UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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James6
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:56 pm

Ah, I can see why you hated Wet N Wild if it was busy, I was there last year and whilst it was awesome, queueing would ruin it and I was lucky that it was dead when I went.


More awesome instalments to the TR though :D

I've been away a few days so missed commenting on your BGA update and can't believe you thought Montu was better than Nemesis!

Montu was slow, over-trimmed, forceless and in terms of coaster riding "boring" it was just one un-neededly drawn out element after another IMO :P Sorry :lol:

Glad you enjoyed it though.

And about Sheikra, I actually had a similar opinion at first, but I found out it warmed up a LOT as the day goes on and as it opened late, you wouldn't have experienced it, at night it does actually become quite forceful and a great ride :D

Seriously loving the report and is making me so excited for next year!
If you go down to the Towers today, you\'d better ride Th13teen. :P
 
Anthony
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:36 pm

I've had to queue a little while at waterparks before, but I can't imagine queueing 90 minutes or 2 hours for a waterslide, that is ridiculous!

Good report though, thanks for sharing.
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:51 am

Thank you once again for your comments! Yes, James, I'm sure had I hit Wet 'n' Wild on a quiet today it would have been... alright. Much like Thorpe on a quiet day. :)

Anyway, I only have 4 days worth of trip reports left, I'm afraid, so without further ado I present Day 10; Animal Kingdom including a Fantasmic related cameo at Hollywood Studios!


Thursday 30th July
Usual routine... usual routine... Morwenna calls up, asks whether I have any publicity stunts up my sleeve, I jokily respond, how about changing Th13teen to 4TEEN? What have I done? :P

Only kidding, I'll be all serious now. We arrived at the park for 9:40AM, and to our surprise we were let into the park at 9:45. But of course, Disney open early? That's not going to happen in a million years, is it? Their system was better though, everyone heads to their first ride of the day and waits outside it for opening. Another stroke of luck for us was that only 3 of us wanted to ride Primeval Whirl, so the group split. 3 to Expedition Everest, 3 to Primeval Whirl.

Animal Kingdom entrance.
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We were the first people to arrive at Primeval Whirl, and had to wait 10 minutes for opening. By then 1 more group of people had joined the queue, evidently everybody on park had headed to Expedition Everest first. When the ride opened we walked straight onto Primeval Whirl, and left the station. However, we still had to wait in a long queue of cars at the bottom of the lift hill. :roll: About 5 minutes later we began the ascent, the theming was tacky, as it seemed to be in the area generally.

The coaster was very, very poor. It didn't spin, it wasn't fast, and it certainly lacked the kind of theming that you come to expect from Disney. It gave me a bruised knee too. We did go around again though, as it was still walk-on when we got off a we received a text that they were in a queue fore Everest fastpasses. :P 4/10.

Dinoland USA, cheap but cheerful.
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Photos of Primeval Whirl
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Next we headed over to Dinosaur, which had literally just broken down and therefore people were leaving the queue, so we instead headed over to Kali River Rapids, which had also just broken down. :roll: Thorpe Park style reliability? Yes. We were genuinely creating a Thorpe Park 2008 opening style video at this point. :lol:

Everything's closed... look at all the disappointed people... :P
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So, as we were nearby we decided to hit our first animal exhibits of the day, on a Jungle Trek type thing.
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It was very good, we actually ended up spending 45 minutes or so in there, animals included alligators, tigers & bats, as pictured above. Most of the animals seemed to have more than enough space too, which is always nice to see. :) The theming on the trek was excellent too, with caveman style drawings consistent across the stone walls in between exhibits. There was also a bird exhibit near the end.
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As we came out of the ride we noticed that the Kali River Rapids had just re-opened, with a 15 minute queue. And as we wanted to stay in the area for 20 more minutes until our Expedition Everest fastpasses were valid, we decided to ride it. Now, there are 2 reasons as to why I wouldn't have queued up for this ride for much longer than I did. The first being that the rooms in the queue lines were really stuffy, so much so that it was a struggle to breathe, and second would be that the ride itself wasn't too great.

The theming during the first half of the ride is top notch, but there are no rapids at all, then you drop down a massive hill, and get a bit wet. After the hill, there are no rapids, nor is there any theming. :roll: Another half-hearted Disney ride.

Photos of Kali River Rapids.
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An oddity, the lift hill is at the start of these rapids!
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Our Expedition Everest fastpasses were now valid, with only 5 of us going on I got 2 rides. :D The queue line is well themed, and fast moving, we waited only 10 minutes in the Fastpass queue (main queue wasn't actually too bad at 35). The coaster is fantastic, definitely my favourite in any Disney park. The coaster itself isn't too much special, sure it is quite high and features a backwards section, but it's the theming that really makes the ride.

