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Matt N's Florida Adventure 9th-19th April 2019

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Matt N, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    15th April 2019 (Epcot)
    OK then; after yesterday's Disney Springs break, we were straight back at it today with Epcot! Today represented my first visit to Epcot since I became an enthusiast (my last visit was in 2012 and my memories of it are quite limited), so I technically count it as a new park. It is worth noting that the Flower & Garden Festival is currently on at Epcot, which meant that the park was looking beautiful! We left early and got to the park at around 10am, just before our first Fastpass took us onto...
    Spaceship Earth
    Ah, yes; Spaceship Earth. You can't really go to Epcot without going into "the giant golf ball", can you? It's arguably one of WDW's most iconic and well-known attractions, so me and my family wanted to do it. So, how was the ride? Well, it was a very pleasant experience! The theming was quite nice, especially in the history section, and the "future" portion, while a somewhat retro view of the future, was quite fun! On a random note, does every rider get Judi Dench talking to them, or is that only because we selected Britain as where we lived? But overall, Spaceship Earth was a perfectly pleasant dark ride! After our ride on this iconic attraction, we took a little look at the aquarium in the Seas pavilion and around some of the flowers in Future World before booking a last minute Fastpass for...
    Journey into Imagination with Figment
    Journey into Imagination was nearby, so we decided to get a last minute Fastpass for it. I had heard that Journey into Imagination was another iconic Disney classic, so I thought it might be worth doing. The queue had some fun and zany items to set the tone of the ride, and it introduced us to the simply adorable Figment! I was very much getting a fun vibe from the queue, although my family and I got the impression that we were slightly above the target audience of the ride. So, how was the ride? Well, I thought it was a fun little ride for what it was; the vibe from the queue very much continued into the attraction, and Figment popped up multiple times during the attraction! As with many Disney attractions, the ride was also adorable and somewhat heart-warming, in my opinion! After our fun ride on Journey into Imagination, my family and I strolled into World Showcase. The first (and only) ride we rode in World Showcase was...
    Frozen Ever After
    Now, I'll admit I was slightly nervous about the queue times for Frozen Ever After, as my mum had been unable to reserve Fastpasses for it a month in advance and Frozen has a natural popularity, so I was expecting a long queue. However, it was only 45 minutes long, which I'd say we got quite lucky with! The queue was also nicely themed, and I didn't even think it felt like 45 minutes! Now let me confess before I get onto my review of the ride; I'm not a huge fan of Frozen. However, I thought that the ride was extremely well done! The animatronics were fantastic, and there was lots of scenery to look at during the attraction, as well as those instantly recognisable Frozen songs! So overall, I thought that Frozen Ever After was a very nicely done dark ride; definitely worth doing if you're visiting Epcot, even if you're not a fan of Frozen! The animatronics alone are worth seeing! After Frozen Ever After, my family and I spent a good 2 or 3 hours just wandering around World Showcase.

    World Showcase is honestly such a lovely area to wander around! There's so much to see, and it has such a relaxing vibe about it! I wish I could have taken pictures, as I'd personally argue that World Showcase is one of the most picturesque areas of Walt Disney World! The theming is fantastic, and when combined with the Flower & Garden Festival, it really was quite something! I also liked the variety of regional food on offer and I also thought that the staff mostly being from the region portrayed was a nice touch! Overall, I absolutely loved spending time in World Showcase; it was definitely my favourite of the two "areas" of Epcot, so to speak! After our World Showcase adventure, we spent a little more time looking around Future World before our final Fastpass was beckoning, so we headed to...
    Test Track
    Now Test Track was an attraction I was really looking forward to! It is by far the most extreme attraction in Epcot, reaching speeds of 65mph! We started our time on the attraction by taking in the pre show and designing our car. The interactive element was fun, and I also liked the attraction's modern vibe in comparison to the rest of Future World! But how was the ride itself? Well, it was fantastic! The outdoor portion of the attraction felt very fast as expected, but the dark ride portion of the attraction contained many more fast moments than I was anticipating! I'd almost say that the ride felt like a roller coaster in portions, even though it isn't one! Overall, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed Test Track; it's definitely my personal favourite attraction in Epcot and one of my favourites of the trip overall! After our fantastic ride on Test Track, we took a quick look in the Land pavilion as we were thinking of riding Soarin', but the queue was too long. After that, our day at Epcot came to an end...

