Orlando Spring Break 2016

Write about your adventures, your experiences, your fun at amusement parks, theme parks, coasters and pretty much anywhere else.

Moderator: illinois

Post Reply

What is your favorite Orlando park?

Magic Kingdom
Hollywood Studios
No votes
Animal Kingdom
No votes
Universal Studios
No votes
Islands of Adventure
Fun Spot
No votes
SeaWorld Orlando
Total votes: 7

User avatar
Ride Operator
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Spencerman » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:12 pm

Now that it's been over a month since I visited Orlando with the band, I figured I ought to tell you all my thoughts on the parks. I am going to put each park in a new post, since there are so many and I have quite a bit to say. They're in the same order as it was when we visited them.

Also, I encourage you all to answer the poll I've put in, even if you haven't visited Orlando before. Feel free to reply and explain why.

I love Epcot. It's my favorite park we visited in Orlando. Just walking up towards the gates from the parking lot was amazing. After entering, I was a bit dumbfounded on how big Spaceship Earth, the fountains, and Epcot itself was. It's very impressive. The park still had a charm to it, though, that I find at regional parks. However, Epcot, and none of the other Orlando parks, can compete with the Midwestern parks on friendliness. I was surprised to find that a lot of Cast Members lacked personality. However, there were a few that I had a small conversation with, and that felt special. That is one grief I have about all of the Orlando parks, and that's the lack of connection. But all in all, they're still all great.

We visited Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival, which means that topiaries were everywhere, and colorful flowers took over a lot of land.
Flower and Garden Festival.jpg
This section was extremely beautiful, and I forced the group to take a picture in front of it.
Flower and Garden Festival.jpg (440.35 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Moving on to the rides, we started with Journey Into Imagination. It was pretty strange but also cute. I just wish I could experience what the original was all about.
Neat Fountains.jpg
After riding Journey Into Imagination with Figment, my group spent quite a bit of time playing fountains that jump over the pathway.
Neat Fountains.jpg (234.25 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Next was the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion. Just walking up to the Pavilion I was intrigued, but the inside is just gorgeous. There were racks of clothes and gifts in the middle section and well themed shops on the sides, but the crown of the Pavilion was the back wall. The inside was supposed to look like night time, and towards the back end there is a fairly large temple (similar to the look of the Pavilion) with an active volcano in the background. In front of the wall is a body of water, which separates the temple from a dining area. We almost left until we noticed the queue for the boat ride, which was a walk on. Once on the ride, I was surprised but extremely glad that the boats float in that body of water. This was one of the most stunning parts of the trip. The rest of the ride was hidden, and passed through screens featuring the Three Caballeros in certain places in Mexico. This part was okay, but certainly not as great as the beginning section.
Mexico Pavilion.jpg
I really wish I had a good picture of the inside to show you all, but you'll have to settle for this.
Mexico Pavilion.jpg (264.11 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
We then rode Spaceship Earth. This is such a twisted ride. A better name would be Contortionist - The Ride. It's amazing how Imagineers could fit such a neat and long ride into the giant golf ball that is Spaceship Earth. The ride was not only well-themed, but also educational.
Spaceship Earth Distance.jpg
One of the best park icons I've seen.
Spaceship Earth Distance.jpg (121.17 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Next was Mission: Space. I actually rode twice. I started with the easier Green Team, and then decided I needed to experience the Orange Team. I would suggest both, but do not ride Orange if you get sick easily. I can usually take spinning, but the force caused was almost too much. Still, if you can handle it, make a point to ride the Orange Team.
Mission Space.jpg
I loved being able to pretend I was an astronaut.
Mission Space.jpg (164.15 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Our final ride was Test Track. We nearly didn't ride due to the forty minute wait, but a girl in our group went to guest relations and told them it was her first time at Epcot, and received a FastPass for five. I am certainly glad, too, because Test Track was a load of fun. I liked being able to design a car to make it look as dumb but powerful as possible. We ending up scoring well in Responsiveness and Power. I loved speeding around on the track outside, and passing by the many Chevrolet vehicles.