Turn the Florida temperature down by a notch or 10, and you'd genuinely feel as if you were exploring Everest, that's how good the theming is. After a short lift hill followed by drop and helix, you climb the main lift hill. Meander about at the top of Everest for a bit, and then come to a ripped up track section, you drop backwards, into a cave, where a Yeti's shadow appears on the wall, he starts to rip up the track, and you drop forwards through a tunnel and out the mountain, but after a quick helix outside you head back into the finale, zooming towards the Yeti before at the last minute you drop down underneath it, back out the mountain and into the station. World class! 10/10. After I had ridden again we obtained a second set of Fastpasses for it, for between 1pm and 2pm.

Photos of Expedition Everest.
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We now headed back to Dinoland to see if Dinosaur was open, it was, with a 15 minute queue. I remembered it being my favourite Disney ride from our trip in 2005, I wasn't letdown. The queue line is good, themed as a dinosaur museum, with various artifacts on display. The ride itself is similar to Spiderman, but not in 4D, a motion simulator on a track.

You've been transported back in time to just before the asteroid strikes to try and save the Iguanadon from extinction, but things of course don't go to plan. After encounters with various carnivores, including a T-Rex, you escape with less than 1 second before the asteroid hits, with the Iguanadon safely on board. It is a lot scarier than it sounds, and I was really surprised that I ride this scary managed to find it's way into a Disney park, a definite 10/10.

Photos of Dinosaur (queue-line only unfortunately).
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We now decided to see Finding Nemo: The Musical as it was about to start. It was good, but man did it drag. A 45 minute performance which told the entire Finding Nemo story, every scene of it. The people holding up the characters were clearly visible too, and whilst they could sing well, they couldn't act. All-in-all, it was average, woulds have been better had it only lasted 20 minutes, to be honest. ;) 6/10.
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Time for another trail before Expedition Everest again. This time a monkey-based one.
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It was a huge let-down after the first trail we did, though we still spent 30 minutes in there. Not as many animals in there, the animals didn't seem as happy, and the theming wasn't even in the same league.

We then headed back to Everest and after re-riding (twice again in my case :P ) we tried to find somewhere to eat. But before that we grabbed some fastpasses for the Safari, wondering how thick people were, queue time 40 minutes, fastpass return time in 45? Surely a no-brainer? :P

After eating lunch, we hit the Safari.
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Wow! 10/10. The Safari was fantastic, we queued 10 minutes in the Fastpass queue. The cars are similar to those on Rhino Rally... wait, what am I saying? This Safari, like Animal Kingdom is in general, is just one big Busch Gardens rip-off. Ah well, anyway, you get a tour guide (as with Rhino Rally) and you head around the Safari looking at animals. There's a weak storyline about poachers, but the animals are the main attraction here, and it's all good fun. :) After we got off, we got Fastpasses to go on again in another 40 minutes. :D

We now went to see the Flights of Wonder bird show, which was really poor, the tricks were dreadful, and most of the script had been ripped from Universal Studios' similar show. 3/10.
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We now headed for the 3PM Animal Kingdom parade. Which I didn't rate highly at all, the ones at both Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios were far better. Photos below.
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By now it was time to return to the Safari, so we did, this time just a 5 minute Fastpass wait (main queue down to 20) before we headed over to the 'It's Tough to be a Bug' 4D show located inside the tree. This has to be one of the best ever 4D shows? Yes? The 3D effects are well used, and to good taste, storyline is good. and the 4D effects, like moving seats and water effects, are ones that you don't see coming. Brilliant! No queue either.
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The last thing we did at Animal Kingdom was watch The Lion King show, which was average. Nothing that hasn't been seen before; animatronics, dancers and men in suits...
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We left early in order to get to Hollywood Studios by 7ish. As we had learned only today that due to cost cutting Disney were now only showing their best show; Hollywood Studios' Fantasmic on Thursdays and Tuesdays. So it was our last chance. We were hoping to get some rides in before the 10:30 show, too. :)

However, our riding hopes were quashed when we arrived; the queues were horrendous! Toy Story Mania - 220 minutes. Towers of Terror - 70 minutes. Rock 'n' Rollercoaster - 90 minutes. Even Little Mermaid was 50 minutes. :o . So we decided to take our time over dinner, but we couldn't, because the line waiting outside Fantasmic quickly grew to a gigantic size. So we had to join it at 8:30, 2 hours before the show, and we still only just got in! Disney's handling of the crowds was ridiculous, the queue moved slowly down a long, unlit alley towards the stadium, when we eventually got there, we got good seats at least. :D

Photos of Hollywood Studios in general from that evening...
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THAT queue.
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Yay, we're in!
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And, to be fair to Disney, their show makes it almost worth it. The fire and water effects are pretty damn good and the projected images onto water are pretty impressive too. I'd definitely recommend. It's hard to explain, so I leave you with these photos.
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My photos do it no justice. :( Ah well.

Day 11 - Typhoon Lagoon - should be up tomorrow, but it really depends on whether I can fix my PC by then, it's playing up a bit at the moment. :(
 
Joelio

Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:41 pm

If you think Dionosaur was scary, you should've ridden the original Toad Hall, now that made Snow White look likes childs play. Also, the Yeti wasn't working at full capacity when you wenteither, so when they get it fixed and working properly, it'll be epic!

Great TR.
 
