December 29th 2007 – January 2nd 2008
Mark’s adventures in the Happiest Place on Earth Â©.
From what I remember I hadn’t been back to Orlando since around 1993? The last time I was there I remember just seeing everything as boring and for kids. This time was a little different, I’m still not indoctrinated into the Cult of Disney, but I did wear some mouse ears for a while.
They’ve really got some good rides at MGM now, The Tower of Terror and Rock N’ Roller coaster were actually awesome. Not just Disney Awesome. The Star Wars ride could use some work. I really think they could update it and make it a lot better. I’m sure they’re going to just tear it down and build something else. But it was kind of nostalgic to see the training video that looked like it was made before 1990.(update – the wiki on this ride states that a sequal ride is in the works. probably because this one cost 35 million bucks)
The Magic Kingdom definitely wasn’t lame. There still aren’t many “thrill rides” but they do such a good job of entertaining you while you’re in line and on the ride that you forget that they’re a little slow. The new Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides are really good. They’re so well done that you forget you’re just on a track inside a warehouse. Especially in Pirates, when you’re floating by as Barbosa is attacking the fort you really feel like you’re out in the ocean. Especially awesome was the blast of air that comes through and feels like a cannonball just missed you.
I wish I could have spent more time at Animal Kingdom, But I wanted to go watch the Illinois Rose Bowl game (bad game). The safari was really cool, it felt like you were really out there. They’ve designed the enclosures so that there are no visible boundaries from one area to the next, so it looks like the lions could go over and attack the other animals at any time. I think that makes it really cool. The Everest ride/roller coaster is another example of the typical Disney ride. They take an average coaster and dress it up so that it’s a really fun ride. I’ve never seen a coaster have so many video/ anamatronic elements. The image that really sticks in my head is coming flying through the cave at the end and having a 30ft yeti hanging over me and trying to claw at me. Really cool looking!
New years eve at Epcot center was a really fun time. I think as ive gotten older I really appreciate Epcot more. When I was last there the only thing I can remember is buying a really big sombrero in Mexico and walking around a lot. This time it was really cool eating in the different countries and realizing that the people working there were actually from those places. Also getting a beer in every country was excellent.
Laurel’s Dad and Step-mom were my guides for the adventure, I really like vacationing with them. They have their little quirks like any parents, but they do really know how to have a good time and are really interesting people. We did so many fun things that I can’t believe that we were only there for a few days. I’m really looking forward to out next vacation together.