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  1. Disney's Hollywood Studios https://www.parkz.com.au/search/photos/location/disneys-hollywood-studios (For more pics) Last but not least from my November trip. I ended up here on a couple of the days through park hopping. For the thrill seekers, the park probably has the best lineup at Walt Disney World. Plenty of new stuff to see here. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance An amazing attraction. I don't think there is much that comes close in terms of being a true start to finish immersive experience with a strong storyline. Haunted mansion is great for instance, but they still whack you on an escalator at the end of the ride for example. Big Thunder is pretty, but no story right? Harry Potter is a great ride, just make sure you stay looking straight ahead! But this, its so well thought out from start to finish. You begin in a reistance base, carved out in some caverns on the edge of the settlement, full of supplies and munitions. The first preshow tells you that you have to get off the planet since your current location is no longer safe. A cute BB-8 Animatronic whirls around in a concerned manner. You then head outside and board a transport ship. It's like a mild simulator ride, (not too strong since everyone is standing up), anyhow your craft is intercepted by the first order in a space battle, and you are dragged into the shuttle bay of a star destroyer. The doors open, and you are in a completely different location, the massive void of the shuttle bay! It's real wow moment, up there with that moment on POTC where you turn the corner into that huge battle. And you turn around and there your ship is, parked against the wall. From there you are taken into custody hustled down into holding cells and locked inside. Kylo Ren and General Hux try to interrogate you, but are distracted and wander off to deal with other issues. In that moment, some unseen allies come to your rescue, and burn a hole in the wall to bust you out. From here its into your next ride vehicle, a trackless transporter. From then on, the fun really starts. You start sneaking off through the corridors of the star destroyer, but within about the 30 seconds you are spotted by some storm troopers and they open fire. This is where the Disney magic really shines, with actual laser shots ricocheting around you, holes being blown in walls etc. From then on its several minutes of running for your life through different battle scenes. At one point you are darting around like mice under the legs of an AT-AT, at another point Kylo ren sticks a lightsaber through the roof and tries to cut you up. The only real downer was that on all my rides the last couple of scenes were running in B mode. None of the huge moving laser guns were working, so your vehicle sort of just moves back and forth erratically, seemingly dodging ghosts. The final scene had no Kylo Ren animatronic, so you just see him hovering outside in his spaceship before getting shot down, and you head to the escape pods without the rushing air effect of being sucked out into space. And then of course its a wild finale where your vehicle drives into a simulator pod meets freefall ride and evacuates out of the star destroyer, crash landing on the planet. What makes this cool is the unload area is actually outdoors, so the whole thing is wrapped up in a neat little package and you are back to where you started. Did this 3 times. Ah well, maybe when i return to one of the parks it'll all be going. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run I've done this back at Disneyland when the 'soft' opened their version of Galaxy's Edge and Rise wasn't ready yet, and then Covid happened and here I am finally seeing the rest of it in 2023. A huge recreation of the Milennium Falcon sits out front And you make your way through a well themed, but some what lifeless workshop themed queue. IMO they should have made it more like star tours with more things moving, though the soundtrack is quite humorous in this area if you listen in. And then after walking through a gangway, you board the faclon. On one ride, just before closing i had the most odd experience where I had an entire pod to myself. The ride is an on the rails shooter, with a bit of steering ability, and of course all your motion simulator fun, as you go off flying to steal some coaxium from another planet. A couple of of players shoot, a couple shoot and a couple do mostly nothing except hit one button at the right moment. So I got to take on the pilots position, with everything else being done on auto for you. Slinky Dog Dash Possibly the gentlest LSM launch in existence? The theming is quite fun, they have actually got this whole sub narrative that what you are riding on is a roller coaster kit owned by Andy, so the queue is scattered with spare bits of track and supports, as well as a lot of oversized toys. The first launch goes into a horseshoe turn and helix. Stops at the 2nd launch, which is themed a bit like a launcher on a hotwheels set. From there is a floater hill, a bunch of very mild bunny hops that would be right at home on a Japanese jet coaster, finished off with an S bend. When you are waiting on the brakes, squeaky penguin sings to you with his microphone, which was a nice surprise you dont see from the queue. This thing can get painful queues, but I tended to try and ride it later in the day and waited like 30-40 mins on both rides. Alien Swirling Saucers This is the same ride as Maters Junkyard Jamboree, several turntables interconnected so you move in a double figure 8 pattern, with some mechanism below the floor allowing your car to move from one turntable to the next. What is also cool is that your car is connected to the turntable by a springloaded tow bar, so your car drifts and swings wildly from side to side, not unlike the classic whip rides. Good fun. The "pizza planet" in the middle of the ride is a nice detail. Now why dont they have an ACTUAL pizza planet at Disney, it would be a license to print money Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy Fine for kids, but its Disney so its still decent. Imagine an animatronic Lighting mcqueen with a projection mapped eyes and mouth. Hey greets the crowd, moving about on his podium. He then demonstrates his speed, with a panoramic racing simulator on a giant screen behind. But his arch rival hacks in to try and beat him, but of course McQueen prevails. Tower of Terror Still excellent. As the prototype, this one actually has a section where your vehicle moves from one lift to another through a brief dark ride scene, with some cool optical illusions. Paris still wins out in terms of sheer intensity of the ride programme, and probably Tokyo has the best preshow. Rock n Roller Coaster Some embuggerance with this one, as it kept bloody breaking down. Surprisingly, one of my favourite things about this is how the whole loading area is themed. The preshow has you watching Aerosmith recording in their studio, and they invite you to join them at their concert via stretch limousine. When you step out the back door of the studio, you are in an alleyway, and your limousine is waiting in a multi level car park, but the theming is so immersive, eg the operators booth is inside the cashiers office, the secondary control panel is on the call box, there’s all sorts of other details like a motorbike being fixed, and even a low clearance height bar above the track where it leaves the station. The launch is powerful, and its a smooth, frantic layout full of positive gs, with a sea serpent roll, a lot of helices, and then a surprise corkscrew at the end. Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway This one is fantastic. You head into the chinese theatre, ready to watch a short film featuring Mickey and Minnie on a road trip, (Hmm reminds me of how the gremlins ride started out). On the way, they meet goofy driving a train, and an explosion on the train in the cartoon creates a real explosion in the theatre, creating a smoking hole in the wall that leads to the cartoon realm. You are invited to pass through, and inside, everything is done in the art style of the cartoon, with scribbled details on the walls, 2d props etc. The ride vehicles are a train of trackless pods behind a locomotive driven by goofy. Shortly into the ride your cars become detached from the loco, spinning out of control through a number of projection mapped scenes, often taking different routes. On the way you keep encountering Mickey and Minnie in peril. One scene had you caught up in a tornado, with very strong winds. Another was in a big city, where a jackhammering worker causes everything to shake. An impressive moment is where a room has faux rockwork and looks like a jungle, but when you return to it, it has transformed into an underwater environment. There’s also a nice moment where you end up in a dance studio run by daisy duck, and all the vehicles waltz side to side in unison. But, the quality of the graphics was something else, it just looks so bright and crisp, like a blacklight painting come to life, and they have managed to incorporate other moving props into it seamlessly. Did this a couple of times. I ended up timing it to try a few of the food items at the park. The Totchos from Woody's Lunchbox are a big ole bowl of carbs. Chilli con carne with corn chips and potato gems. But i think the 'blandness' of the corn chips overpowers everything. And i was sure to have booked in a drink at Oga's Cantina. I was recommended to try a Fuzzy Tauntan, which was rum and a few other sour flavours, but the foam on top actually made your lips go numb, like as if it had Lignocaine in it or something. The other drink i had was like a juice blend with coloured boba balls floating in it. They had a theatre showing newer Mickey Mouse shorts. Since when did it become like Ren and Stimpy? Overall, I think the park has one of the best ride lineups at Disney, and a mixed bag in terms of Immersive theming. Star Wars and Toy Story are great, but the rest of it is generic city streets and backlot theming, with a fair bit of the latter being under renovation. *****************************
