fantastic trip report. . . I dunno about that 5:30 am wake up time, but I hope by the time I eventually make it to either Disney Park, they will simply have the standby lines open, and I won't have to mess with boarding groups.
meantime, I would head to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railways
There's SO much new at Orlando Disney Parks. . I haven't been since before 7 Dwarves opened. . so when I eventually make it back (hopefully in 2021), gonna need at least a full week.
Thanks! I had no issue getting up early since I could comfortably be in the park to go for a boarding pass and be at the front of Slinky's queue. I'm hoping Rise is on standby the next time I visit so I'm not limited to just one ride per day.
And on this dark day when Tom Brady announces he's leaving the Patriots, let's drown my sorrows away at Blizzard Beach.
70 degrees can mean a lot of different things- an acute angle, the max angle of descent on Balder, or the point at which Floridians reach for their winter coats.
But I come from a land where Patriots fans go bare chested in sub-freezing conditions to show off their beer bellies and stupidity. So naturally, I reached for my bathing suit.
Finding a suitable water park was an issue. Typhoon Lagoon was closed for refurbishment. Aquatica was closed due to weather. Volcano Bay was open…but the water coaster was closed. So that left Blizzard Beach, which was also closed…but only on two of my three days. So I visited on the third day. And it was a Ghost Town.
I felt at home with the snow.
Calling Blizzard Beach a ghost town would have been an understatement.
My first and only visit to Blizzard Beach had been back in 2008. And I remember being blown away by the park. I never thought I’d find a better water park. And that was true for 11 years until I went to Dubai.
For one, it has a charming ski resort theme. I felt at home walking past the snowmen, icicles, and glaciers. But it also had an extremely strong slide lineup. Would that hold true?
Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle. But put me in summer and I'll be a — happy snowman!
I’ll start with the signature slide in Summit Plummet, one of the most iconic water slides in the world. That ski jump atop Mount Gushmore is the definition of picturesque.
Summit Plummet feels wildly out-of-place at a Disney park. It’s an -est. For the longest time, it was the tallest body slide. And you can feel every bit of that height as you are eye-level with Tower of Terror.
One of the tallest peaks in all of Florida.
If being at eye level with Tower of Terror before going down a water slide doesn't make you crap your pants, nothing will.
A lot of newer body slides have the drop pods, but there’s definitely something extra unnerving having to propel yourself down the near vertical slide. And for a split second, you feel yourself lift off the slide.
The biggest pitfall with these body slides is a rough landing, but I’m happy to say Summit Plummet is smooth. Maybe too smooth though since it knows how to rip bikini tops off women faster than a horny fraternity guy. 9 out of 10
Still one of the best water slides in the world.
At Mt. Olympus, you'd actually go off the ski jump.
That's a long way down!
Unfortunately Slush Gusher was closed, so I spent the next hour sampling the parks tube slides. The trickiest one to ride was Teamboat Springs. Most people on this site try to solicit families to borrow their kids to ride kiddie coasters. I just want to ride the dang family raft slide!
The hardest part was waiting for 3 other victims people to trek up the mountain. But eventually a group of 3 arrived and I joined them on their journey. Teamboat Springs is relatively slow, but it really climbs those walls and it has a few surprise dips at the end. 7 out of 10
The others were no issue as a single rider.
Runoff Rapids- This one is in a lonely back corner of the park, but it holds its speed better than most conventional tube slides. 7 out of 10
Downhill Double Dipper- This is a simple slide, but it has two sizable drops with some good zip. And as a bonus, I won both races…against no one. 8 out of 10
Toboggan Racers- This is your average mat racing slide. I also came in first place…out of exactly 1 person. 6 out of 10
Snow Stormers- I remembered this being bad back in 2008, but I couldn’t remember why. Now I remember, I felt like I was going to stall at several points on the ride. 3 out of 10
Checking out the lay of the land. But they're all bunny slopes compared to Summit Plummet.
Last but not least, I took a one-way trip atop Mount Gushmore on the Chairlift. If you want to maximize your slide time, I recommend walking. But if you want some nice views, take the Chairlift. 5 out of 10
And you don't have to walk to the top of the hill to slide back down. I love the Chairlift!
I spent roughly 1.5 hours at Blizzard Beach and lost count of how many slides I rode. As I said at the start, the park was a ghost town. Blizzard Beach may no longer be the world’s best water park, but it’s still arguably the best in the United States.
