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dxwwf3
07-03-2008, 08:09 PM
I figured this would be the best place to post this, but I wasn't for sure. Well here we go:

Got back yesterday from a wonderful trip and since we went to Disneyland last summer instead of WDW, there were quite a few new things to experience on this trip and I'll focus more on things like that as opposed to giving day by day reports.

The thing I was most looking forward to on this trip was the Epcot historical exhibit near Club Cool and I was not disappointed in the least. Just hearing the classic music in the park again made my trip. This was a very well done exhibit and I'm very glad that I got to see it. I can't wait to take some friends there next week and show them what they unfortunately missed out on (this will be their 2nd WDW trip).

Tepen Edo - I did enjoy the original restaurant here, but they have made a major upgrade for sure. The portions of my lunch chicken meal were far greater than what we used to get. It could have just been a fluke, but I bet we got twice the chicken than in past visits. Also they have a new sauce that is sort of like a mild shrimp sauce that is so common in Japanese restaurants at least in this area. The food quality was amazing and well worth the $18. We will be going back.

O' Canada - It is no secret that the original show was my favorite thing ever in World Showcase. The music, narration, and visuals were perfect. But it was dated and I didn't complain about getting a new film. Do I like this as much as the old version? No, not even close. But I do feel that they did a great job with it, as long as it can be changed rather easily. There are a few parts that will date itself rather quickly. The joke about the France pavilion film was pretty brilliant though. And I get goosebumps when the updated main theme starts with the original show opening with the mounties enter. Best part of the whole film.

Gran Fiesta Tour - The only word that comes to mind after this is: meh. El Rio del Tiempo was in need of an update, but this really didn't improve things much, IMO. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, but this wasn't much of a rehab at all. It was kind of a bland and forgettable changeover, but certainly not bad.

dxwwf3
07-03-2008, 08:10 PM
I was very excited to see the retro EPCOT Center shirts in the parks and I did manage to buy one. It was the one where it says the 21st Century Began October 1, 1982 going up and down with the EPCOT logo on top. Unfortunately, that is the only shirt I bought....because it was the only one they made in a XXL. Apparently EPCOT Center fans must be mostly under 200 lbs and under 6 feet tall. I am neither. The shirt that I got was almost too short and was extremely thin. It still fit, but it isn't the most comfortable shirt I've bought there for sure. You would think that nowadays they would have XXXL shirts and in these designs I would have got them in that size if nothing else but for length. So I would suggest for anyone that is planning on buying a EPCOT Center retro shirt, to look at a size larger than you normally wear first and try it on. It will more than likely be what you will want. Very frustrating.

And then you have Spaceship Earth. My opinion about present day Spaceship Earth is the most odd feeling I have ever had about a Disney attraction. But it isn't an unusual opinion about it either. While I love the 94 score and narration most of any in the attraction, I actually didn't mind the Dench narration. The script is easily the worst in attraction history, but she makes the most of it. And the score is fantastic. Not quite up there with 94's, but really there isn't much that is that good.

The updates to the first 3/4 of the attraction were pitch perfect. The AA's were amazing, the sets sparkled and the fall of Rome smell was better than ever. And the new scenes involving computers could not have been done any better. I also loved seeing The Matrix tunnel. But then it happened..........

The first thing I noticed was how the delivery of the "aboard Spaceship Earth" line was completely off. It used to be such a powerful moment when you would hear the line, turn the corner and then see the Earth. But it doesn't work the way it is now. Then we rotated backwards for our return to Earth. And a lot has been said about the ending to SSE with opinions all across the spectrum. In my own opinion, the ending for Spaceship Earth is the worst ending in the history of Disney theme parks. My mouth hit the floor and I was actually prepared for it. I had seen pictures, but didn't have it really spoiled and I was still shocked. It was almost like you can tell where they ran out of money. Absolutely nothing about this ending worked for me. The endless light thing was kind of neat, but the ending is where the music is supposed to shine. From Tomorrow's Child to the 94 score, you're supposed to be uplifted by SSE. Not depressed by seeing a corny, Jetsons ripoff that feels completley out of place in the attraction.