  2. Epcot 14/11/2023 https://www.parkz.com.au/search/photos/location/epcot for heaps more pics. Epcot is undergoing a bit of work, and they are really leaning into their retrofuturism, particularly with the renovations of some buildings in the hub, a new sculpture at the entrance and new icons for each attraction. And you know its kinda fun. They acknowledge the place is a timewarp, much like tomorrowland, but they are leaning into it. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Woweee. Did this twice, again by getting an early boarding group via the app by refreshing at 7am, plus forking out for a one shot lighting lane. An amazing achievement and a massive coaster. The queue ties into Epcot by posing as an exhibit about the planet Xandar. Xandarians have come to earth to teach us about their planet, and are even inviting us up to their mothership via teleportation. The teleportation is done well, a similar effect I think to the old Poseidon's fury at ioa where you go into a room, the lights go out, and the walls are lifted up to reveal a bigger room surrounding you. Of course, something goes wrong when a bad guy steals the cosmic generator from the ship, and before you know it you are loaded into trains to chase after him. The ride uses controlled spinning, and the building is divided into two huge halls with long screens running the lengths. The "preshow bit of the coaster" passes a few big screens, before you are rotated backwards and sent down a long launch with electrical effect's. The track twists and turns along each room, and the battle plays out, moving along the screen with you, and even distorts away as the track turns away from the screen. The rotation of the car keeps you focused on the action. I got "Im gonna getcha getcha getcha" on one of my rides, I forget the other song. No miami disco for me. Mission Space. This one has has a slight facelift since last time, with new films for both the extreme and gentle versions. For those who don't know, you sit in a simulator pod, suspended from a centrifuge, allowing for strong Gs during the ride. The gentle version has the centrifuge deactivated, so is just like a normal simulator and has you doing an orbit around the world, with some of the most cliche commentary ever...."soon we will pass over Japan, the land of the rising sun....below you can see Paris, the city of light. Things get a bit energetic towards the end where there is a storm as you come into land, throwing your space shuttle about. The extreme version.... Damn i forgot how intense this is, or maybe Im getting older. The ride is based around a mission to Mars. The bit during take off has quite long periods of sustained Gs, like a powerful rotor type ride. There a breather in the middle as you go into "hypersleep" for a few months to reach mars. And then an exciting sequence for Landing where you almost go off a cliff! Skipped Soarin because they were running the darn old Californian film (I'd wanted to try the new one!) Test Track Ehhh, I liked the old one better. The previous version of the ride was themed like an actual crash test facility, with your car swerving around cones, over rough surfaces, through a heat chamber etc. very fun and practical feeling. The new version tries to give the impression you are in a "sim car" , and all the interior theming of the ride is like tron. This is tied together with a preshow where you craft a car on a touchscreen, and yeah its fun coming up with some sort of abomination. I tried to do a car like the one homer simpson designed but gave up. But now i think the computer theme makes it too farfetched and sterile feeling imo. Still the outdoor section at high speed is pretty exhilarating still. Ratatouille This one I thought was better than the one in Paris, because the cars were able to shake slightly, which was deactivated in Paris for some reason. It made the motion on the screen have a bit more feel, kind of like the seats in a 4d cinema. The motion isn't Spiderman/Transformers level, but still pretty good. Journey into Imagination is quite silly. Typical Disney dark ride with rotating cars, but this one has them in trains, with a few dips in the track too. The ride is themed like an institute for inventors. The queue passes various office doors with punny names and odd things going on inside The ride takes you on a tour of labs, but the irritating dragon figment causes mayhem and sings a song Frozen Ever After The queue for this is a bit hellish, with streams of lightling lane users and then 3 or 4 people from standby, so spent about an hour stuck in this nicley themed, but crowded town square themed queue line. I haven't seen the film so can't really comment. One thing that struck me was how dark it is inside. Its not so much a white snowy wonderland, but a lot of blacklight