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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7

More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7

Coaster316

Posted:
12/16/13 at
3:01:37 PM

I spent the first week of December in Orlando with my parents and my sister-in-law’s family. In total, I think our group reached 19 people, although we were never all together at one time. I’ll go with the bullet point style of thoughts:

1. Of the 19 of us, 12 spent the entire time in Orlando on Disney property. 7 of us (me, parents, brother & sister-in-law and 2 nieces) spent one day at Sea World. Nobody in the group went to Universal Studios.

2. Crowds were higher than I had hoped, but with the exception of one night where I stayed at Magic Kingdom until the 7:00 pm public closing/opening of the Mickey Christmas Party event, I was able to avoid any hassles. Lines were mostly manageable with the exceptions of the rides you would expect.

3. I was not there to ride-ride-ride. Instead, I took a much slower pace than I had the last time and park hopped. Honestly, I probably would have enjoyed myself more if I planned in advance and rode more, but it was a choice I made and I definitely had a blast anyway.

4. Overall, I love the idea of the MyMagic Bands. Having one wristband that does everything for you is awesome and I never had to worry about money/cards/etc. That was great. Most of the group had no problems with the bands. Four of them did have problems and had to spend two hours with staff getting their bands/rooms situated. They were compensated more than fairly for the inconvenience. My bands stopped working for about a 15 minute period and I received a free Powerade, which I was grateful for.

5. FastPass+ will have to grow on me. It didn’t suit my personal approach to visiting the parks. With it, you are limited to 3 passes per day. That’s not too bad, but there are other restrictions that hurt it. They all have to be at the same park. And in some parks, you can’t just pick any three attractions. As an example, at Epcot you can only get Test Track OR Soarin…not both. At Studios, you can only get Rock’nRoller Coaster OR Toy Story…not both. For Epcot, there really aren’t any other rides you’d need a fast pass for besides those two (or at least, not when I was there) so what’s the point? Hopefully, they’ll get the logistics figured out on this.

6. I ended up riding Pirates of Caribbean more than any other ride during my stay. To me, its an absolute classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies and thankfully my nieces pointed out what parts are from them, but it didn’t matter to me. I love it.

7. Splash Mountain, though, remains my overall favorite attraction at Disney. Could sing zippity doo dah all day. Only rode it twice and they were one right after the other, which was unfortunate.

8. Turtle Talk with Crush is still my second favorite attraction at the complex. I saw it four times while there, two of them had legitimate lol moments. My brother told me about one time he saw it that had his crew laughing hard. A very underrated attraction.

9. Space Mountain seemed much, much faster to me than I remembered, but it didn’t upset my stomach as much as it did last time. That’s a very good thing.

10. My nieces LOVED the new Under The Sea ride. I had heard some not so flattering reviews but they went on and on about it…and they are 16 and 14 years old. I only rode it once and it was 12:30 in the morning when I did, so my memory is kind of hazy on it but I do remember thinking it was pretty good.

11. I only rode Expedition Everest once and it seemed more tamer/more enjoyable than before. I could have ridden it more but that one time was the only time I was in that half of Animal Kingdom during my week there.

12. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the safari ride shouldn’t bother trying to have fun. I don’t mean that literally.

13. I did not ride Rock’n’Roller Coaster. It always had a 50 minute wait or more whenever I was near there.

14. I only did Toy Story Midway Mania once. Got there before the park opened and still had to wait more than an hour in line for it. If I had a lifetime fast pass to any Disney attraction, I would choose this one. Just awesome.

15. I watched Wishes nighttime show at Magic Kingdom from the top of the train station at the entrance. I couldn’t see the half of the fireworks from where I sat but the sight of the packed Main Street and the bright lights from the fireworks was really, really cool.

16. My feet were sore after the first day. I can walk a lot without them getting too bad, but standing in one place for more than 20 minutes takes it toll on me. When it took over an hour to get through security at the airport the morning I flew down I knew I was in trouble and by 1:00 that morning when I left Magic Kingdom…I knew I was in for a long week.