With all of that said, the Siemens sponsorship gave us the first 3/4 of the attraction and a removal of the wand. So overall, great job on SSE. Just remember to wake me up at the Exit :lol:

dxwwf3
07-03-2008, 08:11 PM
Toy Story Midway Mania - Very well done D ticket attraction that is a perfect fit for the Studios. The technology is amazing and Potato Head was better than expected. I'm still not very good at the game for a number of reasons (and I'm a hardcore video gamer), but I still really enjoy it. Huge upgrade over Millionaire.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor - It's surprise time. I actually enjoyed this attraction. Would this have fit better in the Studios? You bet. Does it feel out of place in Tomorrowland? Uh-huh. But they actually did a good job here. From the queue to the themeing to the actual content of the show, this is actually a worthy replacement for The Timekeeper. Sure it doesn't come close to being as good as that attraction was, but who really expected it to be? For what it is, I have to give it two thumbs up. I have never been interested in seeing Turtle Talk with Crush in person, but based on videos and whatnot, MILF seems like a much better attraction. So while it might not be the best fit for the area, at least it is miles ahead of what is across the street.

The Crystal Palace - I've long been against the abundance of character meals in the Magic Kingdom. There's just too many of them. But the one thing I continually hear is that the Crystal Palace is by far the best one of them. And at $25 for lunch, it had certainly better be. But guess what? It is fantastic. The food was really great and they had a huge variety of simple foods done really well. I would highly recommend it and will go back. The pork loin, mac & cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, and some kind of cornbread dish were the best things. This place is worth the price because of the food quality. It isn't a rip off just to see characters.

Finding Nemo The Musical - Talk about an upgrade. This is on a whole other level from Tarzan Rocks. Right up there with the Aladdin show over at DCA with plenty of songs you can't get out of your head. Can't wait to see it again.

Ok I think those are all of the new things for me this trip and now for some general observations:

dxwwf3
07-03-2008, 08:11 PM
Buzz Lightyear is in need badly of a rehab. Neither of the guns in our car worked properly and the whole attraction feels worn down.

Took a Keys to the Kingdom tour and I really enjoyed it. Matthew was our guide and he was brilliant. He could tell our group was into it, so he extended it a bit. It was great to finally spend a little bit of time in the Utilidoors. But the real highlight is going backstage behind Splash Mountain and Pirates. It is amazing how close those two show buildings are.

The ONLY place to get soft serve at WDW is at Mrs. Potts in Fantasyland. Highest portion and best quality.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is my new favorite resort. We stayed as far away from the lobby as you can get and it was still just a 5 minute walk to get there. The rooms are great and the location to the parks isn't as bad as you might think. We only had to wait over 5 minutes for a bus 1 time in about 20 bus rides there. I hope they keep offering Annual Pass discounts there because if they do, we might not stay anywhere else.

Zebra Domes lived up to the hype.

I don't know if any of you were at the Animal Kingdom on June 23 for Extra Magic Hours Evening, but I swear to you Expedition Everest was running about 10 miles an hour faster than usual. I swear it was like a whole other ride. Sadly, it never ran the same way again on the trip, as I had hoped they had made some permanent changes. But was anyone else over there that night to back me up?

You now evidently get SOAKED right after the lift hill on Kali River Rapids if you are going backwards. That waterfall doesn't go down nearly as much as it used to


Overall I had a wonderful time and I can't believe I'll be back one week from right now. Hopefully I can take the time to do a little more detail watching on this trip. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Sledge
07-04-2008, 02:59 AM
Great trip report. I couldn't agree more with what you said about SSE.

What is the line in O' Canada about the France pavilion? I've only seen the new show once.

:rep:

dxwwf3
07-04-2008, 03:07 AM
What is the line in O' Canada about the France pavilion? I've only seen the new show once.

The voice over guy talks about going over to the France pavilion film where they appreciate an invisible narrator :lol:

Gotta love Impressions de France jokes. Now that film is my favorite thing in World Showcase.

Sledge
07-04-2008, 03:14 AM
Haha. I remember that now. I like that and the "FastPass for Soarin'" line. :lol:

dxwwf3
07-04-2008, 03:18 AM
Yeah that was nice too. I do think this show will date itself a lot quicker than the original though.

The_Bled
07-04-2008, 09:57 AM
Do you have any pictures?

dxwwf3
07-04-2008, 11:46 AM
Yeah I took some pics, but there is nothing that hasn't been covered extensively on the internet. No need to post pictures of the Spaceship Earth exterior when you've seen those for months :)