theming and dimly lit scenes, which to be fair give it a real nordic dark winter feel. Journey of Water - Inspired by Moana This is quite nice, a walkthrough with all kinds of interactive fountains, including waterfalls that shut off right as you walk through, ones that respond to your hand waving, a water harp, pop jets for little kids, and a spectacular one that simulated waves crashing against the shoreline. My only comment would be why isn't this at Animal kingdom where it would fit in better. I guess it's supposed to be educational, but a strange fit for the future world area. Spaceship Earth I have hazy memories of because last time I was here i was jetlagged and fell asleep on it because it was nice and dark lol. The ride is edutainment, taking you through the history of the world and communication, so you spiral up through the spherical building, and pass through scenes of people in the ancient world keeping scrolls, through to people in the 70s using magnetic tape computers. On reflection, its the same type of ideas as Carousel of Progress over at MK. The final part has dated a bit. Your photo is taken, and on a touch screen you are asked questions about what you are interested in and your lifestyle, and it whips up a quick animation about what the future might be like, based on your inputs. The food and wine festival was on when I was visting. There was a muppets food lab where you could get a pickle flavoured shake. I opted to see what their interpretation of Australian food was. Lamington was nice but the coconut wasn't desiccated it was big soft strands, but the wine was good :} The weather was somewhat bad on the day so I was ducking for cover a bit when going around the world showcase. Another thing worth checking out is Coca Cola Club cool, where you can try free soft drink samples. The infamous Beverly is a clear but very bitter drink that tastes like drinking liquorice. My personal favourite was Joy, a korean peach pear lychee sort of drink I could have sipped all day. A few of them are just fizzy tropical flavours, so its a good go to if you dont want to pay Disney drink prices. Overall, still a great park, If I had one more day I could have really spent more time in world showcase and seen a few shows.
  3. Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/magic-kingdom I actually kicked off my 3 days at WDW at Magic Kingdom. Plenty of new stuff to see. Things are a bit more high tech at Disney these days, you can load your ticket into google wallet and tap in at the entrances, entering Lightning Lanes (the new name for fast pass) , and the app is pretty comprehensive in terms of being able to check wait times and order food, and credit to them this aspect is all very tight. The more recent points of contention is Genie Plus and Lightning Lanes and Boarding Groups for certain attractions. Basically, fast pass is no longer free, that's an extra cost to use per day, and the service is branded through the app "Genie Plus" I did without it on 2 of my 3 days since crowds seemed light enough and I could game single rider a bit. I swear though they inflate wait times to encourage people to use it. On certain rides you can also pay to skip the line on a one shot basis and enter via the Lighting Lane, and well, I ended up doing this for Tron and 7 Dwarves mine train, more on them later. And finally, boarding groups. At the time of my visit, due to their newness and popularity, Tron and Guardians (At EPCOT) both require you to go into a ballot for a time to board the ride. They do one drop at 7am, and another at 1pm. It does make it a little stressful because who wants to come all that way to ride the new stuff and have it come down to luck. Personally I think they should still offer standby. If someone wants to wait 2-3 hours to ride the new thing, more power to em! I did witness a couple of people at the entrance who were not familiar with the system a bit annoyed about being unable to ride and the complexity of it. But it turned out not to be a worry. If you are on the app at 7am and refresh as soon as the clock ticks over, you can pretty easily end up with a timeslot to ride in the morning. Despite this, I still also bought a one shot lighting lane for tron just because I wanted a guaranteed re-ride. I rocked up early: I had a plan to rope drop Seven Dwarves Mine Train, but it was broken down so I started on Goofys Barnstormer Standard vekoma roller skater but the theming is really really well done. In fact, I had never ventured into the whole circus area before, but I loved it. Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid Also new to me. An omnimover dark ride with some really detailed theming right from the start. The beginning is pretty cool, with Scuttle the seagull trying to explain Airels story in a confused manner, before your ride vehicle goes downhill and 'under the sea', with projectors used on the walls to create a sense of dropping below the waterline. The ride is fun and colourful, with a huge scene of fishes dancing to "Under the Sea". The ride kind of skips over the whole epic battle with Ursula and just has Ariel transitioning to human and getting married to Prince Eric. Very well done, and I can imagine kids would find it magical. A certain foodstuff I had wanted to try was LeFous brew from Gastons Tavern. It's basically frozen apple juice, topped with passionfruit foam, which was the most tart thing ever, it was like straight passionfruit cordial mixed with wizzfiz or something. With some time to kill until my TRON timeslot I reacquainted myself with Space Mountain. I still reckon the HK/DL/DLP versions are better, just lacks something without the music IMHO. The layout is a little tighter on the MK version and feels like a wild mouse. The exit route has way more theming than my last visit, with various cheesy displays of futurism. Finally it was time for TRON Lightcycle Run. The scale of this ride is enormous, with a huge canopy and broad elevated walkways leading to the entrance, with trains thundering overhead regularly. Once you get inside its a whole bunch of black corridors with neons and backlit graphics. The coolest feature however is a little preshow room with switchable glass with a projection. After a bit of fluff about being "scanned into the world of Tron", the glass turns transparent, revealing the trains launching below and some seriously cool looking theming. The double sided locker system works well, and has hundreds of bays. The trains have you hunkering down a lot more compared to your average straddle coaster, it's practically like being on a flying coaster. Some people have commented the ride is 'short' but its 1km long. I think what happens is people mentally dont count the outdoor section, and focus only on the indoor part. The indoor part is pretty cool, with you racing through glowing checkpoints, plus the occasional wall projection of other lightcycles racing against you. One thing that sets it apart from other indoor coasters is the turns are a lot larger and more sweeping. It's not like they have tried to cram a spaghetti of track into a box, its more like a full sized launch coaster that happens to be in a building. Impressive ride! No sign of Seven Dwarves being open on the app so I decided to try a few other tomorrowland attractions I've never done. First Astro Orbiter, which offers some great elevated views over the land. Then Peoplemover, which also offers moderately elevated views, interspersed with a few little dark ride scenes with a bit of a silly space age feel to them all. I had never done Carousel of Progress so gave this one a spin too. It's a rotating theatre, and during the show you stop in front of animatronic dioramas of a family in the 1900s, the 1920s, 1940s and so on, with the patriarch of the family talking all about all the latest and greatest developments in the world, eg the 1920s talked about how you could travel coast to coast by train, and how Babe Ruth was hitting home runs, and how their house now had brand new electric lights. And then you get to the 2000s bit and it was like 1990s mixed with back to the future. At that point it was time for my paid re-ride on Tron. First ride was in the back, so I took the front this time (It's never a long wait to request a front seat at Disney I find) Back is better if you want to see all the projections on the wall and more of the theming, but front is better if you want to stick your hands out and pretend to fly and feel the wind. What other new stuff was there for me to see. Never had done Country Bear Jamboree so that was a must. Loved this detail on the floor of the foyer. The show takes the piss out of rednecks, with the bears in the show singing drunkenly, having buck teeth, and even alluding to dressing in morally questionable (For the 1900s) mannee. Entertaining, I imagine the local audience would probably get more out of the stereotypes. When It came time to ride Big Thunder Mountain it started raining heavily. Fortunately the queue is all undercover, and they have added various themed interactive things in the queue, like Zeotropes, and fresh air monitors with displeased canaires inside. And yeah, Big Thunder running in the wet rocks! Swung by the conversion of Splash Mountain into Tianas Bayou Adventure. Enchanted Tiki Room was up next (Geez Im having a passive day!), a colourful animatronic show with four main singing birds, each with a stereotypical accent (French, German, Spanish, Irish), plus hordes of other birds that are lowered up and down from the ceiling for duets and choral sets. Its funny how times change, at the time it opened people were mesmerised by singing birds, but I guess today it feels like a room full of those novelty singing birds you get a tobacconist/gift shop. The sets are beautiful though, and the actual lyrics and storyline are entertaining. Swiss Family Treehouse is always worth a stroll through. And I couldn't pass up a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, still the benchmark in