17. Did something I’ve never done in a park. On night five I had dinner reservations at the Hibachi in Japan at Epcot. I got there about two hours before the reservation, found a bench in a corner of the Japanese section of the park, and took a nice nap. Was awoken a few times by families getting too close and once when I heard an employee say, “There’s a guy sleeping on the bench here and he’s been there for quite a while.” Nobody ever said anything to me, though.

18. Sea World still rules. I love Manta. If I sat down to think about it, it would probably find itself in my top 5 steel rankings.

19. Blue Horizons is just amazing.

20. The mime at the sea lion show is timeless.

21. The new penguin stuff was disappointing. The ride itself was boring. You are allowed to stay in with the penguins, which is cool, but its 32 degrees in there. When we got off the ride and the employees were all in snow suits, we knew something was up. You aren’t supposed to go into the exhibit without going through a process of cooling your body down…thus the ride. If you go to the entrance and ask to get into the exhibit area without riding, they will make you sit in another room for 15 minutes to get your body temp right. At least, that was what I was told. You could probably walk right up the exit into the exhibit though and sneak in…that’s what I used to do with the polar bears.

22. Highlight of the day, though, was seeing “Itchy”. Two years ago when we went, my nieces and I laughed at one penguin that was constantly scratching itself up against the window. We then saw that he had only one wing and we felt bad. We didn’t see him at first and I asked one of the workers and she said that they still had the same penguin with one wing from two years ago, told us where in the exhibit he usually hung out, and we eventually saw him swimming. Yay Itchy.

23. Park closing at 6:00 is too early. There was no ski show, no acrobat/cirque show and no special Christmas stuff and we still didn’t do all that we wanted. Sea World is the only park I’ve been to more than say 3 times where I’ve left wishing the day wasn’t over every single time.

24. Back to Disney: Fantasmic is still cool…Illuminations is still boring.

25. I enjoyed Tower of Terror more than normal. It’s my Dad’s favorite ride and we did it quite a bit.

26. The new Test Track is fine. Not quite as fun as the old way and the designing your own car was confusing and somewhat worthless, but the ride itself is great.

27. I still don’t get Soarin’ at all. My parents did it a few times and with the exception of when we had fast passes, I preferred taking a break to riding it.


Overall, a fantastic trip. I look forward to going back.

- Jeff

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 12/16/13 4:09:39 PM
Thanks for posting! Personally I found early December to be way more crowded than November, which is when we've gone in the past. Of course, it could be that people have more money now than they did back when the recession first hit.

You're right about Splash Mountain. Who can't be happy with all that singing! Fortunately it was our last ride of the day, and we were giddy up until we had to wait over an hour just to exit the park. I can't imagine how we would have felt had we NOT just come from such a happy ride!

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Coaster316 at 12/16/13 7:31:46 PM
Thanks for the reply, Rob.

Agreed about the crowds. We did the same trip two years ago centering the trip around Thanksgiving with everyone being there the week after. Because Thanksgiving was so late this year, it pushed our trip into the first week of December instead of last week in November and that made a big difference.

I was going to reply to your thread but knew I would be putting my own post up so I didn't bother, but I did want to say that I hope you're feeling better and stay healthy for the holidays.

Jeff

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by ray_p ray_p Profile at 12/17/13 8:39:51 AM
Awesome TR Jeff. Sounds like you really had a great time. I’ve interspersed my thoughts below.

1. …Nobody in the group went to Universal Studios.

I knew I liked your family for a reason!

5. FastPass+ will have to grow on me. It didn’t suit my personal approach to visiting the parks. With it, you are limited to 3 passes per day. That’s not too bad, but there are other restrictions that hurt it. They all have to be at the same park. And in some parks, you can’t just pick any three attractions. As an example, at Epcot you can only get Test Track OR Soarin…not both. At Studios, you can only get Rock’nRoller Coaster OR Toy Story…not both. For Epcot, there really aren’t any other rides you’d need a fast pass for besides those two (or at least, not when I was there) so what’s the point? Hopefully, they’ll get the logistics figured out on this.

Not sure I like the sound of this FastPass+ system. Having to choose one or the other on popular rides seems kind of irritating for a system that is supposed to be better than just Regular FastPass. Like you said though, they are still tinkering with it and I’m sure they’ll get everything down the way they want it soon.