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Epcot; much more than I expected to, actually! World Showcase is beautiful and is generally just a lovely, relaxing area to spend time in, and while I wasn't quite as enamoured with Future World, it is still a nice (albeit somewhat dated in places) area with some great attractions! One of the things I loved about Epcot was its really lovely atmosphere; it's such a relaxing place to be! Overall, I'd actually say it's my 2nd favourite park in WDW and that it just about slides into my top 5 parks! I had a lovely day there, and it's definitely worth visiting if you're in Orlando for World Showcase alone!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! Join me tomorrow for an evening at Animal Kingdom, including Rivers of Light! And who knows, there may well be another surprise in store tomorrow!
    P.S. Sorry for lack of pictures; my phone was at home charging!
     
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    16th April 2019 (Fun Spot Kissimmee & Disney's Animal Kingdom)
    All right, then! Today was a bit of a different day; two attractions in one! You may remember that I alluded to a surprise in my last report, and that surprise was a trip to Fun Spot Kissimmee to ride Mine Blower, a highly anticipated Gravity Group wooden roller coaster! We left for the park after lunch, and we got to Fun Spot Kissimmee at about 2pm. After a short queue to get tickets, we were ready to ride...
    Mine Blower
    Now, the main reason I wanted to come and check out Mine Blower was because I had heard many say that it was one of the best coasters in Florida, with some even saying that it was the best in Florida, so I was naturally excited to ride it for myself! I must say that the coaster's elements looked tighter in person than they did in pictures; just a random thing that I noticed in my excitement! After we wandered in and bought 4 tickets to ride Mine Blower, we walked towards the ride. Thankfully, the ride was walk on; there was an empty train waiting for us when we arrived at the station! As I had been recommended to by another forum member, I sat on the very front row. So, how was the ride? Well, it was very good! Firstly, the ride felt longer than its length, and it kept its pace incredibly well; it's definitely the best paced wooden roller coaster I've ridden! There were also some fun pops of abrupt airtime, including one in the inversion; I'd probably say it's the strongest airtime I've felt on a wooden roller coaster, although I oddly thought that Mako at SeaWorld's airtime still felt stronger and more sustained overall; I don't think airtime is really the ride's overall focus, however. In terms of the inversion, I thought it was brilliant; I loved how it kicked you out of your seat with airtime, and I also loved how it almost felt like you went through it in slow motion, if you get what I mean. It was a very stark contrast to the relentless nature of the rest of the ride! Now, a feature of the ride that many seem to comment on when riding is its roughness, but I didn't think that the coaster was unbearably rough. There were moments of roughness here and there, and I wouldn't have said it was the smoothest of wooden coasters, but it certainly wasn't rough enough to hugely detract from the experience for me. Overall, I thought that Mine Blower was a fantastic little wooden coaster that was definitely worth our time; I'd personally say it's my favourite wooden coaster I've done and my 4th favourite coaster in Florida behind Mako, Montu and SheiKra. I thoroughly enjoyed the coaster, and I even bought the t-shirt, which is definitely a good sign! Have a few photos of Mine Blower and the park (well, mainly Mine Blower):
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    After our ride on Mine Blower, we headed to our next destination; Animal Kingdom:
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    We firstly wandered down to the Tree of Life and the very nice Discovery Island before heading to Asia. On our way there, Kevin from Up came out to say hello:
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    After our brief encounter with Kevin, we wandered up into Asia and joined the 40 minute queue for...
    Expedition Everest
    We joined the queue for Expedition Everest as it was nearby, so we thought we may as well take a ride. I'd never actually waited in the standby queue for Everest before (having ridden the ride with Fastpasses on both my previous visits), and I must say it was very nice; lots there to look at! I liked the whole museum-type vibe that the queue had, and this level of detail continues onto the ride! The ride itself was very much the same as it was last week; good, solid fun as far as family coasters go, with some clever tricks up its sleeves! After we got off Everest, we somehow managed to grab a last-minute Fastpass for...
    Flight of Passage
    Now, many of you may remember that I queued for 2.5 hours to ride Flight of Passage last Thursday, so I fully expected not to be able to ride it again this trip. However, the stars aligned and we were able to grab some last minute Fastpasses for the attraction today! I was very glad we were using Fastpasses, as the standby queue was 130 minutes! The Fastpass queue still gave us a snapshot of the stunning standby queue, and we were on to the ride within about 20 minutes overall. The ride itself was very much as I remembered it being last Thursday; a very good ride with some impressive technology, but not quite as good as many say it is. However, I did notice some new smells and effects that I didn't notice last time, and I was able to get a better feel for the tech behind the ride. Overall, I enjoyed the attraction just as much as I did last week:
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    After Flight of Passage, we took a wander around by Asia before going to our Fastpasses on...
    Kali River Rapids
    Our Fastpasses for Kali River Rapids were beckoning, so we went and redeemed them. I was very glad we were using Fastpasses, as the standby queue was 110 minutes! However, we still waited around 30 minutes to get onto the attraction; not that that was necessarily a bad thing, as like Expedition Everest, the ride has a very detailed queue with lots to look at! So, how was the ride? Well, it was better than I'd remembered! There were quite a few effects I don't remember from my last ride on it 5 years ago, and we actually got quite wet! My family and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and while it wasn't quite the constant onslaught of water that Bilge-Rats at IOA is, Kali was a very fun rapids ride with a decent level of wetness! Overall, a very fun ride! After Kali River Rapids, we grabbed some ice creams and had a wander down to Pandora to see what the queue for Na'vi River Journey was like. It was on 90 minutes, which my family thought was too long, but we still had a good look around this stunning area:
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    After our look around Pandora, we decided to head home. We were originally planning on seeing Rivers of Light, but we didn't in the end due to a member of our family not feeling too well, and it would still have been a decent hour or two at the park had we seen it.