terms of being the most immersive classic Disney ride IMHO. At this point, Seven Dwarves was still not open, and they had even put out a push notification to everyone apologising for the extended downtime. Another food I wanted to try was in Adventureland, Cheeseburger and Pizza Spring rolls (You get one of each). Still wish our parks had more gimmicky snacks like this on rotation. A total surprise to me was discovering they had a Christmas overlay of Jungle Cruise called Jingle Cruise. Most of the fun of it seems to come in the form of extra christmas theming in the queue with a tropical twist. During the ride itself, the jokes are just as corny, but of course with Christmas related puns. Further Christmas decorations on the way too At that point in the day I realised there was one other attraction on my hit list I had wanted to check out, Enchanted Tales with Belle. I was thinking it was more of a walkthrough, and it has a little bit of that, but by and large its a kids meet n greet that has a fancy beginning and some cool animatronics. The main thing I wanted to see was the magic mirror effect they have, which appears to magically grow larger on the wall in front of you and open up to reveal a direct portal into the Beauty and the Beast castle that you walk through. It's a pretty cool trick how they achieve it, and there are YT videos showing how they do it, so I wont spoil it. Surprised this hasn't been used on other attractions. Once you get inside they have a talking wardrobe, and most impresive, lumiere the candle, with actual moving flames on his 'arms', which fully move and gesture as he talks. But yeah other than that they get the kids up front and give them cardboard cut outs to 'act out' a scene from Beauty and the Beast, and then Belle turns up and meets the kids, so yeah not really worth it unless you have young kids. But, finally, Seven Dwarves Mine Train opened...And I was still stuck in this thing! The wait times were already building up, so I bit the bullet and paid for another lighting lane to get on it. Good Thing I did when I arrived at the entrance, the standby wait time had blown out past 90 mins, and even the lightning lane entrance was backed up. This ride has intrigued me since it has swinging cars just like Orphan Rocker at Scenic World, so it was good to get a glimpse at what it would have been like. Actually great fun, and the theming is really detailed, particularly halfway through where you go into the gem mine and all the dwarves are singing 'hi ho hi ho its off to work we go', with full projection mapped faces on each one of them, and lighting effects from all the glowing gems. The cars do actually get a a decent swing going 2 or 3 times during the run. I was expecting Disneyfied toned down intensity, but nah this was good! And I think that's all I did. I was still a bit jetlagged so felt there was a high risk of falling asleep If i did something like Small World, so park hopped to somewhere a little more energetic..... Did you know the streak down the middle of the street Liberty Square is meant to represent raw sewage of the olden days.
  4. Disney's Animal Kingdom https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/disneys-animal-kingdom Back to Disney, this time Disney's Animal Kingdom. I ended up heading here in the late afternoon on a couple of my days at WDW. I've been here before and it doesn't necessarily take a huge amount of time to see the park regardless. For the time that I had I didn't really take an issue with skipping over Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids for example. Of course, my main target was Pandora - The World of Avatar. You can spend ages wandering around and admiring the detailed theming. Here is when it really pays to visit in the evening, since you can enjoy the land after dark where it really puts it's lippy on. Satu'li Canteen probably has the best food in the parks too: I started off with Flight of Passage, a ride known for its huge queues, but somehow I was through in 30 mins! The queue is well themed from start to finish. In particular the avatar research lab has a massive amount of detail, right down to seemingly living blobs that move around inside their containers. And of course an avatar in a tank that is kicking and moving as it floats in its sleep. A long preshow explains the whole concept for those who don't know much about the Avatar universe. Basically Pandora is an alien planet inhabitied by the Na'vi. They have bred clones of the Na'vi called "avatars" that humans can control via a neural link, allowing humans to better explore Pandora.... ...and even take part in riding on Banshees, a flying creature that Na'vi ride for fun. The ride is like a much more intense version of a flying theatre. There's no gentle soaring over landscapes here. You are wearing 3D glasses, and diving, twisting and moving quite aggressively the whole time, apart from a brief breather halfway through where you stop in a cave and those little flying jellyfish spore