NeilHD
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:51 pm

The TSMania queue was nearly 4 HOURS?! What on earth posseses people to queue for that amount of time?!
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:07 am

"NeilHD" wrote:
The TSMania queue was nearly 4 HOURS?! What on earth posseses people to queue for that amount of time?!


Indeed, and this was in the evening, so God knows how long the queues was in the afternoon. I don't know why anyone would queue that long for anything, I hit it first thing the day I went, hence avoiding a queue. :D The throughput on that thing is dreadful though, no wonder the queue was so long.

---- Post Info Added ----

Just 3 more days of TRs to go, Typhoon Lagoon is the next park in store, and the final waterpark of the holiday. Here goes...

Friday 31st July
B-B-B-B. B-B-B-B. Yes, that's my failed attempt at posting what an alarm sounds like. We got up at 6, left at 8. Arrived at 8:45. To our surprise people were being held back. Really? I here you ask, at a Disney park? Yes. Whilst people with 'Early Magic Hours' walked straight into the park. The park, much like Wet 'n' Wild opened late to the general public, at about 9:05.

Entrance.
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As soon as we were in we ran straight for Crush 'n' Gusher, a waterslide similar to Alton Towers' Master Blaster, themed around exporting tropical fruits, there was a pineapple slide, a banana slide and a strawberry slide. They were all pretty fun, though they were a bit similar, we rode each of them in both a 1 person and 2 person tube and then rode pineapple 3 more times because that slide still had no queue. :P Our total ride count for it was x9 :P . Definitely a must ride if you ever visit. 9/10.

Crush 'n' Gusher.
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Next we headed over to Humunga Kamabunga, and the first of 3 incidents at Typhoon Lagoon that we probably could have successfully sued for (I'm not saying the park was in the wrong on any of them, mind). The first being me smacking my elbow on a queue line fence, making it bleed. Anyways, after 5 minutes or so we reached the front of the queue. Humunga Kamabunga is Typhoon Lagoon's vertical slide for younger ones, now I (God knows why) thought it was a sit-up slide, so whilst going down a sat up and banged my head on the roof of the tube. :P (This was incident 2).

Like the vertical slides at Blizzard Beach and wet 'n' Wild this also hurt your bum like hell. We did give it a second ride though, it still hurt like hell. :P 5/10.

Humunga Kawabunga.
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Next up were the Storm Slides, 3 totally different slides which were all walk-on too. They were all OK, nothing special but good fun. the one on the right hand side was much better than either of the other too, so we rode that one a second time. 6/10.

Storm Slides
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As it was now more or less peak time we decided to check out the wave pool, which after a couple of the 6 ft waves (which would have been great) had shed all the skin from our feet, knees, elbows and hands even. We we decided to get out pretty quick.

Surf Pool.
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Next up the Castaway Creek lazy river, similar to Blizzard Beach's, pretty dull, slow current, no added water effects. Still nice and relaxing though. 6/10.

Castaway Creek.
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Next was Gangplank Falls, which had a 45 minute queue. The ride was pretty poor to be honest, less a family raft ride, and more a river rapids in a dinghy. Some nice water effects, but no steep hills or swinging up the sides like I expected and hoped for. 7/10.

The last 2 rides of the day were Mayday Falls and Keelhaul Falls, two children's dinghy slides that take totally different routes to the bottom. Both were good fun, but when you've queued 20 minutes for them, that 'fun' has already been sucked from you in the queue line. :P

And that is... it. :o Already? We left at 4PM and ate at the Mexican place again. I can't believe this day's TR has been finished so soon.

2 days left, tomorrow will be Hollywood Studios, and Sunday will be the big finale including trips to Magic Kingdom and Universal'sIslands of Adventure. :D

See you all soon!
Last edited by Pennywise on Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Craig

Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:32 pm

Thoroughly enjoying reading these Dan, very detailed with some great pictures too!
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:58 pm

Before I start my trip report for my penultimate theme-parking day in Florida I'd like to mention that all of the photos from the holiday have now been added to my Facebook for anybody interested. Another relatively short day for today, as we left early due to the lack of rides. We also had the ride marathon that would be the final day in the back of our minds. :)

Saturday 1st August
Having had a short day the day before it was relatively easy to drag ourselves out of bed this morning, a quick danish pastry for breakfast and then into the car by 8am. Arriving at the park at 8:45am. :) As Hollywood Studios is a Disney park there was a compulsory wait until 9am for the gates to open, before everyone already on park became involved in a manic sprint towards Toy Story Mania. :P

The entrance to Hollywood Studios.
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To be fair the Disney staff handled the situation quite well, with several staff making sure that everyone was walking towards the ride and staying in an orderly line. Our group was one of the first into the park and therefore one of the first into the Toy Story queue, which was already being announced as 45 minutes from the back of the line by the time we had entered the queue at 9:05. :o

The pre-queue queue.
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The main queue was a well themed indoor cattle-pen, fortunately the cattle-pens were all closed as even walking that queue would have been tiring. Numerous Toy Story characters could be spotted in the queue including Mr. Potato Head (pictured below). :)

Mr. Potato Head.
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The ride itself was top notch, but you could tell that capacity was a problem as soon as you saw the station. 2 4 seater cars being dispatched every minute or so isn't going to keep up with the pace required on Disney rides to avoid queues like the 220 minute one we had noticed on Wednesday night. We queued about 5 minutes even though there were only about 50 people in front.