    Overall, I had a lovely day today! I'm very glad we were able to ride Mine Blower; a very good wooden coaster that me and my family alike thoroughly enjoyed! I also enjoyed our time at Animal Kingdom; while we weren't able to see Rivers of Light as planned, it's still a stunning park to spend time in with some fantastic attractions!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! Join me tomorrow for my first visit to Typhoon Lagoon in 5 years!
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    17th April 2019 (Typhoon Lagoon)
    All right; Typhoon Lagoon today! This trip report will be a bit shorter as we spent about 4 hours in the park. It might also be worth me mentioning that unlike Blizzard Beach, I have visited this water park on a previous trip in 2014. Our day started at about 10:30am when we arrived at the park, and after a brief period storing bags and changing, we headed into what is arguably the signature attraction of Typhoon Lagoon; despite not being a waterslide, it definitely deserves its own paragraph:
    Surf Pool
    Yes, the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon is absolutely insane! Instead of multiple undulating, smaller waves like at Blizzard Beach and most other water parks, Typhoon Lagoon's wave pool consists of one massive 6ft high wave that sweeps over every 2 minutes or so! It is insane, and the level of anticipation is amazing; you know when it's coming because you suddenly hear a loud thud and everyone screaming! There are also multiple ways you can handle this wave, as I discovered; you can jump head first into it and get smacked in the face, you can just stand and let it drag you along or you can just go underwater and barely feel it at all! For the best wave experience, I'd personally recommend standing just past the red line in the water; just before the point where it says "5ft 5in" on the wall. There, I found that you got dragged along a greater distance than further up the wave pool, but you didn't scuff along the ground like you did in the shallower depths. I suppose it might depend on how tall you are or just your taste in waves, but that's my personal recommendation! After our time in the wave pool, we went and got in the 15 minute queue for...
    Miss Adventure Falls
    Miss Adventure Falls had been added since our last visit to Typhoon Lagoon in 2014, and I was excited to ride it; I was excited to see Disney's first audio animatronic on a water slide in the form of a parrot, and my family and I do like a good family raft slide, so what's not to like? I did like how the announcements were themed compared to the other Disney water slides, and I found it unique boarding on the ground as opposed to high up like you normally do on a water slide. So, how was the ride? Well, despite the fact that the animatronic wasn't working, I thought it was good fun! There was some nice theming compared to Disney's other water slides, and there were quite a few good drops and turns, along with many surprise water effects! Overall, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed it! After Miss Adventure Falls, we headed to ride...
    Crush'n'Gusher
    Now, I had ridden Crush'n'Gusher on my previous visit in 2014 and I remember really liking it, so I was naturally excited to reride! We picked the Banana Blaster side, and it was quite a short queue, which is always good! So, how was the ride? Well, it was very good! The ride felt very fast throughout, and there were even some light pops of airtime over the humps! Overall, I enjoyed it! After that, we headed to eat lunch before heading back into the wave pool, then into the relaxing lazy river, then back into the wave pool again before heading home.

    Overall, I enjoyed my time at Typhoon Lagoon. As with Blizzard Beach on Saturday, I found it to be a very fun water park with many good attractions; the wave pool was a particular highlight of mine! The theming is also fantastic!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! Join me tomorrow for an evening at Magic Kingdom, including Happily Ever After!
     
  4. CookieCoasters

    CookieCoasters Member

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    No doubt by the next time I visit Florida it’ll be buried deep in a collection of exciting new rides, but Mine Blower looks great and I’m very excited to try it. Glad you had positive things to say and didn’t find the roughness much of an issue; I think wooden coasters in general get far too much hate for roughness in this day and age. I love that the Fun Spot’s have brought good woodies to Florida, filling an important void in the overall lineup that had certainly been lacking.

