And We’re Back!

Amanda and I returned from our Walt Disney World trip Sunday night, completely exhausted and completely satisfied. It was a really great trip. Seeing Amanda’s reactions to everything made it all absolutely incredible for me. I already posted a mid-way trip report. Here’s some highlights of the second half of the trip:

Amanda’s reaction to Fantasmic! was awesome. I don’t think her jaw closed once during the entire performance.

That being said, the insanity that is the new Fantasmic! schedule (twice a week only) needs to end. We went to the second show of the night, and an hour before showtime, the line for the show was about 10 people wide and extended from the entrance to the stadium allllllll the way down Sunset Blvd. It was beyond absurd. There wasn’t enough time to even get everyone in and seated before the show started. Disney needs to fix that, like, now.

All of our pictures are posted, both on Facebook and on Picasa.

We did the Norway Princess breakfast on Thursday. Our reservations were for 8am, 1 hour before the park opened. Walking through Epcot with NO ONE ELSE there was almost surreal. We got a couple pics of Amanda in front of the fountain and the floral display at the Lagoon, with absolutely 0 people behind her. And the breakfast was pretty nice too. Good food, both on the cold buffet and on the hot family-style dishes. And we got pictures of her with each of the Princesses (except Ariel and Tiana).

I will not go during the summer again. I can deal with heat. I can (grudgingly) deal with crowds. I cannot deal with heat and crowds at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the trip, but this is by far the worst time of the year to go.

We went to Typhoon Lagoon on Wednesday. I love that place. We spent probably 2½ – 3 hours straight just in the wave pool alone. I think Amanda was somewhat shocked by the sheer size of the place.

On our Hollywood Studios day, we made good use of FastPass and were basically done with all the rides by 2pm or so. So we moved our dinner back from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, and went back to the hotel to nap and swim for a few hours. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever left the parks in the middle of the day. (Though Ange claims she and I did once too, but I don’t remember it.)

We went back to Universal for a second day on Saturday. We went straight to IOA for Harry Potter as soon as we got there, and then hopped over to Univeral Studios. Honestly, I liked it. I thought many of the attractions were very good. It simply didn’t have the same “feel” as being in a Disney park. I don’t know how to describe it better than that. I will note, however, that while I enjoyed many of the attractions, Amanda had never seen the movies on which they were based (The Mummy, Men in Black, Jaws, Terminator 2, etc). I don’t know if that would impact someone’s enjoyment or not.

We went to a live taping of Family Feud while we were at Universal. We were in the audience for two shows that will be aired this fall. It was a very enjoyable time, although the wait was outside in the heat for far too long. The episodes we were there for will air sometime this fall. I may have to set my TiVo to start recording it…..

The Kim Possible adventure at Epcot remains one of the most bizarrely enjoyable experiences in WDW. For what it is, it simply should not be that much fun. We did four missions on this trip, in the UK, France, Japan, and Germany.

The new Tower of Terror effects are somewhat cool, I guess. But not anything spectacular that anyone should make a trip down to Disney just to see. Basically there’s two effects. 1) The Tower somewhat glows purpleish. 2) your photo is taken as you go up the elevator shaft, and then in the fifth dimension scene, you see your photograph in front of you, and you eventually fade out the same way the ghosts do in the shaft. Eh.

I told Amanda that our last day was entirely up to her. She could decide which park we were going to, which attractions to do, etc. She chose to do an ultimate park hopper. All four parks. We started off with Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom. Then we took a bus to the Grand Floridian and caught the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, for Carousel of Progress. Then back on the monorail to Epcot for Living with the Land. Then out the back of the park for lunch on the Boardwalk and on to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Muppetvision 3D. Even after all that, we still had about 2 hours before we needed to be back at the hotel, so we took a cab from DHS to Downtown Disney and went to DisneyQuest for Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters. It was a phenomenally busy and tiring day, but so very worth it.

I am now back, and my countdown for the Disneyland trip in September is now in full gear. 🙂

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