the road.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby jlp94 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Edit - This wasn't supposed to come out yet and the formatting is all off. Enjoy it as it is now but I'm still fixing the formatting and attachments.

Dombot wrote:Geez, your hotel's close to Fun Spot. I would abuse Mine Blower every night if I was staying there. :lol:

Great start! Looking forward to the full reports.

Thank you! I would've used that opportunity, and everyone with the band program noticed it and wanted to as well, but the main band director told us that for the purpose of keeping track of everyone, we weren't allowed to leave the hotel in the evenings. :( But as you can see in the main post, I rode it on Thursday.
coasterbill wrote:I'm looking forward to this.

How was the hotel? On one hand, staying across the street from Old Town sounds like a bad idea but it's also a Comfort Suites and those are always good so I was always curious about this place. :lol:

It was pretty good for a hotel in the Kissimmee area. There were some problems like the elevators and toilets, but otherwise it wasn't bad place to stay for a few nights.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Day 1: Sunday, March 24th (Part 1) - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Starting early in the morning with the arrival at the hotel, our couple of hours to get ready for the day went by before I knew it, and soon enough, we were loading up the bus at 9:00 AM, with wonder in our eyes ready to take on the happiest place on earth!

A couple of you asked about Fun Spot Kissimmee, and while I didn't visit the park on school time, I grabbed a couple shots of Mine Blower in the early morning.
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Mine Blower from the hotel lobby

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Love the layout! Thursday will be so much fun once I ride this!

Finally, we were on property, and for the first time since my only other visit to Florida in 2015, I was back in Disney World. I love Disney parks as many other enthusiasts here do, and of course nostalgia reasons as I just mentioned made my heart skip a beat or two as I approached the Animal Kingdom parking gate.
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Approaching a Disney parking gate for the first time is something that needs to be experienced to describe

Once we parked, unloaded and met up with our groups for the day, we took a look at wait times to see if Avatar: Flight of Passage was plausible, but an already 170 minute posting turnt off the hype for the ride for my entire group. As much as I hate to say it, I was in a group of non-enthusiasts (it is a pretty uncommon hobby, as you all know) so they didn't quite get why riding this meant so much to me, and unfortunately, majority rules removed it from our plan for the rest of the day. In hindsight it makes sense, as there was more we wanted to do at Hollywood Studios so we planned to have more time there, but it does sort of hurt that I need to wait until my next Florida trip (whenever that may be) to ride it. :(
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Let's still make the best of our day here at Animal Kingdom, even if it sacrifices Avatar.

Once we got to the park entrance, the next piece of fun began. Actually getting into the park.

Luckily, this problem was only experienced on the first day of the trip at Animal Kingdom, but bag check, security, and ticket scanning was extremely chaotic and disorganized. Bag check had an excuse as they were a bit understaffed and there were some families with complaining children that slowed down the process, so it isn't something I can entirely hold against the park, but it was frustrating. It took about 20 minutes just for me to get through between the time I got in line and the time I got to metal detectors.

After a while, we did all make it into the park, but seeing a bunch of other familiar faces from our school enter the park a lot quicker than we did was still painful to watch. Once we got into the park, however, like all Disney parks do, our mood changed and we were enamored in the natural beauty of Disney park theming.
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This tree... thing was pretty cool. A little creepy, especially for the children, but it's cool!

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Oh, Tree of Life... is it in your power to remove groups of people from your almighty park so my friends and I can ride Flight of Passage?

With Avatar off the table, our first order of business was Expedition Everest.
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I wonder how Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong Disney feel about this area?

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God, I love this park's atmosphere. It's so beautiful and relaxing and peaceful.

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"Shh... I know you're frustrated from bag check, but please don't tell my boss I'm not at Kilimanjaro Safaris. I just need a break."

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Sorry for upsetting you, Kings Dominion fanboys... but this trip report needs the obligatory mountain photo.

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All right, let's actually ride something now!

Although Everest was posted at 45 minutes, it's better than three hours for Avatar.
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Everest has one of the best themed queue lines you can find for a roller coaster.

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There were also a surprising amount of people from my school in line for Everest, so it was cool getting to see so many of them ride.

So yeah. Everest really is a great ride in my opinion. The coaster portion it is pretty decent, but by ride I mean the full experience, meaning the moment you step in the queue through the moment you exit the gift shop. It tells a story about, well, an expedition to Mount Everest and the way the concept of the ride was executed is excellent. 4 out 5 stars for me.
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Okay, back to your regularly scheduled Disney theming goodness.

There wasn't a whole lot that my group really wanted to do before park hopping, and two of those rides were both in Dino-Rama, so that was our next stop.
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"I've been posing as the entrance for this annoying area for years..."

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Primeval Whirl broke down when we got there so we moved on. I needed both credits though so I was hoping that it would get fixed up soon.

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Yay! First Intamin ride of the trip!

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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:04 pm

Nice report! It's a bummer you couldn't get on Flight of Passage, but that would have been a lot of time for one attraction when you could see the rest of the park. If you can't get a Fastpass, getting in line right at closing is the way to go.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby Director_Guy » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:29 am

Love the trip so far! So, Expedition Everest was your first Disney attraction ever? That's a good one to start with! Sorry about your Blight of Passage. But, hey, another reason to return, right?

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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby jlp94 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:38 pm

^ This was my second ever visit to Disney, my first being in 2015.
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Re: Photo TR: Josh Takes On Florida 2019

Postby RoxasBraveheart » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:23 pm

Hey, I know how it is with non-enthusiasts. All of my trips are with my family and they are the most GP of the most GP. Because of this, I'm generally stuck not getting all the credits for said park because "oh, let's ride this now" or "oh, let's go spend $50 on breakfast when Avatar's line is only 45 minutes". I feel you way too much.
Keep on thrilling, TPR! :)
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