Now let's talk about food! Because we were with the band, every student was given a meal ticket with certain places they could eat at. It was actually a great deal, as it including an entree, side, dessert, and drink, which many times would have cost over $20. Sadly, though, I only ate at the American restaurant. I really wanted a Bratwurst and wanted to see the German Pavilion. However, the rest of the group decided to play it safe. I ordered the chicken tenders, fries, and a brownie. The brownie was the best part, and I only ate half of the tenders and none of the fries before I gave the rest to my friends. (Our next FastPass was for Mission: Space, and I did not want to be overfed for it.)
While lunch was nothing special, visiting Club Cool was a great idea. I really like Coca-Cola, so the theming was fun to look at. The drinks were also very neat. Being the only amusement park enthusiast of the group, I was able to persuade everyone that the Beverly was an amazing drink, and that they should try some. I also tried the Beverly just to see what it would taste like, which the best way I can describe it is that it tastes like spray sunscreen. The rest of the sodas were very tasty and sweet.

All in all, I really like Epcot. Perhaps it was the lack of crowds, but I still really like it. We ended up leaving around 6:30, long before the sky was dark and IllumiNations started. I would have loved to see the show. But even without it, Epcot was so much fun and very unique. It's like a permanent Worlds Fair, which is something that I've always wanted to visit. While I wasn't sure if I'd like it beforehand, the park really grew on me. A big problem I had with all of the parks was the lack of time we were given. Epcot was the longest day at a park we had, and I still regret not being able to explore a lot of Future World and most of the World Showcase. I would love to spend a week at each park.
Why aren't monorails commonly used for public transportation? They're so great!
Monorail.jpg (279.64 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Odyssey Pavillion.jpg
The Odyssey Pavilion wasn't in use during our visit, but it provided a neat walkway to get to Future World from Mexico.
Odyssey Pavillion.jpg (260.51 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Neat Train.jpg
This oddity was next to the German Pavilion.
Neat Train.jpg (541.38 KiB) Viewed 6354 times
Irish Pub.jpg
My sister asked me to take a photo of this since she's really interested in Ireland.
Irish Pub.jpg (283.23 KiB) Viewed 6354 times

User avatar
Paul Drabek
Park Chain CEO
Posts: 7872
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:07 pm
Custom Title: Chief Coaster Nut!
Location: Third rock from the sun. In the middle of nowhere.

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Paul Drabek » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:35 pm

Thanks for the TR Spencerman.
Life is short....have fun!

User avatar
Park Management
Posts: 1332
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:46 pm
Custom Title: Biggest fan ever of violakat03
Location: Huber Heights, Ohio

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by dare-to-fly » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:09 pm

Glad to see that you enjoyed Walt's Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. :) I really enjoyed Spaceship Earth. I'm not fully sure why I loved it so much, but I did. I also really loved Test Track.

Speaking of food. Sorry to Dollywood, but Epcot has amazing food. You should have gone with the bratwurst. I'm a HUGE chicken tenders and fries kind of person, but that's the last thing I'd get at EPCOT. There is too much reeeeeeally good food there to pass up!

User avatar
Ride Operator
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Spencerman » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:25 am

I'm actually a very picky eater, so a lot of the food at Epcot didn't sound too appealing. I still regret not visiting the German pavilion, especially in my German class we are starting the foods unit. But hey, what are you gonna do?

Animal Kingdom
As a zoo fan, I was looking forward to Animal Kingdom. Sadly, this trip didn't allow us to have the best experience. We arrived around nine and left around one, so we only had four hours. While Animal Kingdom isn't considered an all day park, I would beg to differ. Having only half of the day, we visited a little bit of Discovery Island and Asia, and quite a bit of DinoLand USA (the group liked it... I only wanted a credit). I would have loved to do the Safari and train, but we didn't have time. That's something for next time. I was, however, able to take the Maharajah Jungle Trek and see the Komodo dragon, tigers, bats, deer, and many other animals. (Three of us ended up ditching the rest of the group in DinoLand to do this.) Another problem with the park was construction. The Discovery River was completely blocked from view, except for an occasional crack in the construction wall. It killed the feel of that area of the park. On my ranking of the parks, Animal Kingdom was tied with another park for my least favorite, but I gave it the edge because it had an excuse.
Tree of Life.jpg
Another one of the most beautiful park icons I have seen.
Tree of Life.jpg (326.04 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Komodo Dragon.jpg
This guy was pretty lazy.
Komodo Dragon.jpg (404.42 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Tiger Forest.jpg
This makes me feel safe.
Tiger Forest.jpg (304.47 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Look at the cute tiger!
Tiger.jpg (345.93 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Eld's Deer.jpg
These deer proved to be fairly popular.
Eld's Deer.jpg (485.27 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Our first ride of the day was Primeval Whirl. It's fun, but they should really add a Larson looper to the area. I just wish the Iowa State Fair had more theming on their version. :wink:
Primeval Whirl Track.jpg
Primeval Whirl Track.jpg (312.4 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
We then did TriceraTop Spin, which was also fun. It's Animal Kingdom's version of Dumbo.

After splitting off and doing the Jungle Trek, the group rejoined and headed for Expedition Everest. This became my favorite steel coaster. I love the way it tells a story. It starts winding around the bottom of the mountain, and then climbs up the big lift hill. At the top, the train turns to the left and then - Oh no! The track is all mangled! What will we do? Why, shoot backwards, of course! The train speeds inside Mount Everest and passes through twists and turns. There was one element that felt like an inversion, maybe a corkscrew, but I knew it couldn't be. The train then stops as we watch the Yeti tear up even more tracks before we fall out of the mountain and down to the spectators below. After winding around a few turns and helices, the journey ends. And what a journey it was!
Expedition Everest.jpg
Expedition Everest.jpg (204.07 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
The mountain is so beautiful.
Everest.jpg (330.91 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Mountain Riding.jpg
I don't think that's how you climb a mountain.
Mountain Riding.jpg (215.14 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Before our final FastPass of the day on Dinosaur, we sat through It's Tough to Be a Bug. The group had no idea what to do, and I had read some things about the show. It was pretty neat, but the best part was getting up and close to the Tree of Life. It also made me a little nervous because nobody in the group seemed too thrilled beforehand and I wasn't sure if they'd think it was a waste of time. It turned out they all really enjoyed it.
Tree Carvings.jpg
I was able to see the intricate carvings up close.
Tree Carvings.jpg (354.32 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
Our final ride was Dinosaur. It's simply amazing, and most certainly the best part of DinoLand. The way the cars maneuver around the course and make you feel like you're in an actual vehicle that's going over obstacles is extremely impressive. The animatronics used were great, and the voice acting really adds to the ride. I love dark rides, and Disney knows how to make them.
A dark ride that's as thrilling as a coaster.
Dinosaur.jpg (201.64 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
As for food, I didn't try anything other than a Mickey-shaped ice cream sandwich, which was very good. (The Mickey shape makes it taste better, I think.)
Tree of Life Sun.jpg
Tree of Life Sun.jpg (315.37 KiB) Viewed 6330 times
To me, Animal Kingdom is not as minimal as some people think. I could spend an entire day or more here. Though it may seem like there's a lack of activities to do, the potential is there. I am looking forward to the addition of Rivers of Light, but I really hope it isn't a move to add more characters in from Zootopia or other places. I'd like them to keep the characters in Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. Thank you for reading my second addition to my Orlando trip reports.