6. I ended up riding Pirates of Caribbean more than any other ride during my stay. To me, its an absolute classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies and thankfully my nieces pointed out what parts are from them, but it didn’t matter to me. I love it.

You so need to go out to Anaheim and ride their version of Pirates. The WDW version is spectacular, the DL version is that much better (my opinion of course!)

7. Splash Mountain, though, remains my overall favorite attraction at Disney. Could sing zippity doo dah all day. Only rode it twice and they were one right after the other, which was unfortunate.

LOVE Splash Mountain, and I do think the WDW version is better (especially with the log design). I have always enjoyed the Laughin’ Place scene and honestly there is no better flume drop anywhere than the final plunge into the briar patch. I do wish Disney would reconsider releasing “Song of the South” on DVD or BluRay so that more people know the story of the ride.

8. Turtle Talk with Crush is still my second favorite attraction at the complex. I saw it four times while there, two of them had legitimate lol moments. My brother told me about one time he saw it that had his crew laughing hard. A very underrated attraction.

You have always told me how hilarious this show is and I totally forgot about it while I was at California Adventure this year. Next time I’m at either DCA or Epcot, I’ll definitely give it a look.

10. My nieces LOVED the new Under The Sea ride. I had heard some not so flattering reviews but they went on and on about it…and they are 16 and 14 years old. I only rode it once and it was 12:30 in the morning when I did, so my memory is kind of hazy on it but I do remember thinking it was pretty good.

I personally liked it too! I thought the ride was colorful, well themed and had some outstanding animatronics (Ursula in particular). Nice to see Fantasyland with another dark ride.

12. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the safari ride shouldn’t bother trying to have fun. I do mean that.

There. Fixed that for you!

14. I only did Toy Story Midway Mania once. Got there before the park opened and still had to wait more than an hour in line for it. If I had a lifetime fast pass to any Disney attraction, I would choose this one. Just awesome.

I went into Toy Story Mania at DCA with low expectations. I just couldn’t understand why an interactive dark ride was so popular. I mean, they already have a Buzz Lightyear version in the Magic Kingdom and it’s fun, but not “most popular ride in the resort” fun. So after my 40 minute wait at DCA (no FastPass in Anaheim), I rode what turned out to be one of the most genuinely fun rides I had ever been on. Disney hit a major home run with Midway Mania and after much deliberation, I feel I would do the Lifetime FastPass on this as well!

16. My feet were sore after the first day. I can walk a lot without them getting too bad, but standing in one place for more than 20 minutes takes it toll on me. When it took over an hour to get through security at the airport the morning I flew down I knew I was in trouble and by 1:00 that morning when I left Magic Kingdom…I knew I was in for a long week.

Sucks getting old, doesn’t it? ;) I know the feeling and it isn’t fun. Still, you always manage to look past that and have a good time.

17. Did something I’ve never done in a park. On night five I had dinner reservations at the Hibachi in Japan at Epcot. I got there about two hours before the reservation, found a bench in a corner of the Japanese section of the park, and took a nice nap. Was awoken a few times by families getting too close and once when I heard an employee say, “There’s a guy sleeping on the bench here and he’s been there for quite a while.” Nobody ever said anything to me, though.

That is an awesome story. I would have loved to see the guests’ reaction!

18. Sea World still rules
20. The mime at the sea lion show is timeless.

Boy, I sure wish we had one of those Sea World parks here in Cleveland……

24. Back to Disney: Fantasmic is still cool…Illuminations is still boring.

I agree. Fantasmic is good, Illuminations is not. I absolutely hate the mass exodus out of Epcot after Illuminations, which is why I don’t stay for it. At least at Hollywood Studios you can stay seated till most of the other 7000 people have left and avoid being caught up in a sea of people.

27. I still don’t get Soarin’ at all. My parents did it a few times and with the exception of when we had fast passes, I preferred taking a break to riding it.

To each their own Jeff. :) I’m a Soarin’ fan and really do hope the rumors of an overhaul in the next few years are true. A new film would be great.

Thanks for sharing your TR and I am glad you all had a great time.

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 12/17/13 11:20:57 AM
Well to be fair, fastpass is included in the park ticket, so it's not like the type you have to pay extra for like the other parks. I think the limits is good otherwise they'd be all used up by 2pm or sooner like toy story mania.