things land on you. Felt on par to me to those simulated flying sequences on Harry Potter and the forbidden journey. The rows of seats are even able to drop a few meters, allowing for actual freefall moments during the ride! And the graphics are spectacular, and very colourful. The seat looks a bit like a Zamperla Disko seat, with some extra vibrating seat pads, and even some inflating air bags to give the feeling the banshee you are riding is breathing. A great trick is done to transition you into the ride film. Your seat has tiny little led strobes that flicker right in your eyes, and as they do this they quickly open the door in front of your seats, play some more flickering lights on the dome screen and then wham, you 'wake up' in the world of Pandora. Na'vi River Cruise is the other attraction. Suprisingly this thing had a longer wait whenever I looked. It's a pleasant well themed dark boat ride through scenes from Pandora. But I guess the thing for me was, the ride scenes and theming are just like what you have already seen out in the main park, with the difference of a few screens showing animals scurrying around and some additional moving things overhead. Though it does come good in the end with a dancing singing Na'vi priest lady. And the queue is quite beautiful, seemingly built by the Na'vi, and full of artefacts. As for the rest of the park. Harambe Marketplace is food district the park opened. Again, the food here is great if you actually want something proper with a bit of flavour. I think i had some Chicken flatbread thing with tahini. They certainly got the developing country vibe right, love the meta copyright infringement. Expedition Everest is fun as always, and quite pleasant at sunset. Dinosaur is a motion based dark ride with exactly the same layout as Indiana Jones, but something about it doesn't click for me. I think it's because is so homogenous from start to finish. You are riding around in a jeep in a dark jungle looking for a particular dinosaur just before the asteroid wipes out the dinosaurs. But it's the same thing the whole way through. Twist and turn then stop, the onboard computer IDs a dinosaur next to the track, nope its not that one, twist and turn some more, another dinosaur, nope not that one either, etc etc repeat that for most of the ride. It eventually reaches a crescendo at the end. You know how on Indinana jones you dive underneath a boulder. On this one you dive under a giant T-Rex head that lunges at you (Clearly inspired by the ending of Jurrassic Park River Adventure!) They took out the Spinning Coasters, but they still have that Dinorama area. The gift shop is worth a look for how zany it is inside. Tough to Be a Bug I did for old times sake, and because the posters in the waiting area is funny. The show is presented like a cabaret of different bugs on stage. Creative use of 4D effects in the cinema, with stink bugs and poisonous bugs shooting at you, and even ones that sting. The other ride I had wanted to do (I've managed to miss on previous visits) is the wildlife express train, but it closes quite early in the afternoon. Ah well, guess I'll ride it in a few years time. And thats Animal Kingdom.
  5. I also had the chance to do Cosmic Rewind - and let me just start with - visiting Walt Disney World now sucks. It's very expensive, and requires heaps of planning etc. I only had time to visit for one day - which cost over $300 for a park hopper, which you can't hop to 2pm.. etc .. just really stressful and not a great experience - Universal is a much better option. Anyway my day started at 7am at my hotel, anxiously refreshing the app to get a boarding group for Cosmic Spin - I got one - but the 660 minute estimate was disheartening... then this I obviously had plans to be not be in Epcot at 6pm. Anyway once the park opened - I did Mission Space (I still can't believe a ride that pulls that many sustained G's exists inside a disney park) then Test Track SR then I got this The queue building is amazing There's a middle section that runs videos which sync up with several double projection screens - along with holographic type displays (spinning leds) There's 2 preshows, one which employs the fake room trick like Posidens Fury - after that there's a safety video (wow!) which explains the boarding process You end up on a ramp between the two load stations I found the joins between the trains pretty interesting The ride experience is incredible - you start with a reverse launch (the train is technically launching fowards - but the cars are rotated backwards) - from then it was sensory overload - the projection parallax effect is bloody bang on - then you do a helix around planet earth.. it was just such a brilliant ride - basically Space Mountain 2.0 with a banging soundtrack. Would love to do it again... but I couldn't.. the paid lighting lane option ($25AUD, cheaper than the MW/SW offerings) was sold out. It's exactly what Epcot needs, but would be great in Magic Kingdom.. if that makes sense.