Blizzard Beach was closed on my last two trips to WDW but it should be open for my next trip to WDW when it reopens (hopefully by June). I've been to Volcano Bay which is my current favorite US water park (and second favorite overall after Xel Ha) so it will interesting to compare it to especially since I've been really wanting to try Blizzard Beach for a long time.
http://coaster-count.com/userinfo15854.xhtml and http://www.coastercounter.com/805Andrew (I don't count traveling fairs and casinos as parks, and I count Coney Island as one park)[url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/07c56b6e6c57795b5e848cab51dd406e.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/4bcb6d715cbe293b80fdfea5d0baf0b0.jpg[/img][/url]
The primary goal of my most recent Walt Disney World visit was to ride Rise of the Resistance. My secondary goal was to ride anything I had missed in my most recent visit.
Starting with Epcot, that meant I needed to reride the Seas with Nemo and Friends. I remember disliking the ride, but I couldn't remember why. And now I know why.
It has no plot, hardly any animatronics, and the video screens seem like a lazy overlay of a pre-existing attraction. The aquarium at the exit is far more enjoyable than the ride. 3 out of 10
The whole ride just feels sloppy in my opinion.
There was something weirdly satisfying seeing a manatee eat a hunk of lettuce.
Epcot is a park of retrofits. Another example of this is Journey into Imagination with Figment. I don't remember the original version, but this one is WAY better than that abomination that was missing Figment. 7 out of 10
If you love Figment, you'll love this ride. If you hate Figment, you're in for a bad time. A very bad time.
Oh crap. Literally.
Gran Fiesta Tour is yet another retrofit. This one feels just as sloppy as the Seas, but I like this one more. It's probably because I'm a Donald Duck fan and because El Rio del Tiempo was my most hated ride at Disney as a kid. That ride was incredibly boring. 5 out of 10
Universal would shed a tear at all the screens.
But at least it has these nice animatronics at the end for variety.
At the end of the night, I was torn whether or not to ride Frozen Ever After with minimal wait or watch the temporary Epcot Forever. And through a stroke of luck, I was able to experience both.
Frozen Ever After had a full queue, but it only took about 12 minutes without any FastPasses. I couldn't believe how fast that line moves without any FastPasses at play. And unlike the other overlays, this one didn't feel cheap and it is a dramatic improvement over the original. 9 out of 10
As for Epcot Forever, I wasn't a fan. The pyrotechnic kites were absolute eye candy, but the music selection was suspect. It was an interesting choice to have the music sung by a choir of kids and the "Whole New World" finale seemed out-of-place after a series of Epcot classics.
Let it go if you still prefer the Maelstrom. It's never coming back.
Flash forward to the next day and on the way to Magic Kingdom, I stopped at I made a pit stop at the Contemporary. It had been years since I had eaten a full-sized Mickey waffle and it was just as good as I remembered.
After a Rise of the Resistance boarding pass, this is probably the best way to start a day at Disney World.
At Magic Kingdom, my primary goal was to try the Hall of Presidents. Why? It's an attraction I have never gotten around to doing. I just had to see the Donald Trump animatronic that I had heard looked suspiciously like Hillary Clinton. I'm glad I did it, but it definitely wasn't as engaging as the park's other attractions.
One of these presidents is not like the other. Trump is wearing a tie.
Magic Kingdom was slammed. With Splash Mountain down for refurbishment, my only other goal was to get a ride on Space Mountain. I was prepared to wait if needed, but I was able to pull a mid-afternoon Fastpass. This allowed me to kill time watching the parade and getting photos with my two favorite chipmunks.
It's a sad day at the Magic Kingdom when Splash Mountain is closed.
But one day it'll splash again.
Dale wishes I was wearing his hat instead of Slinky's.
I love their western outfits.
I don't think I had seen the Festival of Fantasy Parade since 2015.
I'm going to have nightmares.
As for Space Mountain, it reinforced why the one at Magic Kingdom is my favorite. This one has some serious airtime and the inline seating allows for some tight maneuvers. 8.5 out of 10
I can't wait for Tron. Until then, I'll ride through space getting airtime.
I ended the day at Animal Kingdom. And the target here was the Festival of the Lion King. And it was every bit as good as I remembered. The music, choreography, and stunts make for a memorable show.
It's definitely one of the best live shows at any theme park.
I then entered into Pandora. I was able to grab a Na'vi River Journey FastPass to come face to face with the incredible Shaman of Songs animatronic again, but the highlight was undoubtedly Flight of Passage.
I hopped in line right before closing and waited approximately an hour for one of the best dark rides in the world. The visuals combined with the range of motion is incredibly immersive. 10 out of 10
I know the floating mountains get all the attention, but feast your eyes on this marvel...
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