Started off the day heading to the Hollywood Studios. Arrived just after opening (thanks to a slow bus to arrive then two scooters). Made our way down Hollywood Blvd. and walked by Toy Story. Grabbed a Fastpass and then hopped in line. Made it about three steps and they asked that we turn around because it just went down. So decided to try the Legend of Jack Sparrow show next store. Of course it was having problems and not open yet either. Ended up on the Great Movie Ride. As we were exiting they were shutting it down too due to a technical difficulty. Wandered over to the Animation Building to see if there was anything new inside. Not really since my last visit in October. Walked back to Pixar Place and noticed Toy Story was open so hopped in line. Turned out to be a mistake and it took almost an hour. After Toy Story tried Jack Sparrow again and it was still closed so moved on to the AFI exhibit then the Streets of America. Walked by the Muppets and Star Tours then around Echo Lake and down Sunset Blvd. Caught the Beauty and the Beast show then grabbed something to eat from across the street before returning to use our Fastpass on Toy Story. After exiting saw the Legend of Jack Sparrow was finally open so visited there. Once done joining Jacks crew made our way to the front of the park and hopped on a bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Boarded a ferry boat to the Magic Kingdom. Once in the park made my way up Main Street USA and out to Liberty Square. Picked up some Sorcerer Cards and then stopped by to watch the Country Bear Jamboree. After the show paused in Pecos Bills while some got something to drink then went for a cruise on Pirates. Once back roamed through Adventureland and back to Town Square. Found a bench to upload some pictures and it started to drizzle so headed for the launch to Fort Wilderness before the rain picked up. While in enroute the skies opened. There was a pause as we approached the dock and made it up to the patio by Trails End before they opened again. Hung out on the porch for a while watching the rain and waiting for dinner. Ate at Trails End and then took the launch back to the Magic Kingdom to transfer to a bus to the Boardwalk. Walked through the Resort and into Epcot via the International Gateway. Wandered through France, Morocco, Japan, and found a spot near the American Adventure to wait for the 8pm Village People Flower Power Concert. After their set concluded walked around World Showcase and found a spot for Illuminations. Then joined the masses heading for the park exit. Took a bus back to Pop Century and called it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Over the years the Studios has dropped to the bottom of my park lists.. I originally really enjoyed the park when it focused on movie making. What disneygeek does not enjoy watching animators work on the next Disney animated classic? Or a look into a soundstage where the New Mickey Mouse Club was being taped? Or maybe cruising down a residential street and seeing the Golden Girls house. During the day your could stop by and watch a Dick Tracy show. And to close out your day a Sorcery in the Sky fireworks show featuring movie themes and a giant inflatable Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately none of those experiences exist anymore and the park that is left is a shell of its former self in my view. I am not a thrill ride person so Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster really do not draw my interest. The most engaging attraction in the park is a clone of its California Cousin, Toy Story Midway Mania. I have seen Lights Motors Action, Indiana Jones, and Beauty and the Beast more times than I want to count. So this usually means I spend a half day at the park seeing if there is anything new or different and visiting a few favorites before I move on.
- Today the park sensed this I think and messed with me. Several attractions were down or had delayed openings. Including Toy Story, the Legend of Jack Sparrow which I had not seen, and even the Great Movie Ride went down (but luckily after I disembarked).
- Walked through the Animation building and missed the new Monsters University exhibit by a week or so.. they still had Wreck-It Ralph featured.
- Hopped in line for Toy Story as soon as i saw it had re-opened. I keep forgetting how miserable the mix is of Standby to Fastpass and a relatively short line (I was on the straight away going toward Mr. Potato Head) still took me 45 minute, I would say the same length line in Anaheim would have been about 15 minutes or so tops.
- I took in a showing of Beauty and the Beast since it was starting as I walked by and they were letting you enter late.. it is a decent show but seems that it is time for something new. But on the other hand the theater was full so it is still drawing guests. So that is probably why it is still going.
- After a delayed opening the Legend of Jack Sparrow experience opened and I was finally able to experience it. I was surprised that the TVs in the queue were not utilized. We had to wait one show and the entire time just a screen saver/still slide was on the screen. I overheard a CM count and they were letting about 100 guests in per show. I am not sure exactly how I would describe this experience. It is part movie, part audience participation, and part look at the sets.. I thought it was an ok show. Several times it seemed to be talking down to the audience and force participation but most seemed to enjoy it from what I could tell. The oddest thing with the show for me is why did it open last Fall? The movies had long since left theaters and even home video sales. This seems like it would have been much better timed with the release of a new film or something. The sets inside were well done and the projection integration was a novel idea and worked well.
- After the morning at the Studios made my way over to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon. Took in a showing of the Country Bear Jamboree and its new abbreviated format. I am happy to see the Bears have survived and are looking great, but the show does feel very rushed and short to me. But then again if they played for 45 minutes I would probably be content to sit and listen to them.
- I did catch a glimpse of the Iron Man 3 Monorail circling the Seven Seas Lagoon. Thought it looked ok. I am still on the fence when it comes to these overlays. Seeing something different is interesting but not sure I like seeing the monorail as a giant billboard.
- We headed over to dinner early due to an incoming storm cell. The rain started to come down while we were enroute on the launch from the Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness but luckily it let up by the time we docked and held off again till I was under the cover near the restaurant. By the time we left it had passed through and the rest of the evening was pleasant.
- Dinner at Trails End was great as expected. It is one of our favorite places to eat. The atmosphere at the Fort Wilderness is just so much more relaxed than the rest of the property. Also the food is in my comfort zone and I always enjoy it. I still miss the buffet at lunch though. Several of the cast members we spoke with out there said the same thing, but it looks like the menu for lunch is there to stay for a while.
- After dinner the rain had stopped and we headed for Epcot. Took the launch back to the Magic Kingdom then a bus over to the Boardwalk then walked to the International Gateway. Took us just under an hour to make it into the park from when we finished eating.. not too bad.
- This evening being a Friday meant a much larger crowd at Epcot. There were extended hours for Disney Resort guests plus more locals for the Flower and Garden Festival since it was a weekend night and that meant a Flower Power Concert.
- Walked through the new bakery in France. Thought it looked great but it mobbed so I did not spend too much time exploring and I was stuffed after Trails End so did not try anything.
- Caught the last Flower Power Concert of the evening featuring the Village People. I had fairly low expectations going into this one. I am not a Village People fan by any stretch of the imagination, but they did put on a lively show that was entertaining and the crowd really seemed into it.
- I broke one of my "rules" for Illuminations... as I was roaming around World Showcase and taking pictures I did not take note of the wind and just went to where I tend to watch the show from most of the time. Well this time the wind was blowing right at me so I received a large dose of smoke and ash! Oops...
Pedometer Information for the day: