Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Last Disney Vacation Entry

Monday, August 21, 2006

Last Disney Vacation Entry

Well, this last entry has been about 3 weeks coming. I was really waiting on Rex to send me some pictures since he had the only camera on the trip, but he is busy, so I will give you the last post here without pictures.

Basically, to catch everyone up, Rex and I spent 7 full days in Orlando, FL and in that time hit every Disney and Universal park. That means we conquered Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney/MGM Studios, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Not to mention finding the time to get in Laser Runner (with the world's largest maze), Grimm's Haunted House (still scaring people with one employee), Disney Quest, Typhoon Lagoon (water park) and Fish Bones. The trip was probably our best yet, save for the classic first time we ever went with a budget of $100.

It is a special thing to take these trips every year with my brother. First of all, I don't know too many brothers, if any, who in their 30's travel across the country from two very different cities to meet in one city for a week of theme park adventures. It is unique and special. Second, we just can't seem to get enough of Orlando. We love it. (granted, I think we might take a year off next year and do an amusement park tour across the country, hitting places we have never been like Cedar Pointe or something like that. ((although if we went to Cedar Pointe without taking my sister, she would probably never speak to us again. She is a park lover as much as us.))

Anyway, let me do a couple of my classic lists here.

First of all, my current, updated top 5 rides in Orlando. Let me explain. My top rides list is constantly changing, based on a million factors that I don't have time to go into. Also, this list is for all of Orlando, which means basically both Disney and Universal parks. That makes this list very difficult, if not impossible, to make. But, here is my best shot. From 5th to 1st.

5. Dinosaur. (Animal Kingdom) Put simply, this is the most underrated ride in Orlando, hands down. It's dark, scary, fast, jerky and has a terrifying ending. We rode it at least 5 times this trip, and it got better everytime.

4. Spaceship Earth. (Epcot) Ok, it's old, kind of weird and nothing to it. But I love it. Rex doesn't quite share my adoration for this ride, and was basically sleeping through it the second time we rode it, but man I love it. This is a ride I could stay on without getting off for a dozen times easy.

3. Tower of Terror. (MGM Studios) Everything about this ride is great. The preshow is amazing, the queue is awesome, and the ride itself is revolutionary. I get pretty freaked out everytime I am on this thing.

2. Haunted Mansion. (Magic Kingdom) I could write a book on this ride, so I will just say that atmosphere and detail makes this a classic for all time. Ride it 1,000 times and still not see half of what is there. The perfect dark ride. The last time we rode it, we were lucky enough to have the ride stop for a few moments while we were in front of the haunted dining hall scene (where there are tons of ghosts) It was great!

1. Spiderman. (Islands Of Adventure) If you have not ridden this ride, book a trip now to Universal Studios, Florida. It is the only ride where I have actually felt like I was in another dimension for a short time. It is an incredible experience, the 45 seconds of the ride is unlike anything I have ever experienced. This is #1 by a pretty good margin, and I never thought anything would ever take out The Haunted Mansion as #1.

Extreme honorable mentions goes to Jaws (Universal Studios) and Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom). Rides that get the complete two thumbs down that everyone else seems to love is Test Track (Epcot) and Back to the Future (Universal Studios). Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) used to be in that category, but shockingly we had a much more enjoyable experience on Space Mountain this trip.

The memories and experiences are way to numerous to list, so here a few of my favorite things from this trip in no particular order.

- Boma. This was the buffet style restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge that is probably the best food I have ever eaten.

- Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was great, and the savannah view room was very cool, you could actually see the animals right from our balcony.

- Riding The Haunted Mansion with Andi. It was her first time. Not sure if she really liked it, but it was special to me.

- Experiencing Expedition Everest for the first time. It is a fun ride. But not great. See previous post.

- Filming our little Film Noir. ** see note below **

- Experiencing the Carousel of Progress for the first time.

- Waiting for the Disney Shuttles. That was actually kind of fun, in some weird way.

- Deciding that Typhoon Lagoon actually stinks.

- Riding Jurassic Park individually back to back while the other filmed from near the splash zone.

- Trying to explain to Yvette why The Haunted Mansion and Skull Kingdom are classics.

- Did I mention Boma?

- Being in Grimm's Haunted House and hearing this weird burping sound. After asking Rex, "What just burped?" The one employee who was behind me said, "I did!"

- "4.56 cubic feet? YES!! Enough room for your cup? YES!! And. . .(wham)Same Day Delivery! Large inventory of appliances? YES!! Friendly customer service? YES!! And. . .(wham)Same Day Delivery!"

- Dang, these are nice binoculars.

- The Sci-Fi Dine In. This bad boy is getting dangerously close to Cap's Diner for my all time favorite theme park restaurant.

- Trying to go three days without melting the British Kit Kat I bought for Andi at Epcot.

- Illuminations at Epcot. Breath taking.

- Standing in front of Dr. Doom's fearfall and having on of two guys who were with us tell Rex, "sometimes my friend gets sick on this ride and throws up." Rex's response. . . "I hope so." The guy starting cracking up, and so did I.

- Video taping Rex and Spiderman shaking hands. Spidey asked Rex, "Do you still wear the underroos?"

- Riding Popeye's 4 times in a row without going back through the queue.. That ride just keeps getting better.

- Waiting 20 minutes to get our picture taken in front of Cinderella Castle.

Goodness, the list could go on and on.

One last thing. Rex and I filmed a little Film Noir adventure of our trip. I hope to have that edited and available for viewing in the next couple of weeks. It was a great trip!!!


Blogger Barry said...

Well, since I roomed with Rex for two years in college I can attest to the fact that I never noticed any Spiderman Underoos. However, the Holly Hobby ones certainly kept getting underfoot...

Amazingly, in my life I've ridden the Haunted Mansion a grand total of: one time. But I bet I know as much about it as anyone, just from research. Thank goodness that one time was with my son, so we got to experience it for the first time together.

You guys really need to take a trip to Williamsburg and do a Busch Gardens: Europe report. I don't think DarKastle will replace Spiderman, but it's pretty similar and the four coasters there are great.

What? No Twister love?? And still no BTTF love.... :(

First time on Carousel? Shame. It and Spaceship: Earth were my son's favorites.

I have to hear the stories about Grimm's and.. whatever that was about the cubic feet, etc.

Rex, see any more Amazon models dousing themselves with water in Toon Lagoon with those binocs? Talk about binockers..

What do you think about Prime Time Cafe?

Can't wait for the film noir!

August 21, 2006 9:28 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...


The Prime Time Cafe looks killer, somehow we missed it. Dang, well that just means another trip I guess.

I just can't get into BTTF The Ride. (Love the movies). I want to like it, but I don't. I love Twister RIDE IT OUT! But, not in the top 5. Rex told me that was one of your favs, maybe we can experience it together one of these days.

BG Williamsburg is one of the parks on the list for our tour. I went there in the 7th grade as part of our East Coast Field Trip, but have never been back.

I applaud your son on Spaceship Earth, it really is one of the best.

You are way behind on riding The Haunted Mansion, however, I have yet to ride the original at Disneyland, so that is on my list of things to do.

August 21, 2006 2:37 PM  
Anonymous rexwilder said...

Sorry about the pics readers, my desktop broke down over the last few days and I just got it replaced yesterday. I'll get pics to Phil this week and hopefully he can do a postscript post with a few pics. I will echo Phil's comments on our trips...we are such different people yet when we get together (and even when we are apart, through emails/calls/etc.) it all just clicks wonderfully. Also, Barry, there were a couple of "in jokes" in that post that will have to be explained (suffice it to say the cubic feet line is from the all-time funniest local commercial I have ever seen, and we saw it about 4 times in 10 minutes). And, everyone should be awfully excited about the film...it is going to be a classic (shot in approximately 3 1/2 hours of actual recording/prep time for about $0.75). "No good."

August 21, 2006 2:52 PM  

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