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Walt Disney World Day 2 Report

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trip Log:

Started off the morning with breakfast at the Mill (the resort food court) then headed out for the Magic Kingdom.  Wandered down Main Street, trying to find out some information on the taping schedule, then found our way into Tomorrowland.  Went for a spin on Buzz since it had a 5 minute posted wait (was really a walk on) then went on the People Mover followed by the Indy Speedway.  Walked around Toontown Fair and some rode the Barnstormer.  Walked through Fantasyland, grabbing a Fastpass for Peter Pan then visiting Philharmagic followed by a quick cruise on Small World.  Exited Small World with a minute to spare before our Fastpass time, almost like we planned it that way.  Went on Peter Pan then wandered back by the Castle and through Liberty Square.  Decided to grab some lunch at Pecos Bills then walked through Adventureland.  Visited the Tiki Room and then the Magic Carpets before heading back to Main Street.  They were filming for the Christmas parade, so stopped and watched the David Cook song.  Went for a round trip ride on the rail road then watched some of the Sarah Brightman song.  Took the launch over to the Grand Floridian.  Stopped for a quick snack and then continued to the lobby for some pictures of the Holiday decorations.  Headed for the bus stop and over to Downtown Disney.  Some went shopping at DD and a couple of us hiked out to Goodings for some soda and snacks.  Rejoined the group at the DD bus stop and headed back to the Riverside to drop off our purchases.  Decided to grab some dinner at the resort and then headed for the Studios.  Walked by Toy Story Midway Mania and out to the Streets of America to see the Osborne Lights.  Spent some time walking around and looking at the lights then decided to head back and into line for Toy Story.  Waited about 45 minutes for our ride.  By the time we finished the park was closed so we headed for Hollywood Blvd and the bus back to the Riverside to call it an evening.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • We learned a valuable lesson this morning, heading for breakfast around 8:30 means long lines... we will keep that in mind the rest of the trip.

  • Our first stop of the day was the Magic Kingdom. The park was really empty for the most part. We were able to walk on quite a few attractions, many we had not ridden in years. Not sure where everyone was, but it was great weather and great crowds.

  • For some dumb reason I wanted to see the Tiki Room and like it has the past few times it ended up frustrating me at how bad the show is and how they really ruined it with the makeover... I am so happy this did not find its way to Disneyland.

  • We caught a couple of the musical performances that were being taped on Main Street for the WDW Christmas Parade that will air Christmas day on ABC. It was interesting listening to people's reaction. Most people have not experienced a TV (or film) production and the first rule is really everything moves slowly most of the time... It takes forever to set up, then they do several takes, etc... we tried to find out a schedule and the CMs we spoke to did not know. Turns out they taped two segments from what we could tell. David Cook and Sarah Brightman. We saw a couple takes of both. Neither were awe inspiring to me.

  • We decided to take the boat over to the Grand Floridian and then a bus to Downtown Disney, is it just my bad luck or are the busses at the Grand Floridian really spaced out and slow to arrive? Seems every time I pass through the resort I spend forever waiting for a bus.

  • We hiked out to Goodings for some groceries and overall I have to say the hike in December is much nicer than other times year with the mild weather. Its slightly over a mile each way from Downtown Disney to the store for those who are curious.

  • We spent the evening at the Studios and our first priority was to see the Pixar Place area now that it is open. We missed it by a week or so in April. The area looks great as you will see in the pictorial update and the details are great.

  • The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights is back at the Studios and appeared to be about the same as last year, nothing too new jumped out at me. Its a great displace and the crowds were thick as usual.

  • We decided to wait in the Standby line for Toy Story Midway Mania and it moved extremely slow until park closing when there were no more Fastpass people coming in (speaking of Fastpass CMs say they are gone well before noon most days). The ride itself is identical to its DCA cousin. The queue in Orlando though is much more immersive and fun to stand in. One interesting note is that Mr Potato Head is not visible to those outside or in the Fastpass line, only the standby line and he only seemed to be cycling between a small subset of the routine. After waiting in the standby line I am thankful that DCA does not have Fastpass. Also was surprised to see that they did away with single rider.

  • While looking at the Studios guidemap I thought it was interesting that they were still advertising the Block Party Bash as new, as it has been there since the spring. Guess they will do it for at least a year? I noticed that the American Idol graphics are on that building too (guess since it was at one time planned to be open by Christmas?). Also I see that Pixar Place is now on the Map so the park has quite a few "Areas". The map has four colored areas, and eight sub areas. The colored areas are not labeled for some reason. Looking at the names the term Backlot is gone as are other movie making references for the most part. Here is the listing:
    • Red -> Hollywood Boulevard and Echo Lake
    • Yellow -> Streets of America, Comissary Lane
    • Blue -> Pixar Place, Mickey Avenue, Animation Courtyard
    • Purple -> Sunset Blvd

  • Pop Warner football teams and cheerleaders started to invade the WDW Resort. There were several teams staying at the Riverside (even more out at All Star and other resorts). I read somewhere online 400 different teams.. not sure if that is true but they were everywhere... it appeared Disney was well organized to handle them with signs and tables for registration and they even blocked off the driveway to handle the bags(pictures of this in a day or so)..

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