Started off the morning later than usual since it was our last morning and had to pack up, check in for the airline, and drop our carryons off. Managed to do all that and grab a bite to eat and was in line for a bus to Epcot prior to 10am. Arrived at the park a little after 10am and wandered through Future World. Walked through Innoventions East and over to the Festival Center. Explored the center for a while then returned to Innoventions East followed by a walk across the plaza to the West side. Saw a couple tweets that they were play testing the Pirates Adventure game so headed for the Monorail. Arrived at the Transportation and Ticket Center to find a long line for the Ferry and Express monorail so opted to take the Resort Line. Once at the park made my way through the mass of guests on Main Street and out to Adventureland. Managed to make it on a quest before they closed down testing at noon. Went through my Adventure then some in the group had Dole Whips and I tried to post pictures (and failed) of the quest. Then walked through Liberty Square to gather some new Sorcerers cards. Stopped for lunch at the Columbia Harbour House. After lunch pushed through the crowds in Fantasyland and made my way to the peace and quiet of the PeopleMover. Walked along the trail to Storybook Circus and hung out there to catch the Giggle Gang. After the show started to head toward Main Street and the long march out of the final park of the trip. Headed for the bus back to Pop Century, picked up our bags, and waited for the Magic Express Bus to arrive.
Thoughts & Observations:
- This was our last morning. We were shocked to find no line at the resort airline check in counter or at the bell services area to check our carry ons. Usually at Pop Century you have to wait. Guess we picked a good day or time to leave.
- Was also surprised to realize that breakfast this morning was my first and only meal in Everything Pop! this trip. Not sure how I avoided eating there but I did. Guess a large part was due to breakfast on the go each morning to get to the parks earlier.
- We forgot to leave the privacy sign up on our room and guess the cast members noticed because when we came back from breakfast they already had our room torn apart and were preparing it for the next group. Glad we did not leave anything behind. It was only around 9am at this point of the morning, so not that close to check out time yet.
- First park of the day was Epcot. Of course we just missed making it on a bus by two groups and had to wait and while waiting several scooters showed up so it was a long wait this morning to make it to the parks.
- Walked through Innoventions this morning. I had not really spent any time inside this trip. I did not try the new Habit Heros on the East side but on the West side did play around with the IBM Think Exhibit a bit. I thought the large interactive displays were engaging and interesting to play around with a bit. Overall though the two new exhibit do not really seem enough to draw guests in. Innoventions needs some TLC and something different that can engage guests. Wonder how ASIMO would play in Orlando? Or some other type of technology showcase.
- I also finally made it out to the Festival Center for the Flower and Garden Festival. I had not visited there either this trip. Nothing too different or interesting jumped out to me as I made my way through the merchandise and presentation areas. In the theater I would have liked to have seen more of the making of the Festival and less HGTV clips. In the back area there was a nice tribute to Bill Evans and some interesting stats on Disney horticulture. The six steps of making a topiary were interesting to read through also.
- As we arrived at the Transportation and Ticket Center via Monorail we could see a mass of guests below. The parking lot tram loading areas were full, the Ferry Boat line stretched to the entrance arch as did the Express Monorail line. We opted for the peace and quiet of the Resort Line.
- We had poor timing and arrived on Main Street as the Celebrate Street Party was wrapping up, add in the large crowd entering and Main Street was packed.
- Was lucky enough to make it to Adventureland while the Imagineers were play testing the new A Pirates Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas
- This interactive experience sends you on one of several quests through Adventureland where you use a map and talisman to trigger your next clue and events to happen. We did the Guardian's Curse quest and had four stops. We used the compass across from the Pirates entrance, visited the Parrot, then trekked down to a canon by the Swiss Family Tree House and wrapped up our adventure where the old mini Jungle Cruise Boats used to be.
- I thought the game play process was very smooth. Aiding this was the fact that very few guests were playing since most did not notice it was operating or know what it is. So there was no waiting at any of the stops and we only crossed paths with one other group.
- Since this was a play test nothing we saw was final according to the cast members. There were Imagineers watching us play and at the end asking us for our impressions on the usability of the game, etc. Since we were one of the last groups before they shut it down only had time to do one quest and did not have time to chat with the cast members or Imagineers.
- The cast member working the check in area was really into his part and started the adventure off on the right note. Having this interaction I think is a plus, vs the Sorcerers where they really do not get into the story (or at least did not when I started).
- The game itself seems to be a cross between the Kim Possible/Phineas Ferb at Epcot and Sorcerers. It has interactive elements but also a map to guide you. Unfortunately no trading cards or other collectibles. The maps are a nice keepsake and fun to read.
- Due to the timing involved and me being focused on pictures I did not read the map while we played, which meant I missed some of the story and hints which made the game a little more challenging, after we were done I did sit down and read it and they tell you exactly what you need to do on the map. It is a very simple quest and you just have to go from point A to point B.
- I like how there are elements scattered around the land, but with crowds and lines should be interesting how it works.
- Did find it funny how they asked what website I was with. Guess a lot of sites were visiting/playing this morning.
- Ate lunch at the Columbia Harbour House, thought the food order area as well as the first floor were crazy, but upstairs was fairly peaceful to eat.
- Finally caught a performance of the Giggle Gang out in Storybook Circus. No one in our group are big clown fans. We watched the show and the other two gave it thumbs down. They did not find the humor funny and i think standing out in the sun did not help. I thought the show was ok, but nothing I would put on my must see list. I understand they do different routines so guess that would make me want to see it again. I did like having the live band there I thought they added to the performance.
- While at the Magic Kingdom also picked up some more Sorcerer cards. Not sure how many packs I have collected over the past several trips but needless to say a lot. I am still a couple of cards short of a complete set of the (free) cards and have managed to collect nearly a second complete set too and still have a stack several inches high of triples, etc... someday I hope to complete the set. This trip I did not see as many guests playing and definitely did not come across as many trading cards as previous trips. Has the popularity dwindled or was my timing just off?
- The Magical Express Bus showed up over 25 minutes late to pick us up. We still made it to the airport with plenty of time. Pop Century was the last stop on the route and guess the other stops caused it to be late.
- Nothing too exciting to report from Orlando Airport. The flight left on time and we made it back to LAX on time to wrap up this trip.
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