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joz

Joz's USA / UK Trip

12 posts in this topic

Well, tomorrow I fly off for an epic expedition to the UK. 2 months of thrills, chills (even with the heat wave) and spills. Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and a number of smaller attractions make up part of my planned list. Before that, I have a whirlwind tour of Sourthen Cali, 4 days on the ground, in which I will be tackling SFMM, KBF, DL and DCA. In two months I'll be back with photos, vids TRs and the like. In the meantime, I doubt I'll be posting much. I'll stop by whenever I can, and let you know how things are going. See you all in two months, look after the place! :D :arrow:

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Well, the 4 days in Cali didn't go as well as I'd hoped. For starters I was sick for 3 of the four days, so was unable to see SFMM and KBF. I did however, have the good fortune to come across a 1 day hopper pass, so I was able to have the chance to do DCA and DL on one jam packed day with my sister. So, with some day plans in tow, I started the day, at 9am, at DL. Here's how it went. Headed staight for Splash Mountain, to relive the music from the "Songs of the South", a film, I've never seen, and after going on this ride, doubt I will. Great ride, themeing was excellant, and the drops were fun. Not the tallest or the steepest, but they were fun drops. The ride was shorter then reviews would have you believe, but still long, and unlike WWF, the ride time wasn't half made up by the chain up the hill. 9/10 The next on our agenda was Haunted Mansion. Some fun effects, mixed with an aging, jerky people mover, made this a rather scary ride. 8/10 After we picked up a fast pass for Indana, we did the Jungle Cruise, which is now, one of my favorite rides. They say that the guide you get can make or break this ride, well, we got one of the best. Think Tim Ferguson with an American accent, and possibly gay, and you've got out guide. I'll just throw in one line "Hey Lady with the video camera, look over there, between those two trees, and you can see NOTHING!!" 9/10 After taking in the sights of Fronteirland, we headed over to Indana Jones ride, to use our fastpasses. There is nothing I can say to do this ride justice, the dart rooms, the suspended bridge, the final plunge, everything about it was out of this world. We need something like this in Australia now!!!! 10/10 Next we headed cross park, to tommorrow land home to such rides as the subs, the people mover, and the chairlift to fantisyland, and space mountain. Sadly, most of these rides had been closed for years, or in refurbisment, leaving the whole area of the park looking a bit sad. Innoventions was next. This walk through was really just a big advertisment, and was rather un-impressive. Air conditioning was nice though 3/10 Honey I shrunk the Audience: I'd only heard good things about this 3d Movie, so I was really looking forward to it. Sadly, it was no where near as entertaining as one would think. The effects were great, the film was boring 5/10 We took the train to fantisyland (for a chance to sit down), and had lunch at 'Village something' (name escapes me for the moment) and bought some cold chips, two small hot dogs (by small, I mean no longer then 3 inches) and a small drink. Cheap and nasty food, but I didn't care enough to argue, and we went to get our fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain. While waiting for our fastpass, we went on Casey Jr. Circus train, a fun little ride, with heaps of nostalgic value for me, which makes it 8/10. Don't be surprised when your ratings on that one are different. After Casey JR, we went on the scariest, most sickening, gut crunching ride ever created: It's a small world. The Simpsons do a good job of mimicking it in the "Duff Gardens" episode. Save yourself, theres air-con else where in the park where you don't have to listen to the song 2/10 Time had ticked over rather quickly, and our fastpass was already valid, so we boarded Big Thunder Mountain, a Vekoma masterpeice. We don't have this ride type in Australia, and this full sized well themed version really makes me want one. One problem with this ride though, the ride had a couple of lifts, which in my opinion, is worse then a mid course brake. 7/10 Next was Pirates, a huge boat ride cleverly hiden under a restaraunt. Probably Compareable to the old lassiter's lost mine ride at SW, although much better. 8/10 We next went on a fastpass frenzy, and were able to get re-rides on Indiana, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, plus seeing Tarzan's Treehouse (also known as "Stairs" 1/10). We then left the park and headed for Cali. Adventure. We headed for Grizley River Run, the only ride in the park my sister wanted to go on, and endured a 15min queue (Longest of the day). The area around the ride is very well done, great themeing. The ride itself? Excellant, in every way. Great drops, wet rapids, and a relativly fun lift. Easily the best rapids ride I've been on (although the only other two I've been on are Snowy and Thunder Rivers) and possibly the best ride in the park. 9/10 I said my goodbyes to my sister, and was dismayed to discover that the last fast pass for soarin' had already been given out by 7pm (when the park closed at 9). Since the ride was comanding a rather respectable 45 min wait, I thought I'd try and come back to it. Sadly it wasn't to be, and I would miss one of the parls only "Must do" attractions. So instead, I went to Paradise Peir, home of the Cali Screaming. A fun launch, followed by a very fast ride around paradise peir, with pops of airtime, and a shaky vertical loop. Great Intamin ride, with a great capaticy... how come we don't get them in Australia? 9/10 Next, I tried my first SS Tower ride, Maliboomer, a great ride, but somehow not as fun as Giant Drop. 7/10 To give Mulholland Madness (MACK Mouse) the grace of a review would be just wrong. 5/10. A few re-rides later, I found myself gavatating towards the front of the park, but found myself with half an hour to kill before the parade. Soarin' now had a 20 min queue, which would have made me miss part of the parade, and It's tough to be a bug was too far away, so I just sat on a bench, mesmorised by the lack of atmosphere, even with all the people gathered around. The crowd didn't start really 'buzzing' until around 5 mins before parade time, but I'll tell you something for nothing, the impact of that thing starting, is unreal. Its a rare thing to find me with nothing to say, but this parade does. An instant 10, and my favorite attraction out of the two parks. After the parade, the park closed, and I went back to DL for two more hours. I had a quick go on Star Tours, where I found the queue to be almost as fun as the ride itself. Much older, and much better then Batman 1&2 put together. 9/10 I then had the chance to do some history, the first steel roller coaster, Matterhorn. I sadly only got to do one side (don't know which) but I think that the ride is seriously under rated. Great speed, and surprisingly forceful. 8/10 I then had the chance to see Fantasmic, a great blend of a few nighttime show effects (Water Screens, Lazers & Fire mostly). I enjoyed the show, but I would rate it slightly below the old Surpent Slayer show at SW. Still allot better then Superstars live in Concert. 8/10 After the show, I was lucky enough to get one of the last rides of the day on Indiana (walk on), and by midnight, was back at my hotel. A great day had by all, particually me.