Love Splash mt. I normally hate water rides because I hate getting soaked, but since it isn't like the river/barge rides, I can tolerate it. I will say that the day Disney decides to add those horrible water cannons like at the sea world/bg parks, that's the day I stop riding it. I hate those canons.
Space mt, i guess since it really is nearly pitch black, it sorta makes me duck into the car more out of fear i might hit the support, so the ride actually feels a little intimidating.

I love toy story mania. As a videogamer addict, I just love trying to get as high a score as i can. Comparatively i'm playing against a family with some kids, so I always end up with the highest score of the car. So that's not really saying much, but it's still sorta respectable compared to the top score of the day.

I used to be afraid of the drop towers, but now that I've finally broken that fear, I ride Tower of Terror every time I'm there. Since RnRC has a single rider line, I don't need to waste a fast pass on that. I would prefer to have the big drops than the few short drops. Yes the unpredictability of what drop combos you get makes it fun, I'd like to ride the big drops than multiple smaller ones.

I also don't see the deal about soarin. I mean it's ok, but not worth a 2hr+ wait or wasting a fast pass for. If Test track didn't have a single rider line, i'd use it for that, but I use it for mission space, which i do like.

Lol, I can't imagine taking a nap out in the open like that. I know there's a low risk of being robbed, but it's that I don't want some stranger taking a pic of me napping, lol.

Never stopped for the crush show, so I might stop by next time since I won't be in a rush like in past years.

Sea World, I guess i'm spoiled because i had an annual pass and could visit often, but I never really found much to do that kept me in the park the whole day like with BGT (included for my pass). But I agree about Manta, I totally love it. It easily puts S:UF to shame. The flyers if they were longer and had more elements, could do better, but I guess the winged coasters are probably going to catch on with flyers as a fad the way standups were.

Lol, the mime at that show is easily worth the trip to the show. The show itself is ok. I don't think it's changed very much over the years.

Yup the penguin ride was a major disappointment to me. I'd be pissed if i had to wait over an hour to get on and found out that was it. As for the exhibit, brrr... I love the cold, but I couldn't stay in there for more than 5min. Funny you said you sneaked back in. I never did it nor tried as there's someone standing near it. But that is interesting about a room to get you acclimated with the cold. I dunno if that was a recent change or not, but if it means skipping the ride, then that's good.

* This post was modified at 12/17/13 11:39:48 AM *

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Coaster316 at 12/17/13 1:53:52 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

Well to be fair, fastpass is included in the park ticket, so it's not like the type you have to pay extra for like the other parks. I think the limits is good otherwise they'd be all used up by 2pm or sooner like toy story mania.

I like the idea of the limits, but some of the rules I thought made it too restrictive on the people using flashpass+. Like we were being punished for staying on site. A person using the old system could easily go to Epcot, grab a fast pass for soarin, then get one later for Test Track. Now, the band users are only allowed to do one of the two. Like I said, I hope they figure out the logistics and get it right. Not a deal breaker in the end, though.


Cyclone_Phil said:

Lol, I can't imagine taking a nap out in the open like that. I know there's a low risk of being robbed, but it's that I don't want some stranger taking a pic of me napping, lol.

Ha...didn't think about that. I suppose I should check to see if I went viral. lol

Cyclone_Phil said:

Lol, the mime at that show is easily worth the trip to the show. The show itself is ok. I don't think it's changed very much over the years.

I've only been to Sea World maybe 5 times in the last 14 years and I was able to recite that show and remember what was coming up two jokes ahead of time. Still funny, though. I like cheesy comedy so I'm fine with it.

Cyclone_Phil said:

Yup the penguin ride was a major disappointment to me.

The last time I went with the whole family we spent close to a half hour in with the penguins and then went back later to watch them longer. The viewing area from the side is nice, but its just not the same. Its a shame. Too bad they couldn't have gotten you off the ride on one side of the display and then had an area shielded from the cold from the other rather than the current setup where the warmer viewing area only gets to see a small portion of the exhibit.

Thanks for the response.

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Coaster316 at 12/17/13 2:15:15 PM
ray_p said:

You so need to go out to Anaheim and ride their version of Pirates. The WDW version is spectacular, the DL version is that much better (my opinion of course!)