You sit in your seat and pull down the restraint and gun, the gun system used on this ride is far better than on any other that I've seen, you point the gun and pull a string to fire, which doesn't hurt your finger however much you're firing (cough, Duel). You then travel through a virtual fairground playing various different shooting and throwing games to score points. This is great fun, though my one complaint would be that the more you fire, the higher your score, no matter how accurate you are. I think your accuracy should come into it. :) 9/10.

Mime's painted as Toy Story's toy soldiers littered the area surrounding the ride (queue time was 90 minutes by the time we got off, by the way). This is a real person.

Mime.
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We now headed over to Tower of Terror to get Fastpasses, before heading back to the middle of the park to go on The Great Movie Ride, as we remembered queuing a long time for it back in 2005. Needless to say, this early on, it was walk-on.

In front of The Great Movie Ride.
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We walked straight into a boat, which travels through various movie sets including Alien, The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins. Whilst being given information on the various films that you're passing through set recreations of. There is an attempt at live action, but it's not convincing and you find yourself thinking 'get on with it'. Definitely worth doing though. :) 7/10.

The boats on Great Movie Ride.
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Next up we headed over for The Little Mermaid show, which didn't have a queue, so we walked straight on. This was very good, a far better musical than Animal Kingdom's Finding Nemo. The actress playing Aerial was really talented, and the storyline flowed well with clever use of lasers and water effects. 8/10.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
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As our Fastpasses were now valid, we decided to head over to Tower of Terror. The main queue was 50 minutes, but we were brushed swiftly into the pre-show. The pre-show was very atmospheric, I haven't seen the TV series, but have seen the film (which was surprisingly good, actually). The theming was top notch, everything you would expect in a haunted hotel was there in the queue line.

After the pre-show you head down to the basement where the maintainence elevator shaft is still in operation, you're loading into your bays and enter the elevator. We were on the back row first ride. The doors close and you climb up a level, and are greeted by visions of the last visitors to The Twilight Zone, the room then goes dark and you move forward into the darkness. 'Welcome to the Twilight Zone'... and you drop, up, drop, up right to the top giving you a view of the entire park and... drop. Fantastic ride, and the random sequencing adds a lot to it. 10/10.

Photos of Tower of Terror.
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We headed over to Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, as the queue was 45 minutes we headed over to the Fastpass booth. But as we approached a group approached us offering their Fastpasses to us for free as they wouldn't be on park at the time they'd received. To our shock the Fastpasses were already for 5:30-6:30. So we thanked them and walked off to get another set of Fastpasses for Tower of Terror.

So following that stroke of luck we headed over to the Studios Backlot Tour, which had a 10 minute queue.

Entrance.
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The ride is another Disney-fied ride rip-off, this time of Universal Studios' Disaster. The first section calls for volunteers and demonstrates fire and water effects. They then produce a tacky CGI video which 'shows off' Disney's special effects.

Part 1 of the ride.
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You then head through a room full of props from various Disney movies.
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You then board a train which takes you to a mountain roadside team where they demonstrate a scene from a disaster movie, again using fire and water effects, I suppose it would have been impressive was it not such a massive rip-off. ;) Overall it's a good attraction though, even though it does drag in places, surprisingly it was half an hour long! 6/10.

You come out of the exit to a room full of character costumes from various Disney films including Enchanted, Star Wars, Alien & The Chronicles of Narnia.
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We now headed over to MuppetVision 3D, which didn't have a queue, this was probably the best 3D show that we saw on the entire holiday. The humour was fantastic and the 3D effects were well used. The only 3D cinema where everyone was actually laughing. :) 8/10.

Muppetvision 3D.
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After that we headed for the first of only 2 showings of Disney's Lights, Motors, Action stunt show (Disney cost cutting again, there used to be 5)! It was pretty busy, and we ended up sitting in the sun which was unbearable. What's more, whilst the stunts were excellent, there were long gaps in between them and as we were so tired we found ourselves dropping off during these! :oops:

However [s:18d1puwq]some[/s:18d1puwq] all of the stunts were very impressive, the fire effects were pretty impressive too. Definitely a must. 10/10.

Lights, Motors, Action!
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After that we had lunch in the actors canteen opposite the Studios Backlot Tour, before heading over to the end of the parade route as it was now 2:30. As it was still half an hour until the parade I decided to queue on my own for Star tours, which had a 20 minute queue.

Star Tours entrance.
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The queue was brilliantly themed and very fast moving, and the queue length was only actually 10 minutes. You're swiftly moved into a loading bay and shown a really dull safety video. You board your Star Tours 'aeroplane' and begin your tour of space. This attraction is very dated and whilst the simulator aspect is still fun the storyline and CGI effects are pretty poor. 6/10.

Almost as soon as I came out of Star tours the start of the parade reached us, brilliant timing or what? :D The parade was good, if a little short, and centered around Disney-Pixar movies, mainly Toy story and Monsters Inc. There were also plenty more of the toy soldiers. Yay!

The Disney-Pixar Parade BLOCK PARTY BASH!
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(More on Facebook).

After seeing the parade the rest of my group decided that they wanted to go on Star Tours too, and as the queue was down to just 10 minutes now, I didn't object. This time I got a few photos in the queue.

Star Tours queue.
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(More on Facebook).

This time we were on the front row, and surprisingly it made a big difference, it felt more... real. It still felt tacky and dated, but good fun. :D

We now headed over to the Indiana Jones show as it was about to start. Last time we visited in 2005 this show had been canceled due to thunderstorms, and we thought we could be in for a similar fate as the clouds gathered overhead, but we were lucky enough to get to see it. The show isn't really themed around Indiana Jones, other than the first scene, after that it turns into a stunt show, an entertaining one, the fire effects were becoming tiresome by now though. 7/10.

Indiana Jones show.
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Next, the group split up, 4 people in the group wanted to see the High School Musical show, but there wasn't long until the Fastpasses ran out, 6 fastpasses between 2 people? 3 more rides. :D Though it turned out we didn't really need them anyway. It looked like the ride ops were having a bit of fun on behalf of the ride being walk-on. :P

TOT queue time board. :P
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We did use the Fastpasses anyway, but only because it meant the walk was shorter. :P Riding 3 more times, including once on the front which was pretty amazing. :D We only got 2 different 'random circuits' however, 1 on our 1st & 4th rides, the other on our 2nd & 3rd. Fantastic ride, one that it's worth visiting Florida just to ride, honestly!

We met back up with them at High School Musical and decided that we'd see the Beauty & the Beast show in 40 minutes, so we decided to go on Narnia: Prince Caspian first. This was one of the worst attractions that I've ever been on, basically you enter a room and are shown a trailer for Prince Caspian. Thinking this was the pre-show, everyone eagerly headed out the exit towards the ride... but it was just the shop. Thank God this was walk-on! 1/10.

Next up, and our penultimate attraction, was the Beauty & the Beast show, this was fantastic! Everyone involved in the production was both a talented singer and actor, and put in outstanding performances. The storyline was good and didn't drag at all. Very good! 8/10.

Beauty & the Beast photos.
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Last up was Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, and as only 3 of us wanted to go on we got 2 rides in, the main queue was 45 minutes, Fastpass queue was still about 20. The queue line was dreadful, playing loud rock music and posters for ;famous; rock bands. You then head into the pre-show where animatronic rock stars invite you to their concert, but you have to get there by taxi, and the traffic is heavy. You board the train (front row on our second ride) and are launched into darkness, and a world of rough inversions and tacky road signs. Not a great ride, not worth the long queues that it seemed to regularly have. 6/10.

We left next as a storm was a brewing. We think (repeat think) we saw lightening hit the Hollywood Tower hotel which was pretty spectacular. We missed it on camera, but here;'s the evil looking storm cloud.
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As it was lashing down with rain we ate at the pool bar that evening, and as we were shattered we went to bed at 9pm.


The final 2 days (the second of which includes no theme-parking) will be up tomorrow, seeing how well we fared on our Magic Kingdom / Islands of Adventure double despite the weather being nasty... :(

Bye! :D
 
Crofty

Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:29 pm

Narnia: Prince Caspian first. This was one of the worst attractions that I've ever been on, basically you enter a room and are shown a trailer for Prince Caspian.


I think this must be the same "attraction" that we went into in 2005, although it was then just Narnia I think, the first film had just come out. I just remember a load of christmas trees and snow and we went in and there was a movie and I think some kind of witch in a balcony above, when the film ended we all went outt he exit. :? Very strange attraction.

I'm going to have to seriously consider the dates for my next trip in light of all these reduced shows. We've always gone in January and while the parks have been VERY quiet I'd be a bit worried now that we'd miss a lot of the main features.
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:55 am

I think this must be the same "attraction" that we went into in 2005, although it was then just Narnia I think, the first film had just come out. I just remember a load of christmas trees and snow and we went in and there was a movie and I think some kind of witch in a balcony above, when the film ended we all went outt he exit. :? Very strange attraction.


Yep. That's definitely the same one, absolutely awful. :P

Sorry about the delay on the final day's TR guys, it's taking longer to write than I anticipated. It should be up this evening.
 
NeilHD
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:31 pm

Animatronics on RnRC? Have they changed it then? It used to be a film.

I guess you're too young to appreciate the music and bands on the walls 8) . I was excitedly pointing them out to my 13-yr old daughter, especially when I saw a poster advertising a concert I had actually been to :lol:
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:53 pm

And so the much anticipated final day of my trip report is finally online. Thanks for reading it all, if you've got this far, I'm glad the hours I've put in typing up this stuff has amused you enough in order for you to stick with me up until the final day.