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Sounds like you had a great day! I have to give you credit, I was pretty proud of myself for hitting disney all in a day but you managed to do mosty of BOTH parks, congrats! (I did however wind up there on the last day of spring break :-) ) I'm glad to hear you say that about Jungle Cuise, I think you might have had the same guy we did...for something I went on just because it had no line it turned into a terrific ride. Did you guy go for a cheesy disco moment as his sang the tune to The Hustle by any chance?? Indy (temple of the 4 hour line) I agree is amazing. Sadly I don't think we'll ever see a $100mil attraction down under. Best gem I found on this was the single rider que...NO WAIT I agree with Honey I Shrunk the Audience however the best bit is when you drop and you realise the whole theatre is 1 huge motion base...2nd only the the 'drop' on backdraft. You said it all about grisley and cal scremin. Best thing is the clever station design...awsome capacity.

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Yeah, it didn't seem that busy. Even so the wait for Indy got to around an hour or so during the day, but through what I thought was smart use of the fastpass system, we managed not to wait more then 5mins for anything, even on Indy. I give allot of credit for seeing the as much as we did to Fastpass, which gave us the chance to do 3 rides in the time it took to line up, and go on 1. One thing I really had to wonder, when there's fastpass' avalible, why were the people queued up? Quite often the queue for a ride would be 40 mins, and the fastpass' given out would be valid in 35, and yet people stil queued up. Weird stuff I thought, but it made my life much easier :D

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Yeah the fastpass system in use at Disney is great. The only think we lined up for when we were there was Splash Mountain (unfortunately at 70mins) but other than that next to no wait at all with fastpass... Even 75 wasn't bad on a day where SM got up to 180!! Its also clever how they manage your alocation on the passes and how the two lines are merged at the ride.

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Agreed about the way they manage they allocation and the way they merge the lines. As an example for those Aussies who don't know how the lines merge (Which, lets face it, is nearly everyone), lets say Scooby Doo had fastpass: The queue on the right hand side which never gets used would be given over to fastpass (even though there'd never be anyone waiting there), and would probably join with the regular queue just as you leave the main queue hall. DJ, just one the Jungle Cruise skipper, no he didn't sing the tune to Hustle, but when passing the Monkeys did point them out by saying "Hey Hey its the Monkeys, I hear they like to monkey around...."

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Is the fast pass system fair? I've obviously never used it before but if I was going to a new park I would probaly use to just make sure I got onto all the ride. I'm not gunna spend my 8 hour days standing in 1 hour lines for the whole day. I still think it's kinda unfair, What else are we going to have to pay for next? It is just seperating the poor from the wealthy........ Shaun

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^yes its fair and a great time saver and shaun fastpasses are free they are not a extra coast what happens is you put your ticket in a fastpass machine at the front of the attraction you use. then you take your ticket out of the machine and a fastpass ticket also pops out. now say its 9:15am the ticket will tell you to come back at say between 11:15am and 12:15 to use the fastpass queue. at disneyland Indiana jones and splash mountain are the rides you must get fastpass for unless you love queues and over at DCA Soarin over California and Grizzly "on a hot day" are good ones for fastpass the only park I beleve that charges extra for fast pass are Six Flags which sounds right to me.

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Fast Pass is included in the ticket price, it essentially works on a "first in best dressed" system. It's the Six Flags or Cedar Fair systems that cost money. Even if it did cost money, it's exactly the same as paying more for good seats in a stadium, or to some extent, buying a Jaguar XKR over a Hyundai Excel. It's not as if by not paying you're excluded from riding the coaster.

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And did I hear somewhere that you can only be in 1 fastpast que at a time? Maybe that's just with those fancy QBot's that some park use? Shaun Finaly 100 posts!!!

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How it works Shaun is you can't get another fastpass until your allocated time period for the one you currently have begins. So if you got your pass at 9:30am and your slot was 10:45-11:45 you wouldn't be able to get another fastpass for anything until 10:45. If you plan things out this system works really well. After about 7pm or something though that restriction comes off and you can get as many as you like...if any are still available.

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