I say this every year but I am not ruling out such a trip in 2014.


ray_p said:

I personally liked it too! I thought the ride was colorful, well themed and had some outstanding animatronics (Ursula in particular). Nice to see Fantasyland with another dark ride.

While sad to see Snow White go, I thought this to be an apt replacement.

ray_p said:

12. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the safari ride shouldn’t bother trying to have fun. I do mean that.

There. Fixed that for you!

Honestly, I was going to leave my little disclaimer out of my report, but added it in at the last second. I like it better your way. :)

ray_p said:

I went into Toy Story Mania at DCA with low expectations. I just couldn’t understand why an interactive dark ride was so popular. I mean, they already have a Buzz Lightyear version in the Magic Kingdom and it’s fun, but not “most popular ride in the resort” fun. So after my 40 minute wait at DCA (no FastPass in Anaheim), I rode what turned out to be one of the most genuinely fun rides I had ever been on. Disney hit a major home run with Midway Mania and after much deliberation, I feel I would do the Lifetime FastPass on this as well!

Well said!

ray_p said:

Sucks getting old, doesn’t it? ;) I know the feeling and it isn’t fun. Still, you always manage to look past that and have a good time.

Sure beats all the other options.

ray_p said:

I agree. Fantasmic is good, Illuminations is not. I absolutely hate the mass exodus out of Epcot after Illuminations, which is why I don’t stay for it.

The night of our Japanese dinner at Epcot, we got out of the restaurant right as Illuminations was starting. I was walking as fast as I possibly could to beat the rush out of the park to catch the resort bus. I gave serious consideration to walking through boardwalk to Studios to catch a bus there.

Thanks for the reply, Ray.

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Coaster316 at 12/18/13 8:43:45 PM
Bringing this back just to say how disappointed I am in myself for creating a thread that includes the subject "More Orlando Thoughts" and then I did NOT take the opportunity to use the line:

"My favorite ever, particularly when he sings Tie A Yellow Ribbon".

Now I did it and I feel better.

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 12/19/13 5:41:17 AM
Coaster316 said:

Bringing this back just to say how disappointed I am in myself for creating a thread that includes the subject "More Orlando Thoughts" and then I did NOT take the opportunity to use the line:


"My favorite ever, particularly when he sings Tie A Yellow Ribbon".

Now I did it and I feel better.

Heh. +1. It woulda been a +2, but I shoulda thought of it. LOL! Oh, well, it's always darkest before the Dawn, and the sun's not up here. I'll get over it...

* This post was modified at 12/19/13 5:43:34 AM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 1/7/14 4:34:47 PM
Coaster316 said:

5. FastPass+ will have to grow on me. It didn’t suit my personal approach to visiting the parks. With it, you are limited to 3 passes per day. That’s not too bad, but there are other restrictions that hurt it. They all have to be at the same park. And in some parks, you can’t just pick any three attractions. As an example, at Epcot you can only get Test Track OR Soarin…not both. At Studios, you can only get Rock’nRoller Coaster OR Toy Story…not both. For Epcot, there really aren’t any other rides you’d need a fast pass for besides those two (or at least, not when I was there) so what’s the point? Hopefully, they’ll get the logistics figured out on this.

I COMPLETELY agree. For the way I tour the parks, the switch to FP "plus" is a MAJOR step BACKWARDS compared to the golden, perfect, halcyon days of the original Fastpass.

There is a HUGE difference between being able to get 10 plus FP's a day when doing a full day at MK in the old system, meaning you could get at least one FP for every attraction on the system plus multiples on favorites, and the current limit of 3 per day.

Combine that with the fact that they have ADDED a bunch of attractions to the system under FP plus, this means that a hardcore open to close parkgoer like me who was used to doing EVERYTHING in the park per day without ever having to use the standby line for ANY FP attraction (except if they were walkons at rope drop and/or close), would now find it logistically impossible to do so over the course of a full day visit intending to tour the entire park.

I was already very disappointed when they started enforcing the end return time of the hour in early 2012. Before this, it was no secret and everyone from managers to front line CMs to the park VPs would openly tell you that FPs could be used "Late", just not early (ie, not before the first time printed on the ticket).