User avatar
Park Chain CEO
Posts: 1923
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:18 am
Custom Title: Am I negative?
Location: Funky Town

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Greg » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:52 pm

Hey, Spencer. So cool that you and the band had this opportunity. I'm not participating in your best park survey as I've only been to the Disney parks, of which EPCOT is easily my favorite. My gut tells me I'd prefer the Universal parks' attractions, but it will be a few years before I go there.

User avatar
Ride Operator
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Spencerman » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:55 pm

^Yeah, I really liked Universal, but we only had around four hours for both parks. Out of all the band students, most of them liked Universal or the next park in this report, Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios... First of all, I don't really watch movies or care about Hollywood, so the theme of this park doesn't quite have the right effect on me. Maybe it was the small amount of time, or the Friday evening crowds, but this was my least favorite park of them all. I still love it though, but not as much as the others. Sadly, the FastPass system wouldn't let me make FastPasses here until we could get to the booth because we used them at Animal Kingdom earlier. However, Disney, being as cool as they are, knew this and fixed the problem earlier this month. I did love the 1930s style buildings at the front, but all of the movie references were beyond me.
Crossroads.jpg (110.38 KiB) Viewed 6307 times
We started out our visit with lunch at the Backlot Express, serving typical amusement park food. A friend and I decided to split the meal ticket with my friend. We got the Bacon Cheeseburger, fries (which I didn't eat), a chocolate Darth Vader cupcake, and soda, which had free refills! The cupcake was also good, but I thought the burger was a little gristly.

After lunch, we headed to the nearest must-ride, Star Tours. Unlike most in our group, I have never seen Star Wars, so most of the characters and settings I didn't recognize. It was still a good ride, but it did leave me fairly queasy, even more so than the hardcore version of Mission: Space. It was worth the thirty minute wait.

After walking around, we then headed to the Twilight Zone, which had a sixty minute wait. We passed time by playing Heads Up. Hopefully we weren't annoying the other guests waiting in line. The outdoor queue is naturally shaded by trees, and gives you the feel of the hotel's courtyard. The looming Hollywood Tower is beautiful, probably being my favorite building in the park. As we moved closer to the hotel, more scenery was around, including a fountain and patio. Entering the hotel, the lobby is also beautiful, and I wish guests could spend more time in it instead of immediately being ushered into the pre-show room. This room was also stunning, with an old-fashioned television playing Rod Sterling. The story of the ride is perfect, actually placing you into the show. And unlike most of the IPs in the park, I actually like this one. We were then moved into the boiler room, which also has exquisite theming. After seeing the room and taking a seat in the service elevator, we traveled upwards. I won't go into depth, but the ride is a masterpiece. It has my favorite IP in the park, and one of the best thrills in the park. I love their choice of the Twilight Zone.
Terror of Terror.jpg
What a beauty!
Terror of Terror.jpg (145.52 KiB) Viewed 6307 times
We then wanted try Rock 'n' Rollercoaster. We had a little over an hour and a half until Fantasmic, and the the sign said one hour. We only waited about ten before we called it quits. As we ditched the line, we saw that the sign had switched to ninety minutes. The lack of shade and theming in the queue deterred me. This is part of why Hollywood Studios didn't do it for me. It's the only place in the entire trip where the queue wasn't themed. Sure, you had the studio styled building, but it's just a box surrounded with concrete. I feel like Rock 'n' Rollercoaster could do with a retheme, perhaps something that will fit into Sunset Boulevard better. If any of you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

At this point, we were in a stalemate. We had to see Fantasmic because our band directors put it on the itinerary and highly suggested it. But with less than an hour, we couldn't do the rides. The shortest waits were made up for with long rides. A friend and I decided to leave the group and head to the nearest FastPass kiosk. While it wasn't worth it for the passes (the only one was for MuppetVision and wouldn't be in effect until too late), the lady working the booth was fun to talk to. Another example of the personal connection that I wish was more abundant in all of Walt Disney World. As my friend and I returned, the rest of the group left. The two of us decided to walk up and down Sunset Boulevard and talk to another group of band kids.