    Also, great reports so far, keep ‘em coming! And Animal Kingdom is gorgeous <3
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    Yes, Mine Blower is a very fun ride! I wouldn't have said it was my favourite in Florida like it is for some; it's my personal 4th favourite in Florida behind Mako, Montu and SheiKra and my #7 overall. As for the roughness; I will say that Mine Blower certainly isn't the smoothest of coasters, and I did sit on the front. But I personally didn't find it unbearable at all, and I don't think I have the highest of roughness tolerances! So all in all, I'd say that I thoroughly enjoyed Mine Blower and I'd give it a solid 9/10, although I wouldn't say it's among my 10/10 tier/god tier/whatever you want to call it. That's probably more down to my personal tastes, though; it's a brilliant wooden coaster, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you go to ride it!
     
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    18th April 2019 (Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom)
    OK; another 2-in-1 day today! Firstly Hollywood Studios and then to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks! We started a bit later today; around 4pm. We got to Hollywood Studios at about 4:30pm; we initially had the intention of taking my dad on Tower of Terror, as he didn’t ride it on Friday, but my parents and I determined that the 90 minute queue was too long. We thought we may as well ride something while at Hollywood Studios, so we instead rode...
    Star Tours
    Now, Star Tours had a 45 minute queue, but we thankfully only waited around 25 minutes. The queue theming was very nice, including fantastic animatronics of C3PO and R2D2! So, how was the ride? Well, it was better than me or my family had expected! My parents were not huge fans of the original version in Paris, but they really liked this version, and I also found it very enjoyable:
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    After our surprisingly good ride on Star Tours, we left for our next destination; Magic Kingdom! We quickly drove between the two parks and before we knew it, we were in Magic Kingdom! Our first attraction of the evening came in the form of a Fastpass for...
    Haunted Mansion
    Now, I wanted to ride Haunted Mansion after a recommendation from another forum member, so I was excited to experience this Disney classic for the first time. The pre-show was a good start to the experience, with many cool illusions and a good introduction to our Ghost Host. So, how was the ride? Well, I personally thought it was quite good! There was a lot to look at, and there were many cool effects during the ride experience! I'd also say it was very ambient, in a similar manner to Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios:
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    After our ride on Haunted Mansion, we had a little sit down before our next Fastpass beckoned, this time for...
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was only a short walk from where we were sat, so we scanned our Fastpasses and joined the Fastpass queue. I was glad to have Fastpasses, as the main queue was reportedly 2 hours long! So, how was the ride? Well, it was pretty similar to how I found it last Wednesday, although this time it was a dusk ride, as the Fantasyland lighting was starting to come on. After our ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we headed for Adventureland so that we could ride...
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Pirates of the Caribbean was on a 20 minute queue, so we joined it. We enjoyed this ride on Wednesday, so we thought it might be worth doing again. As for the ride itself, it was very much the same as it was last week, although I got somewhat wetter on this go than I did last week! After Pirates of the Caribbean, we headed to Main Street USA and took our spots in preparation for...
    Happily Ever After
    The fireworks are a staple of Disney, and we picked tonight as our night to watch them. By the time we got to Main Street USA, it was already quite busy, and there were another 20 minutes before the show started! So, how was the show? Well, I thought it was very good! The fireworks themselves were good, and the projection mapping on the castle just added another layer to it! It really was a fantastic fireworks display; have a few pictures, although I'm not sure how much justice they do the show:
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    After Happily Ever After, we headed home.

    Overall, we had a lovely evening at Magic Kingdom (and briefly at Hollywood Studios)! The fireworks were very good, and the rides we rode were good fun! It provided a lovely closure to our trip from a theme parks perspective!

    Hope you enjoyed today's report! I probably won't write one tomorrow, as we're only doing Disney Springs and the other mini golf course, although I'll probably write a bit of a summary when I'm back in the UK; I hope you've all enjoyed this series of trip reports!
     
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  7. Benenen

    Benenen New Member

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    Loved reading this Matt, cheers for taking the time each evening to update us all. Looks like a great trip.
     
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    It sure has been! Glad you've enjoyed the reports!
     
  9. tomahawk

    tomahawk Moderator Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    I'd kill someone if EVERY RIDE had waits that long for a week and a half. Seriously, the amount of waiting you've done makes you a legend.

    I'm assuming the family is against single rider?

    Glad you're having fun.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    The waits haven't been too bad for the most part, but I have definitely noticed that the parks are considerably busier in April than our usual Florida visit time of late August. Strangely, the I-4 has also been much busier on most days, too. I can't say I wasn't expecting crowds, though; my mum read online that April is the 2nd most popular time of year to visit Florida theme parks behind only Christmas.

    And yes, I don't think my family would have been too happy at the prospect of us being split up in a single rider line!
     
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