This made it SO much easier to avoid backtracking and excessive clockwatching, and allow for more spontaneity throughout the day.

But even if one accepts the closure of this benefit, that is NOTHING compared to losing the ability to get 10 (or more!) FPs on a full Magic Kingdom day with only about 7 attractions on the system, to now limiting you to 3 per day with about twice the former amount of attractions on the system.

Hello, standby line!

I don't think so.

By contrast, Universal just a few short miles down the freeway offers a perfect Fastpass system called Universal Express (free with my Premier Annual Pass) that gives me one free walk-on on just about EVERY attraction in both parks combined for each day I visit! And the best part is, no worrying about times, scurrying around the park to collect tickets, queing up at a kiosk, getting to the ride too late, etc. They are automatically on my AP ticket when I enter the turnstyles, and I can use them at my whim!

For the first time in 8 years of being a seasonal central Florida resident, I did not renew my WDW Annual Pass. And yet I'm a hardcore Disney fan, not just of the park attractions, but of the characters, films, and IPs.

But I don't like constantly spending more and more on my AP each year and getting less and less in return, due to constant budget cutbacks on the entertainment offerings, the unnecessary closure of beloved attractions (I loved Toontown and the Snow White darkride, and they surely could have put the princess meet and greet somewhere else. Then again, these are the geniouses that killed Mr. Toad!).

And then this FP change is for me, the final straw. That's not to say I'll never go back, but I need to take the same long, multi-year break I took in the late 90's when Toad, 20K Subs, Horizons, World of Motion, Kitchen Kabaret, and Figment version one all got the axe.

This is not even getting into the fact that one often perceives that even if they have a Premium AP, they are second class citizens at WDW if they are not a precious resort guest (never mind if they are local and don't NEED a bloody overpriced hotel!)

I'll be getting my Disney fix on a long-overdue trip to the west coast - home to the REAL Magic Kingdom that has tons of classic Disney attractions Florida's MK either couldn't be bothered to add or closed down (Matterhorn, Toad, Pinocchio dark ride, Alice dark ride, Roger Rabbit dark ride, Snow White dark ride, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Storybookland Canal Boats, Indiana Jones ride, Sailing Ship Columbia, Canoes, Submarine Voyage, a better Toontown, etc)

By comparison, Florida's Magic Kingdom may be larger in size and more pretentious in its presentation, but is distinctly the watered down, cliff-notes version of its California sibling (that it is clearly based on) with regards to actual CONTENT, as it has far fewer attractions than Disneyland.

And, Disneyland still uses (at least for now) the original Fastpass system!

It's been over a year now since my last WDW AP expired, and I thought it may feel strange to spend so much time so close to WDW without visiting, but it actually feels liberating and empowering. Besides, I'm too busy having fun with my Universal Premier Annual Pass (with free Universal Express) and Busch Gardens/Sea World Platinum Annual Pass (with re-rides on most coasters and major attractions, reserved seats in shows, etc) to notice!

* This post was modified at 1/7/14 8:13:11 PM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World
Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by antikythera antikythera Profile at 1/7/14 5:07:59 PM
If you love Manta at SeaWorld Orlando, I highly encourage you to ride Manta at SeaWorld San Diego. Not only can you say you rode the two Mantas on each coast, you'll be surprised at how fun the little Mack coaster is.

I'm glad you had a good time in Orlando. Reading all these reports makes me realize I really need to take a proper trip (if I had the money) to Orlando and experience the parks how they should be experienced. My last two visits there in 2011 and 2012 were one day visits to Universal/Islands and WDW/Epcot respectively. It was like a tease that keeps haunting me.

At least I get to live vicariously through your post until then. :)

* This post was modified at 1/7/14 5:08:39 PM *

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/7/14 6:52:23 PM
Oh Man, there is so-o-o much in here that I feel I want to comment on, but I need to first take some time to collect my thoughts. But in the meantime, I gotta say I always, ALWAYS wished I could visit the "real" Disneyland, but in a couple stays in LA in 1978 and 1986 was never able to get down that way. And now as my wife and I approach retirement, have come to realize that it's more likely we will become bench sitters at WDW than ever get out to the left coast again. Opportunity lost.
Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 1/7/14 9:27:13 PM
Frontrider said:

I COMPLETELY agree. For the way I tour the parks, the switch to FP "plus" is a MAJOR step BACKWARDS compared to the golden, perfect, halcyon days of the original Fastpass.