Finally, it was time for Fantasmic. The two of us met up with half of our group and we headed into the amphitheater fairly early. It was worth it, because we were able to avoid the large crowds and get seats just slightly left of the center. The only problem was the music, which was very loud and not quite the best. Skipping to when the sky was dark, the music started wrapping up and the show was about to start. While I'm not going to describe the show, I am going to say that it was amazing. The water projections were neat, the fire was hot, and Mickey is epic. Fantasmic really blew my mind.
What a wonderful show.
Fantasmic.jpg (181.3 KiB) Viewed 6307 times
All in all, the park doesn't suit me well. My favorite movies and shows are not relevant enough to be in the park. I still love it because it's Disney, but I don't love it as much. To me it seems that there isn't much to do, with only a handful of iconic rides. Another problem was the length of the lines. Again, being from the Midwest, the longest line I've waited in was an hour and a half for Holiday World's Mammoth, and that was due to a nearby lightning storm. This was the first time I've been to a park where the shortest wait was forty minutes. I really regret missing the Great Movie Ride and the other dark rides. Maybe if we had a whole day and less crowds, the park would have left a better taste in my mouth. I thank you for reading this, and I hope I didn't sound too whiny.
Grauman's Chinese Theater.jpg
Grauman's Chinese Theater.jpg (162.6 KiB) Viewed 6307 times

User avatar
Ride Operator
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Re: Orlando Spring Break 2016

Post by Spencerman » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:14 pm

After a month of being busy, and then three months of being forgetful, I finally remembered that I never did finish this series of trip reports. With that said, it's time for...

Magic Kingdom
This park could be so great! It could very well be my favorite, but... it's way too packed. The theming is great, the attractions are fun, but I don't think I've ever seen this many people in one place at once. Because of this, the park seemed more like a conveyor belt than a park. Still, it was a fantastic park and a lot of fun. I wish I could tell you all about it in more depth, but my memory is pretty foggy. I'll try my best, though.
Train Station.jpg
This looks familiar...
Train Station.jpg (186.71 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
We started the day with a ride on the monorail! Seeing this monorail from all over the Disney property, I really wanted to ride it. We finally did! It was so fast and gave a spectacular view of the Seven Seas Lagoon. After the monorail, we went through the gates with our Disney cards. I could already tell that this park would be feel very different than the other three Disney parks. I couldn't help but feel slightly homesick, because the entrance to my home park, Adventureland, was based off of Disneyland, with a train station high up above and guests entering through tunnels under the tracks.
Main Street Buildings.jpg
I love this style, and the fact that my home park tries to copy it.
Main Street Buildings.jpg (79.82 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
Ice Cream Parlor.jpg
No ice cream for me this day, just gelato.
Ice Cream Parlor.jpg (254.51 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
There we were, looking down Main Street USA. And, oh my, it's the castle! And... a crane behind it? I believe Disney was taking down Christmas lights, which is fine, but it was fairly underwhelming seeing the castle being dwarfed by a crane. Still, Main Street is very neat. It's even neater at night when you're marching down it...
Cinderella's Castle v2.jpg
Such a pretty structure, but the crane detracts from it.
Cinderella's Castle v2.jpg (270.75 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
The day was hot, so as we were walking through Adventureland first thing, the group saw a stand and went to buy water. I am very glad they did, or else I could have missed out on the most refreshing dessert ever, the Dole Whip Float! It's basically a gigantic cup of pineapple juice with pineapple soft serve on top. It was so good that I had two more later in the day!