I'll start off with some background information on our final day, we'd left it free because we were sure that we'd need a second day at one of the parks due to missing out major attractions, however as it worked out, they weren't needed at all due to the queues being surprisingly short (Wet 'n' Wild being a noticeable exception) for the duration of our holiday, leaving the final day with us free to do as we pleased.

I'm sure most people would have been satisfied with what they'd done had settled for a lie-in on the final day, especially with the daunting prospect of a 9hr plane journey looming. But not us, we were intent on squeezing every drop of Orlando magic our of our holiday. Believe it or not what we originally had planned was a highlight tour, visiting every park (with Busch Gardens ruled out due to travel distance & Wet 'n' Wild due to it being ****), but as thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon we scrapped that plan and decided on a double-header of Magic Kingdom and Islands of Adventure.

And we're... moving on!

Sunday 2nd August
The final day was the longest, by a considerable distance. We were desperate to not only see, but get a good view of, the Magic Kingdom opening show, so we decided that we needed to get to the park an hour before opening. We then had a list of rides that we either hadn't yet ridden, or wanted to re-ride at the park, made up of Splash Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Carousel of Progress, Tom Sawyer Island & Mickey's Phillarmagic 3D, we aimed to leave at about 1PM, arriving at Universal was 2 and only then eating our one meal of the day.

So we got up at about 5AM, and, skipping breakfast, were out of the door for 6, and on Disney property by 6:45.

Entering the Magic Kingdom car park.
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Disney monorail.
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We arrived on park for 7:15, over an hour and a half before park opening! But there were already a couple of dozen people dotted around.

The Micky Mouse flowerbed.
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The place quickly filled up, but we found a wall at the back of the holding pen to stand on, meaning that I could still get some decent photos, my Dad got it on video too. (We got a lot of videos on the final day, including a Splash Mountain POV, so I'll upload those to YouTube and post the links in here soon enough :) ).

Crowds gathering outside the park at 8:30am.
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The Magic Kingdom opening show did eventually start. It was actually quite impressive, considering it's just a park opening show, but I'd obviously still prefer it if they opened the park slightly earlier, like Universal & co. do.

Magic Kingdom Opening Show
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People waiting to be let in.
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We were then let into the park, unfortunately our perfect positions for the opening show meant that we were at the back of the rush to get in. But never mind. At about 9:10 we squeezed our way to the front of the gates at into the park.

Inside the park... and it's already jammed.
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Fortunately it seemed that nobody, and I mean nobody, had any idea where they were heading when the park opened, and rushed like headless chickens to the first ride they saw. The majority of sheep headed over to Space Mountain, we lost a fair few more at Peter Pan, and all of the rest at Big Thunder Mountain... making us the first onto Splash Mountain!

My oh my... what a wonderful day!
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As mentioned previously, I shot a POV on this (back-row so it's not great) which I will upload to YouTube along with numerous other videos of parades and other rubbish like that over the days and weeks to come, and I'll keep you informed, so expect this thread to be near the top of this section of the forum for a while yet. :P

Anyway, I have nothing to say here that I didn't say on Day 2. This is easily the best ride at Magic Kingdom (note how it was the only one that we were eager to re-ride). The theming is fantastic and the hill and the end is very fun. When we got off we decided to get a Fastpass so that we could come back on just before we left. To our surprise Fastpasses were already on 12:00-13:00, which was very odd, as we were the first ones to get any.

We would have gone back on there and then had we not had another queue-attracting ride to go on. My sister seemed to be really attracted to the Tomorrowland Speedway ride, admittedly I had no objection on day 2, until I had seen that the queue time was 40 minutes! On the way towards it we jokily discussed having a ride on Small World (in amongst several requests for an Epcot return trip to go on Captain EO again :P ). Whilst we weren't genuinely considering going on it, we were still shocked to discover that it was closed. Completely boarded up for refurbishment.

Small World will be closed today.
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Anyway, we now headed on Tomorrowland Speedway. Unfortunately as it was near the entrance some of the sheep had already hit it, and the queue time was 20 minutes. Which isn't great, but it's not too bad.

Tomorrowland Speedway entrance.
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It's a very simple concept, a go-karts for younger children, as there's a track to follow. I won't lie, I thought it was quite fun, it's just a shame that the ride attracts such long queues. I was in the passenger seat in my sister's car (she wouldn't go on alone) and thought it was perfectly enjoyable. 6/10.

Next up was Mickey's Philharmagic, a 3D cinema which we had accidentally missed out on the last trip. There wasn't a queue, but we still had to wait for 10 minutes or so for the film before ours to finish.

Poster in the queueline.
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This was one of the better 3D cinemas that we went into on the holiday. The only problem that I had with it was that it was the only one to be exactly what it says on the tin, 3D, not 4D. There were some 'smells' an apple pie smell and a horrible skunk smell, but the lack of any seat movement or water effects was pretty disappointing, in my eyes. Excellent film though, starring Mickey Mouse and Donald duck, the 3D was impressive. 7/10.