There is a HUGE difference between being able to get 10 plus FP's a day when doing a full day at MK in the old system, meaning you could get at least one FP for every attraction on the system plus multiples on favorites, and the current limit of 3 per day.

I dunno. My own personal preference would, in many cases in Disney, be to get rid of fastpass entirely. With the fastpass system the standby lines crawl in places that they shouldn't have to. Disney seems to want to default to letting 2/3rds of those on a ride be fastpass, which means more people in the standby line who are trying to squeeze into a smaller window. Whereas if they removed fastpass entirely (or made it available to a much smaller number of people) then those standby wait times would actually go down dramatically as the lines would actually be able to move.

I've never liked Fastpass the way Disney did it- and that's coming from someone who was a CM at WDW for 5 years and knew how to make that system work for them. Maybe this will be a first step to actually getting normal people on the rides again.

Re: More Orlando Thoughts: Nov 30 through Dec 7 by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 1/8/14 4:32:54 AM
SirWillow said:

Frontrider said:


I COMPLETELY agree. For the way I tour the parks, the switch to FP "plus" is a MAJOR step BACKWARDS compared to the golden, perfect, halcyon days of the original Fastpass.

There is a HUGE difference between being able to get 10 plus FP's a day when doing a full day at MK in the old system, meaning you could get at least one FP for every attraction on the system plus multiples on favorites, and the current limit of 3 per day.

I dunno. My own personal preference would, in many cases in Disney, be to get rid of fastpass entirely. With the fastpass system the standby lines crawl in places that they shouldn't have to. Disney seems to want to default to letting 2/3rds of those on a ride be fastpass, which means more people in the standby line who are trying to squeeze into a smaller window. Whereas if they removed fastpass entirely (or made it available to a much smaller number of people) then those standby wait times would actually go down dramatically as the lines would actually be able to move.

I've never liked Fastpass the way Disney did it- and that's coming from someone who was a CM at WDW for 5 years and knew how to make that system work for them. Maybe this will be a first step to actually getting normal people on the rides again.

I somewhat agree, at least if the choice is between a limit of 3 FP a day and no Fastpass at all. For someone like me who likes to do open to close and ride all day, whatever time gained by the 3 FPs would be lost (and then some) by having to use standby for everything else that day, especially in a park like MK that has so many attractions on the system.

In Epcot and the other parks the 3 limit would not be as bad, IF they let you get any 3 attractions, but as we have seen, you can only get one out of Soarin'/Test Track, etc.

I think this new system may improve the day of more casual fans who got to the parks late and were only used to doing a few attractions a day anyway. But for someone like me who was used to doing 30 plus attractions a day in an open to close MK visit, and getting at least 7-12 of those as FP walk-ons, there is NO WAY this new system could be anything but a reduction in what I am used to being able to get done in a day.

So yes, if they want to take away the ability to maximize the system as it was, I think I'd get on more attractions per day if they went back to no FP at all, although I don't think that will ever happen.

My preference would still be for the original system, as I never had to wait longer than 10 or 15 minutes for anything in the parks under that system.

And I never felt guilty about racking up FPs under that system because:

a) it was free for everybody, and

b) anyone willing to get up early, put the time in, and "pound the pavement" could do the exact same thing I was doing.

Some would argue that the older system I loved so much wasn't fair to late sleepers because they could get fewer FP a day and were at risk of the faster-distributing FPs (ie Toy Story Mania and Soarin') being gone completely by the time they got to the park.

My counter argument to that would be:

a) If no FP existed at all, latecomers would still arrive at the park and find the major queues filled, have less overall time at the park than the early birds, and therefore still get on fewer attractions per day than the early birds

b) to rectify this issue, a (small) percentage of the hourly FP capacity could be booked early, without taking away the ability of those "on the pavement" in the parks from getting more than 3 per day (using the established "get your next one in 2 hours or the return time, whatever comes first" rule)

* This post was modified at 1/8/14 5:06:04 AM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World
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