  6. https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/travel-stories/torture-disney-world-guests-gripe-of-brokendown-rides-filth-as-prices-soar/news-story/fced2286db6c350eae1a4ee612f8dc0a Lol great decision.
  7. First The Imagineering Story, now Behind The Attraction... I'm surprised that there isn't an episode on Pirates Of The Caribbean!
  8. The Disney Dish Podcast has done a 2 part podcast delving into the history and story of Disneyland Australia. Would highly recommend a listen, it's a fascinating story! Link to part 1: https://disneydish.bandcamp.com/track/unbuilt-disney-disneyland-australia-part-1 Link to part 2: https://disneydish.bandcamp.com/track/unbuilt-disney-disneyland-australia-part-2 I've listened to this podcast on and off. They have a really good backlog of episodes to choose from. The podcast mainly covers insider knowledge, history and reviews of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Universal Parks all around the world.
  9. Hi All, I tend to lurk on these forums but think it's about time for a post! I'm a mad coaster nut who also happens to be a travel agent that specializes in groups. I'm looking to put together a group tour next year and was wondering if anyone might be interested in this? Currently I have the tour working in three ways - Tour A is - 11 Days - Starting Orlando, Finishing Arlington - July 7th - 17th 2019 Tour B is - 12 Day - Starting Arlington, Finishing Cleveland - July 16th - 27th 2019 Tour A+B - 21 Day - Full Tour from Orlando to Cleveland - July 7th - 27th 2019 Theme Parks I'm looking to include are: Tours A: Fun Spot Orlando Fun Spot Kissimmee Busch Gardens Tampa Adventure Landing - Jacksonville Beach Wild Adventures Six Flags Over Georgia Carowinds Dollywood Lake Winnie Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Six Flags Over Texas Tour B Six Flags Over Texas Frontier City Silver Dollar City Worlds of Fun City Museum Six Flags St Louis Holiday World Kentucky Kingdom Kings Island Cedar Point All up, based on these theme parks current offerings the full 21 days would offer the chance to ride up to 138 coasters! I'm in the midst of working on pricing but in the meantime, would love any feedback on this and check out the level of interest.
  10. Hi everyone firstly I couldn’t think of a good title, secondly over summer I am going to go to Florida and California for the first time, I already have passes to Walt Disney World and Universal and I have a few questions. 1) Are there any other recommended theme parks. 2) Should I bother to also go to Disneyland. 3) Any recomended must see shows, rides or attractions. 4) And any tips or things to look for.
  11. Didn't want to start a new post on this given it isn't about one of our parks per se but thought I would post this here given it is relevant to our discussion about improving transit to the Spit/SW given the possible development of a 2nd casino to the south of SW and the possible development of a cruise terminal at the Council car park to the east of SW. Anyway it is looking increasingly likely (albeit neither confirmed nor denied by Disney) that Disney is going to build a high capacity cable car / gondola system to link 5 areas in Disneyworld: http://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/02/21/theres-a-strong-rumor-that-disney-world-will-be-getting-a-massive-gondola-system# System will supposedly look like this based on building permits showing what look suspiciously like turning stations: http://www.wdwthemeparks.com/rumors/2017/02/13/transportation-system-to-connect-hollywood-studios-epcot-caribbean-beach-pop-century-and-art-of-animation#prettyPhoto If true I think this is quite powerful validation of the technology given Disney will be paying for all of this out of their own resources and thus would have looked extremely closely how it stacks up vs alternatives with regards to capital and operating costs, capacity, reliability and needless to say safety.
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