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. Disney monorail.
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.
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.
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 ShowPeople waiting to be let in.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Splash Mountain DID have the lights on, unfortunately my camera flashed, so the photo is shite. :( As we were next to it, Carousel of Progress was next.
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. Err... what are you 2 doing?
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.
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.Sister.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. :PHoneydukes.
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.
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.
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.
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. And as promised here are the photos of the station.
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
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.
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.
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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
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