Oh, something that i forgot to mention, the reliability at Magic Kingdom was HORRIFIC on this trip. Small World & Haunted Mansion closed all day, with Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain & Splash Mountain all breaking down too. It was during one of these Space Mountain breakdowns that we decided to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, hoping that that Space Mountain's lights would be on. There wasn't a queue, so straight on.

Entrance to Tomorrowland Transit Authority.
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This is just a monorail high above Tomorrowland. It's good fun, but nothing re-rideable, there's also a commentary as you travel round. Good fun. 6/10.

Boarding the Monorail.
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Splash Mountain DID have the lights on, unfortunately my camera flashed, so the photo is shite. :(
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As we were next to it, Carousel of Progress was next.
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I was actually really impressed with this attraction, I expected it to be dated and dull. Yes, it's very dated, but it's also surprisingly entertaining. Considering that it's 17 long I expected to be bored, but I wasn't even slightly, I was even disappointed when it ended. I wouldn't go on it again, however, it really doesn't fit in in the Tomorrowland area. :P 6/10.

As a Cinderellabration show was about to start, a show that my sister wanted to see, my parents took her to see that, whilst I went with my grand-parents to have some fries. After which we met back up for a trip to Tom Sawyer Island. You take a raft ride to the island where you explore dark caves with creepy noises. :P Pretty impressive, though a bit OTT scary for younger visitors. 7/10.

Tom Sawyer Island.
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Err... what are you 2 doing?
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Our final Magic Kingdom ride of the day was yet another Splash Mountain re-ride (walked on in the Fastpass queue, main queue 65 minutes). After which we finally lost our dignity and did what everyone else was doing... photo of a photo time. ;)

Splash Mountain ORP.
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We left Magic Kingdom at about 1:00 as planned, and began the drive towards Islands of Adventure... Oh dear... I think this is how tired we all were...

Dad.
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Sister.
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Fortunately I stayed awake to keep the driver (my granddad) company for the entirety of the drive. We arrived at Universal around 1:45.

Universal car park entrance.
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We intended to eat at the Latin restaurant, but it was closed at lunchtime. So instead we headed back to 'the Theme Park Insider one', which was inside the entrance, meaning I got a chance to check queue times. :D

Entrance to the park.
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Hulk was 90, Harry Potter only 30, Dragon Challenge 10, Dudley Do-Right 110, Jurassic Park 45, Barges 45, Spiderman 60. All very odd, Harry Potter the quietest area, really? We headed into the restaurant, and were told there was a 25 minute wait for a table, which was fine.

New sign at the entrance. Go back to Day 1 trip report, the dates have been removed. :P
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I had mushroom flatbread again, the vegetarian choice isn't exactly great, but I could forgive that because the atmosphere is great and the food is great. After lunch we headed over to The Hulk, which was temporarily closed due to thunderstorms, so we watched the Comic Heroes 'parade'. Not too much on Disney's. :P

Marvel Comic Heroes Parade.
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After that Hulk opened, and we managed to get on just about the only train before it closed again due to another thunderstorm (which closed rides for about 2 hours). Hulk is fantastic, I'm not going to post another review of it, but it is fantastic.

As all the outdoor stuff was now closed again (and Spiderman had a 60 minute queue), we headed to Harry Potter Land for The Forbidden Journey, but for some reason that was closed due to the thunderstorm too? So I ended up doing something I had half wanted to do, but hadn't considered it due to all the rides on offer... Hogsmede time!

We decided to hit the shops without a queue first, so Honeydukes. The shop was uncomfortably busy, but I'd rather that than having to queue to get in, unfortunately this shop seemed more orientated on selling you the sweets than actually displaying them. It was still pretty awesome though; there were chocolate frogs and other sweets from Harry Potter's world. Including a 'puking pastels' animatronic outside the shop. :P

Honeydukes.
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Honeydukes, to our surprise was connected to Zonko's Joke Shop (which did have a queue :P ). Zonko's was... really weird. And the glass displays were the only interesting thing in there, everything else was in a box (again, trying to sell stuff, can't blame them really. But when you queue to get into a shop... :P ).

Zonko's Joke Shop.
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To our surprise there were only 2 shops that we hadn't been in; Dervish Banges, the largest of the shops, featuring wizard clothes, books and wands. And Ollivander's which had a 30 minutes queue. We decided to hit Dervish Banges, this shop was horrendously busy, you literally couldn't move. I would have left had my sister not wanted to look around.

Dervish Banges.
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Coming out, there was still not sign of the rides being anywhere near close to opening. The thunderstorm was right overhead, and it had just started pouring with rain, so we joined the Ollivander's queue. Fortunately the rain, thunder and lightening meant a lot of people were leaving the queue. Unfortunately, we were in t-shirts and shorts, and we got drenched.

We waited about 20 minutes, due to the slow loading speed. It's basically a show in a room that should be much bigger, but the show was well worth it.

Ollivander's queue & show.
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And after that we grabbed a butterbeer and joined the short queue waiting for Dragon Challenge to open, the coaster actually opened only 5 minutes after we joined the queue, with the thunderstorm cleared. And you could say that our mad rush began there. We rode the Hungarian Horntail and then re-joined the queue (still just 5 minutes) to go on the Chinese Fireball.