We decided to hit Pirates of the Caribbean first, hoping to somewhat beat the crowds, since we didn't have a FastPass for it. The first part of our thirty minute wait was okay, but once you enter the show building, it's magnificent. Approaching the loading dock, the area looked like we were actually in a village on the ocean. Being seated on the boat, we were off into a dark, cave-like tunnel. The tunnel then became dark, and a surprise was in store. Even though I watched the terrific Legacy of Arrow documentary, I completely forgot that Pirates of the Caribbean had a drop in it! What a quick little rush! And off we were, drifting through a village being plundered by pirates.

I believe we then headed for the Haunted Mansion, since we had a FastPass reservation for it. At the time of making the reservations, I wasn't sure if I should sign up for HM or PotC. I'm happy to report that I made the right decision, since Haunted Mansion had an hour wait compared to thirty minutes for PotC. Haunted Mansion is magnificent. I do not, however, like the system of every-man-for-himself after the stretching room. My group ended up being split up, and it seemed impossible for us to get back together. Another example of the park being crowded. I am happy that I was able to ride two of the three rides that my mom and dad really enjoyed during their Disneyland visit many years ago.

After buying a book about the Haunted Mansion for my dad, the group was very hungry. After mucking about for little bit, seeing what sounded good on our meal voucher, we still had no idea, so we decided to meet up with some friends that were ridingPeter Pan's Flight (which was the third ride my mom and dad loved, but it had a 70 minute wait). While we were waiting for them, we noticed there was a restaurant connected to It's A Small World, which served Italian style dishes, which was very different than our trend of fast food type dishes. It sounded good, so we tried it. I really liked the cheese flatbread with frozen lemonade, a small salad, and tiramisu gelato. It was worth waiting through the insane crowd. (I swear, there were more people in this restaurant than there are at my entire home park on a regular day.)

Since it was right next door and a had one of the shorter waits (45 minutes), we decided to ride It's A Small World. I enjoyed it, as it was a relaxing ride. I don't understand why so many people are annoyed by the song, as the rest of the group and I didn't think it was too bad. I think my favorite part was the Hawaiian section.

With quite a while until our next reservation, we decided to walk on over to Tomorrowland. Sadly, no Space Mountain for us, since it was a 150+ hour wait all day, and there were no available FastPasses. We thought we were doomed until we saw that the most beloved ride at the park had a ten minute wait. Stitch's Great Escape is a ride that I had mixed feelings about. I wanted to ride it to have an idea of what die-hard Disney nerds always talk about, but I also didn't want to waste time on a ride that was supposedly crappy. Overall, I thought it was neat, especially since I grew up watching Lilo & Stitch. However, it did make me nervous, and a poor little girl to the left of me was really scared. I agree that this type of ride is not a good fit for Stitch. But I also believe that a terrifying alien encounter is not a good fit for Magic Kingdom. Looking at the place now, I think a neat replacement could be a small S&S Double Shot inside the cylindrical room. It may not be possible, but I still like the idea.

Tomorrowland was probably my least favorite area, and there wasn't much to do with our situation. My crew decided they wanted to hit up the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups. Fortunately, I met up with a couple of friends who were just planning on walking through Fantastyland. I was able to snag a snazzy mug and Christmas ornament for my sister, as well as a few photos and a video of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I really enjoyed this moment, since I really like walking through parks to fully experience them instead of waiting in some line forever for a ride.
Seven Dwarves Minetrain.jpg
Wasn't able to ride this, but I did watch it run for a couple of cycles.
Seven Dwarves Minetrain.jpg (381.41 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
After this relaxing time, our next FastPass was up. This is perhaps my greatest regret. We were planning on riding Splash Mountain, until someone reminded me that we'd have to wear our marching band uniforms in less than two hours. Taking that, along with the fact that I had breakable items and a book, I no longer wanted to get wet. I did a quick Google search to see how wet Splash Mountain, and what I was reading didn't make me feel any better. So the group split up yet again, with three of my friends choosing to ride and another kid and I deciding to ditch. We joined up with another group in the Emporium on Main Street until our next FastPass+ reservation.