Next up, a 30 minute queue for Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey. The queue was much better this time, as we were queuing indoors instead of outside. I snapped a couple of photos in the queue.

Forbidden Journey queue.
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And as promised here are the photos of the station.
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Again, this was THE BEST ride ever. The theming is stunning and the ride itself is fantastic, simply outstanding.

When we got off Harry Potter there were 55 minutes until ride close, so I might struggle to make you believe that before ride close, and the end of our holiday, we also rode Jurassic Park (great in the dark, it feels so real), Dudley-Do-Right, Popeye & Bluto (also amazing in the dark, we were with a fat American who got drenched :P ), Spiderman 4D & The Incredible Hulk.

Jurassic Park
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Universal Globe on the way out.

Shattered, we left at 10:30, and I got myself a Universal T-shirt outside the park. We got back at 11:30. Dinner? We were hungry, but NO WAY. Asleep by mid-night.


Monday 3rd August
Flight back to England at 4PM. So there was pool time in the morning (after joking about a return to Wet 'n' Wild... I believe Epcot was bought up too, Captain EO :P ).

At the airport.
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Watched Free Willy 4 (ironic that this was playing on the way back from SeaWorld, no? :P ), Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang and Date Night on the way back. Discussed going to Alton as we were nearby when we got back, but we were all so shattered that we weren't genuinely considering it.


------------------------------


And so... that's it! Thanks for reading guys. I'll be uploading videos & stuff to YouTube over the next few weeks so I'll keep you informed about them.

:D

---- Post Info Added ----

First video is up, don't worry they aren't all this lame. I was trying to take a photo. :P I've only uploaded it for the Jurassic Park music. :P

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxUR3hB3CRM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxUR3hB3CRM[/url]
 
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Mattmash
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:38 pm

Really great trip report Dan, have thoroughly enjoyed reading each update! Some great pictures in there too!

Thank you for taking the time and effort to share it with us all, and glad you had such a good time :)
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DiogoJ42

Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:07 pm

:clap: This has to be the most elaborate TR in TTF history. In fact, I think we need to start an annual TTF award ceremony, just so that we can give you the "Best Trip Report of 2010" prize! :P
 
CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:41 pm

Air Dan, if I was able to I would of given you a +1 rep each day for your reports, unfortunately it can't be done.

:)
 
NeilHD
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:27 pm

Well done chap, fantastic TR! :clap:
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:40 pm

To be honest I'm just glad people have actually read them! :P I genuinely expected people to stop reading after a couple of days, and I certainly didn't expect to get the positive comments that I have received, so thanks guys!

A couple of videos uploading to YouTube today.

Biting Book in Dervish Banges, Harry Potter - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtCAAaN0GC4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtCAAaN0GC4[/url]
Also a Splash Mountain back-row POV which should appear on my YouTube channel in about 4 hours time.

These are the only camera-recorded videos from the holiday, the rest are all shot on camcorder and include all the parades, SeaWorld evening show & Magic Kingdom opening show. :)

---- Post Info Added ----

EDIT: Splash Mountain POV is now online! - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNGx2byVfU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNGx2byVfU[/url]

:)

---- Post Info Added ----

2 more videos up. :)

Blues Brothers Live Show (Universal Studios) - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eedbAPqDp_g" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eedbAPqDp_g[/url]
Special Effects Train Ride (Hollywood Studios) - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4MxzoXCjEE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4MxzoXCjEE[/url]

2 more currently uploading; both from the Lights, Motors, Action! stunt show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. :)
 
Craig

Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:40 pm

The effort you've put into this Dan is absolute fantastic, and thoroughly appreciated by both myself and I'm sure everyone else - thanks :D
 
Pennywise
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:47 pm

"Craig" wrote:
The effort you've put into this Dan is absolute fantastic, and thoroughly appreciated by both myself and I'm sure everyone else - thanks :D


Tanks Craig! :) Like I said, I'm just glad people have read them, I certainly didn't expect this reaction, I thought that were a little sub-standard, to be honest. :P



More videos up now:
Special Effects Demonstration Ride @ Hollywood Studios - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4MxzoXCjEE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4MxzoXCjEE[/url]
Lights, Motors, Action! Motorcycle Chase @ Hollywood Studios - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCpJKTNoYns" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCpJKTNoYns[/url]


Tomorrow I should get up the Lights, Motors, Action! finale, as well as Indiana Jones stunt show clips and the Magic Kingdom park opening show. :)
 
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Matt.C
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Re: Florida - 19th July - 2nd August 2010 *VERY PICTURE HEAVY*

Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:08 pm

Honestly Dan, this is the best TR I've ever read, completely comprehensive and I'm sure at some points when writing though, 'I really can't be bothered anymore' but I didn't see any sign of it. I returned from Florida after a week there a few days ago and one of the first things I did was to come on here and see if there had been any more updates :D Serious kudos to you for producing a spectacular account of your visit.
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