Finally, it was time for a roller coaster, and it was the one that interested me the most. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad's dusty red facade and Western theme caught my eye back when I was starting to become a coaster enthusiast. And it reminds me of my favorite park, Silver Dollar City. This ride packs a punch. It has a lot of small little airtime hills, some that even twist a little. I was towards the back of the train, and was riding alone behind all of my friends, one of which is not a fan of thrill rides. I felt a little bad because the ride was more intense than I anticipated, but there were times where he had his hands up, which was fun to see. Along with being very peppy, this ride also lasts quite a while, having three lift hills.

After our ride, we all had to head towards the Golden Oak Outpost. Heading there with us were over a hundred other band kids and our directors. Why? Because we were being escorted behind the scenes of Disney to put on our marching uniforms and retrieving our instruments. I wish I could have taken photos, but having our phones and cameras out was strongly prohibited. Walking back towards our buses and the changing areas, we had to wait as the Walt Disney World Railroad passed over the pathway. Afterwards, we were able to see maintenance sheds with ride parts strewn about, one of the most recognizable being a boat from Pirates of the Caribbean. It was neat to see that Disney has a specific just for marching bands like ours. It was also really neat being able to talk to kids from another marching band from somewhere in the US. Sadly, I can't remember where. Maybe Louisiana? Anyways, once everyone had their instruments (mine was a bass drum), the band blocked up into our parade formation and headed towards the front of the park.

We reentered the park through doors to the left of the small little circle before Main Street. This parade was very nerve-wracking. Not so much because of the people, but because of the railroad tracks. I nearly fell the first time, and stumbled a few more times. Visibility isn't too great with a bass drum. What I could see of Main Street was stunning. Next we turned around the plaza in front of Cinderella's Castle. I vaguely remember seeing the castle lit up. What I remember more was the relief of not having tracks under us as we passed into Liberty Square. I also remembering the bass drummer to the left of me lost a piece of his bass drum during this section, and my band director picking it up. Taking another left turn, we were marching along the Rivers of America. Approaching the end of the parade route, we passed the Golden Oak Outpost and crossed back over the railroad tracks into the backstage area, where we stopped playing our music. This experience was so much fun and will be one that I hope I remember for the rest of my life. Being called an honorary Cast Member was such a privilege, and made for a night that I'll never forget. And it still wasn't quite over.

After we all stripped off our uniforms and stashed our instruments back into the buses, we were released into Adventureland, right next to Pirates of the Caribbean. This walk was especially fun because we passed by the Jungle Cruise, and we could hear the roars from some of the animals. Disney knew what they were doing when they sent us into this section of the park, because it was right next to the stand where I bought my Dole Whip Float! After a few friends and I bought a cup of heaven, we headed back to Main Street. Our band directors wanted the band to see the fireworks show and then head to the monorail and load onto the buses. Some of the group decided to beat the crowd and left the park before the fireworks show, which was a good idea, but not worth it. This fireworks show was amazing, with great music, great projections on the castle, and beautiful explosions in the sky. The ugly crane was not visible because of the nighttime, so the castle looked as majestic as it should. And to make the fireworks show even better, a friend of mine gave me most of his Dole Whip Float because it was too sweet for him. Score! Being able to indulge in the nectar of the gods while watching Cinderella's Castle glow was the perfect way to end the night, and our three days at the Disney parks.
Castle at Night.jpg
This photo doesn't do the castle justice.
Castle at Night.jpg (239.72 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
While the park was busy, being able to march through it made the day perfect. Even thinking about it now, I am awestruck to the point that I no longer have anything to say. Thank you all for reading my final Disney trip report. I can't wait to go back someday.
Walt and Mickey.jpg
I love this statue.
Walt and Mickey.jpg (144.93 KiB) Viewed 5946 times
Cinderella's Castle.jpg
I tried to hide the crane in this photo.
Cinderella's Castle.jpg (137.78 KiB) Viewed 5946 times

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest