We are now in Takasaki, Gunma which is two hours north west of Tokyo. We are couch surfing with an awesome host right. She’s super fun and is really easy going. What a great way to start off our couch surfing experiences!
There’s not a whole lot to do up here in Takasaki. There are a few malls that we’ve checked out and you can climb the side of the mountain near here. It’s a nice change from the busy streets of Tokyo.
We went out for supper with our host and a couple of her friends. We all headed to CoCo Curry which was really really good. I felt sorry for the guy that served us since he got our order wrong the first time and we tried to explain to him what we really wanted. After that it took 5 of us to figure out how to use the japanese parking meters. You pull up over this metal pad and it lifts up to keep your vehicle from driving away without paying.
Another restaurant we visited was a conveyer belt sushi place. If you order special sushi from the touch screen it will be delivered to your table by Shinkansen (bullet train). Here’s the video:
The one shopping centre is in the train station so that’s where we spent a lot of our time. They had everything in there even a Starbucks and McDonald’s. Also somehow half a floor that was between floor 2 and 3.
We went through the cell phone and stereo section. They vast number of models and colours is outstanding and overwhelming. When we get a model of phone we get to chose from 1 or 2 colours. Not here. Same goes for the stereos.
I also got to complete my Lord of the Rings Japanese DVD collection. Back when I lived here in 2003 I bought The Two Towers on DVD when it was released. I bought Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King used for roughly $15 a piece. I’ve tried cutting down on buying useless media but this is an exception.
We also came across this while we were looking for sunscreen and body wash. I didn’t buy any but I was totally tempted to:
I forgot about our adventure videos in Akihabara too. We found some fighting toys and a wall of monster toys. The videos explain themselves.
Tonight we are heading back to Tokyo and going to be with our second host. We are planning on going to Tokyo Disneyland in the next few days as well. There will be TONS of photo and videos from there that’s for sure!
Today was our first full day in Tokyo. The day before we were pretty tired from our 10.5 hour flight and when we FINALLY reached our Hostel in Minamisenju (南千住) we were tired and were fast asleep by 8pm.
I woke up at 4am and could not get back to sleep for the life of me. After about 3 hours of just browsing the internet on my iPhone I decided it was time to get up and have a shower. It costs 100 yen per 5 mins for a shower. I just dubbed it the “pay-as-you-go” shower.
We were ready and out the door by about 8am. We attempted to eat at our Hostel’s restaurant that is across the street but they were closed. There were different opening times posted in three different areas. Apparently it’s not opening until July. Anyway we just headed to McDonald’s for breakfast since that was one of the very few things open.
Took a train all the way to Shibuya (渋谷) and began to check it out. After leaving one small store this guy, who spoke English, came up to me and asked me to visit his store. Being polite I said I would. It was upstairs and he was selling hip-hop type clothing. Which isn’t my style at all. He kept telling me he would give me a discount if I bought clothes. I said I would try on a pair of shorts that were a size 34. The guy looks at me and says “no you’re a 36” and told me to try them on. I went downstairs to try them on. He kept pressuring me to buy clothes and told me not to worry about the price. He went upstairs while I was “putting on” the shorts. Don told me he was gone upstairs. I put the shorts on the counter and got out of there as fast as I could. That was extremely awkward…
I knew that Lady Gaga was huge in Japan but not 5 stories huge. There’s a billboard of her on the side of one of the buildings and it’s awesome.
Checked out some of the shopping they had for men. It’s quite the experience. The clothes are WAY out of my price range. But if I did have the money I would spend it on the awesome clothes you can find here. Mickey mouse is everywhere….
I really do wish that shopping back home in Canada was this awesome. I’d probably end up buying more clothes than I should. But if there’s a good groove going on….I’d probably buy anything!
Headed on over to the Apple Store just to check it out. It’s the same as all the other Apple Stores but this was a Japanese store so it’s that much cooler! *smirk*
Then we decided to check out the arcade. When we walked into the entrance we were greeted by this very scary looking toy that was moving around on the floor with a ballon in it’s hand….
After all the excitement we decided that it was time to head to Shinjuku (新宿) to check out some of the sights there. This is what we had to walk through to get to the Shibuya Station (渋谷駅).
After getting to Shinjuku and walking around we headed back to our Hostel in Minamisenju. There is still time left in the day so we are going to head back out after getting some much needed rest. Who knows what tomorrow is going to bring!
May 11th – Today was our last full day in Walt Disney World. We decided to do “The Best Of” for the day. Our first stop was Animal Kingdom and the first attraction we hit up was Expedition Everest! My favorite ride out of all the parks. We stopped in the line up area to take photos of all the well done props. Once we were done with that we headed over to Kali Rapids. Remember in Universal Studios how I said how much I loved karma? Seeing as John was bone dry the day before he got completely soaking wet and I was the one dry. He was the unlucky one when we went down the small waterfall and the water went over him. You can’t get much wetter than that.
Next up was the Dinosaur attraction which was just as fun as the first. My inner geek came out when we saw the this sign for a food stand.
We waited for the next showing of Finding Nemo The Musical. It was well worth the wait. I loved the movie and the musical was just as cute. They had fish come into the audience and everything. It’s quite something to check out. You have to do it when you head to Animal Kingdom.
After walking through the park one last time we headed on over to Epcot for lunch. We had lunch in The Land attempted to head on Soarin’ but the line up was up to over an hour and the fast passes were all gone. We got to do it twice the one day so we weren’t too crushed. To make up for it we went to see my good friend Nemo again in his little attraction. It was still cute and I still loved it. It was rather busy and I found out why …
We never saw the Fairies last time so we walked through and took photos of them all. They were really well done and cute. After that we started heading to all the Pavilions one last time. The first was the Mexican Pavilion. We did the attraction again. Then headed over to Norway and did Maelstrom again but did not stick around for the movie. In the Italy Pavilion we were watching this clown do tricks and he was getting small children to throw balls into a hoop. He picked me to throw one of the balls into the hoop. He made it much harder for me by moving the hoop out of the way each time I tried to throw it in. I tried about six times before he walked up to and gave me a small ball the size of a grape fruit and I try again. I miss yet again and he points at the ball and this little boy that was in a stroller that threw the same sized ball into the hoop no problem and laughs at me. I finally get the ball in after the 10th try. I had the entire crowd laughing, it was pretty fun.
We walk though the rest of the Pavilions and walked through the shops one more time to see if there was anything we wanted to pick up. Our last stop was the Canadian Pavilion just to check it out. I found it amusing seeing Canadian candy in there. You’d think they would have it in the US. I wasn’t about to pay $4 for a box of smarties. We watched the Canadian Circle Vision movie hosted by Martin Short. They talked mostly about BC, Ontario, and P.E.I. The Prairies were shown once in a photo of a field and nothing about the Yukon, N.W.T, or Nunavut. It was still an enjoyable show though. I’m just being nit picky.
After that we headed down Boardwalk to check it out and it was nothing too special but was very quiet. There weren’t very many people in that area. We then caught a bus to the Contemporary Resort to take a look around and jump on the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Mind you the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom are literally beside each other but we wanted to take the monorail.
Once hitting the Magic Kingdom we hopped on the Train that circles the entire park. It was nice and relaxing. Once we did the circuit we headed off to Tomorrowland and did Space Mountain one more time. We then took the Trolly that went around Tomorrowland. I had no idea it went behind some of the rides so you can see inside them. You get to see inside Space Mountain and can see the carts going around (barely it was so dark). Also got to see inside the Buzz Lightyear attraction too. We hit up a couple more of the attractions one last time before we got our spots for the Wishes fireworks.
It was the perfect way to end the best vacation I have ever had! I had so much fun and I cannot wait to head back. It really is the most magical place on earth. I used to not get too excited about Disney but now that has completely changed. I will be returning very soon! So soon in fact that I will be heading to Tokyo Disneyland in June! I’m going to be in Japan for a month and I will be making a few trips to Disneyland. I hope you all enjoyed my long trip report and I’m looking forward to update it on my trip to Tokyo!
May 10th – Today was the day we headed off resort and venture into Universal Studios. The morning started off pretty rough. We figured that we could take the Linx bus from Downtown Disney and make it to Universal just before they opened. We left a bit too early and there was no active bus to Downtown Disney. Ended up missing the first bus. So then we took the bus to Epcot then took the monorail to the Ticket Centre to take the bus from there. Once we got there the Linx bus showed up but the bus driver told us not to take this specific bus and that another one with the exact same number would be coming shortly. After 30-45 minutes of waiting there was no bus. By this time we’ve already lost over 2 hours to get off resort. We finally just said screw it and went to the Polynesian Resort and took a taxi. We were going to take the Mears transportation from the resort but the lovely woman there told us that it would cost just as much as a taxi and take twice as long since they stop at other resorts before finally going to Universal.
May 9th – Today we wanted to take it easy so we decided to go to the Typhoon Lagoon water park for the day. Got to sleep in today too since the park did not open later in the morning. First thing we did was cover ourselves from head to toe in sunscreen. It was a nice clear day to go swimming!
The first thing we did was head into the Lazy River to look at all the different parts of the water park. It was a nice change of pace compared to the last four days we just had. After that we got out at the other end of the park and did a couple of the water slides. They were nothing too special, something you’d see at any other water park. Innertubes and a 3 story drop water slide.
Once we had those out of our system we went to the wave pool and stayed in there for a while. The 6 foot waves were tons of fun. I tried to swim to the deep end to hit the waves but inevitably I’d get water up my nose and I’d start choking, taking the fun out of it. Regardless we spent a lot of time in the wave.
Our favorite part of the park was Crushin N’ Gusher. It was a watercoster where you would sit in a 2 or 3 man tube and you would go through what felt like a rollercoaster. You would go down a drop and water would push you back up the hill. It was so much fun that we did it three times! Our first time through we had a photopass person take a photo of us when we hit the end as we were tipping over. She got a picture when my friend’s knee connected with the back of my head. It actually did hurt quite a bit!
We were only at the park until about 3pm since being in the sun that long took a lot out of us. Even the multiple re-applications of our sunscreen did not prevent our shoulders from becoming sunburned.
Tonight was Extended Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom until 1am, that was our plan for the rest of the evening. We did a couple of the smaller rides that we didn’t do during the day because the lines were pretty long. Finally got to check out Snow White and Peter Pan which were both very cute and enjoyable. We also checked out Mickey’s PhillarMagic, which is a 3D show that takes you through various Disney Cartoons.
We did Space Mountain, Monster’s Inc, Big Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain multiple times. We got lucky on Big Thunder and Splash Mountain. We went on them during the Wishes fireworks show so we were able to walk right onto the ride. On Splash Mountain we were on the ride ourselves so we decided to do a nice pose for the camera. They also offered us to go again!
We walked around the park a couple times and checked out a couple more attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean. We left just before midnight since we were so exhausted and we had to get up for 6am tomorrow. On the bus back to our Resort we had three adults get into a fight about strollers and there was a lot of yelling and children crying. What a magical way to end the day. At least tomorrow we have Universal Studios to look forward to!
May 8th – Once again another early morning, I’m starting to get used to this! Today is Hollywood Studios and we were making it there for Early Magic Hours!
To add some more excitement to my Trip Report I thought I could include some music for you to listen to while you are reading! Make sure to turn it off when you watch the videos!
When we arrived the first thing that we did was head on over to the Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster which we just walked onto. Since the gum on the seat in Epcot I’m always looking at my seat before sitting down. The most intense part of the ride was at the very beginning when it goes from 0-60 in only a couple of seconds. They are mean to you on this ride too, just as you hit 60mph they take a photo of you. Lets just say that my photo looked ridiculous. It wasn’t worth the $18 in my opinion ha! Overall it was a fun ride and we grabbed a fast pass to come back later in the day.
Being Early Magic Hours not all the attractions were open so we were very limited on what we could do. Since I’m a Star Wars fan it was a given to go check out the Star Wars Tours! The ride is very dated but they are re-imaging the attraction later this year. I was happy to be able to ride the classic ride before it was no more. The amount of Star Wars items to buy is crazy, I could have easily spent my life savings in that store. I did pick up a nice Mickey Mouse Jedi plush which is the cutest!
By this time the Hollywood Backlot was opened up. They take you through special effects of movies such as war scene involving boats. After that you are taken onto a vehicle that takes you through the back lot and look at different movie props. One that I remember is an object from Star Wars. It was rather enjoyable and relaxing. After the attraction there is a room that shows you various costumes from different movies such as Star Wars (are you surprised?).
Here’s a video from the Hollywood Backlot tour. It’s pretty neat how they are able to do this kinda stuff.
By this time we decided that we wanted to grab a fast pass for Toy Story since the wait time was already up to 30 minutes and the fast passes were well into the late afternoon. A Cast Member told us that these fast passes are considered gold since they go so quickly.
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney cartoons and one of the first that I actually remember watching when I was a child. So it holds a special place in my heart! Naturally we had to check out the live action show! We got there nice and early and got some pretty decent seats! They take you through the story in about a 20 minute show. The performances were outstanding and choreographing was top notch. It’s the quality you’d expect from Disney. My favorite part was Be Our Guest, and look here! I have video from that!
After visiting my friend Belle we headed on over to visit my friend Ariel in her live performance show. Again another enjoyable show! There were a lot more puppets in compared to Beauty and the Beast.
Once we were done visiting the castle and going under the sea we headed on over to our Fast Pass for Toy Story. We lucked out on this one. The stand-by line was 90 minutes and the Fast Pass line was lined up pretty deep. Everyone ahead of us was in a party of 3 or more. There was only two of us so they pulled us up to the front of the line and sat us in the handicap seat, which is in the very front. The ride is exactly the same was Buzz Lightyear in the Magic Kingdom, where we have to shoot targets. This time the targets were on screens and they moved! I still kicked my friend’s butt in overall point. It was a quicky and fun ride. I know why the Fast Passes went so quickly for this one.
We had a late lunch reservation for the Prime Time Cafe at 2:45pm. It was themed as a 1950s home kitchen which was VERY neat! A majority of the servers were older women which was extremely cute. One of them kept calling me “Skippy” every time she walked by our table and my friend was called “Scooter”. When we were first seated our server greeted us and handed us the menu. He looked at me and told me to read the top corner of the menu. I go a head and read it “Keep elbows off the table”. It took me a second to figure out that I had my elbows on the table! Another guy sitting adjacent to our table did not finish his vegetables and his server (who was a 50+ year old woman) gave him hell and then took his fork, loaded it up with vegetables, and made an airplane sound then fed it to him! His whole family was laughing at him the entire time. I also got to have my VANILLA COKE! Ohh and it was delicious! The overall experience was great and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to have a meal.
I stopped watching American Idol years ago but we went and checked out The American Idol experience. They make it feel like you are really watching the show live. There were three contestants. The one that won the round was this young 19 year old girl from London. She wasn’t half bad, but was much better than the first two performers.
After we did that we caught the tail end of the parade going through the park. I was hoping to be able to see the whole thing but oh well. Can’t get everything! But we did catch the Jedi Academy show. Children are chosen from the audience to be traded as Padawans. Half way through the show Darth Vader and Darth Maul show up to crash the party. Then the kids take turns fighting them. It was extremely cute and geeky at the same time. I wish we were able to make the Star Wars Weekends. Ah well, maybe next year.
That was our day in Hollywood Studios. We did not do the Tower of Terror again since neither of us were feeling up for it. We decided that we wanted to head to Downtown Disney and check out Disney Quest for the evening since we had the “Water Parks and More” option on our passes.
Oh before I forget, I got to see the POWER RANGERS! I got a little too excited and took some photos of them. Too bad they weren’t the original ones. These were the Power Rangers in Space while traveling back in time to the dinosaurs and using Turbo powers while using the powers of the galaxy.
Once we got to Downtown Disney we walked all the way to Disney Quest. You had to take an elevator to get into the actual arcade. As to be expected from Disney even the elevator ride was made enjoyable. A mirror on the one side of the elevator displayed Genie from Aladdin and he said a few jokes and then shot us up like a rocket and the elevator moved as such.
There were multiple levels to this arcade. They had every arcade game you could think of there. They did have a DDR Machine that I’ve always wanted to try. But there was this girl that was on the machine the entire time we were there. I even stood by the machine waiting for my turn. She would just keep playing. I left for a bit, then came back and she started playing again! She gave me this dirty look so I let the brat have her way. I could live without playing it. The cafe there was themed as Alice in Wonderland and you sat in oversized chairs. It was pretty cute. Overall Disney Quest was alright, if you miss it when you go, you aren’t missing too much. If you love arcade games then this place is heaven for you! They even have classic arcade games such as Donkey Kong.
That was our 4th day in Walt Disney World! Like every day we’ve had so far it was enjoyable and memorable. Day 5 we take a short break from the parks and head on over to Typhoon Lagoon. The break is short as we head back to the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours!
May 7th 2010 – Day 3 starts off early just like the first two days. We get a wake up call from Mickey again and Stitch must have slept in because he didn’t rudely interrupt Mickey this time. Today is Epcot!
We’ve adopted our tactic for doing the major attractions early to avoid long lines and missed fast passes. Please remember that it may seem we did all these rides fairly quickly and had a lot of fast passes, these are over the course of 4-5 hours so it was much longer then it sounds here. First up we headed to The Land and hoped aboard Soarin’. I tried thinking of a way to explain the ride but I think the Disney website does it much better. Here it is in the lovely quotes:
“Soarin’ is a serene, multisensory attraction that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over California. Experience the feeling of free flight from 40 feet in the air while surrounded by scenic panoramas including the Golden Gate Bridge, Malibu and LA.”
You are hung in front of a HUGE screen and it feels like you are really Soarin (ha) through these vast landscapes. We had great timing when we got there because we had a 10 minute wait time. Once we came out there was over 30mins wait time. Decided to grab some fast passes to come back later in the day.
Next we headed over to visit my very good friend Nemo, he told us that he had a show we had to check out. I couldn’t disappoint my fishy friend so we headed on over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Again this was another very well themed ride. The line up to the ride was very dark to represent being under water. The ride was extremely cute as it took you through the story of my good friend Nemo. I won’t ruin the surprises in there for you.
Since I paid a visit to my friend Nemo I had to head over and visit my other good friend Ellen. She has her own ride you know and it’s called Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I’m not the best at explaining things clearly so here is a quote from the Disney website explaining the attraction:
“Starring comedian Ellen DeGeneres, this multimedia attraction takes you on a trip from the eras of the Big Bang and dinosaurs to the present, exploring what powers the universe and our daily lives. Venture to the future to see how we’ll eventually live!”
I won’t be too harsh on Ellen but the ride wasn’t the best thing since Splash Mountain or Expedition Everest. If there’s something you can skip I’d say you won’t miss much. Her jokes are funny as always but that’s about it.
The park has various Disney Characters that are made out of flowers and other plants, we tried to get photos of them all.
Next we grabbed some fast passes for Mission: SPACE since the line up was already about a 30minute wait (our plan isn’t fool proof, too many variables to take into account). While we waited we quickly headed over to Test Track and used some fast passes we grabbed earlier in the day. You are pretty much a crash test dummy and you are put into a car and put through various tests. The last test you go up to 60 miles per hour and circle the building. That was a lot of fun minus the jerk that decided that putting their WHITE gum on the seat before me. I sat in it without noticing and had a white blotch of gum on my butt for the rest of the day.
When our fast past was up for Mission: SPACE we only did the less intense since the wait was 10mins vs the 30min wait for the more intense (this was the fast pass line). If you are someone that hates small tight spaces then you can avoid this ride, and they tell you that over and over and over again before the ride begins. It makes you feel like you are taking off in a space shuttle and head to Mars and do some funky flying and what not. There are only four people to a shuttle and each person is given a role and at a specific time you have to press one of your two buttons to make something happen. Also if you get motion sick rather easily (like I do) then you will get a bit dizzy after this one. I’m willing to try the more intense ride next time.
Here are some more of the Disney Characters that we took photos of! Real ones and ones made out of flowers!
After getting the major attractions out of the way we started walking through all the Pavilions. First up was the Mexico Pavilion where the shops, restaurant, and attraction were inside a Aztec Pyramid. It was something to see. We checked out the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Which I’m sure most of you remember. It was a cute ride and relaxing.
In the Norway Pavilion they had another boat ride that went through some of Norway’s History, it was called Maelstrom. Just your typical boat ride with a movie to watch once you hit the end.
The other Pavilions we checked out were American Adventure, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and Morocco. They all had nice gift shops with unique items that are from that country and either a quick service restaurant or a sit down or both! In the Canada Pavilion you could buy Smarties. I forgot that those are a Canadian thing, and no I did not buy any!
At the China pavilion we caught an acrobat show where there were girls spinning pieces of circular cloth on their feet and arms, boys using cans to do acrobatics, and another group of girls using hoola hoops. They were a very talented group of kids.
We had lunch at the Rose & Pub in the United Kingdom Pavilion, it was WELL worth the wait. The girl that served us was from Jersey which is an island off the UK. She was incredibly friendly, funny, and polite. I had roast beef, potatoes, gravy, greens, and Yorkshire pudding! It was absolutely delicious. While were eating we saw two separate women get extremely upset with the servers. One lady got mad because she had to wait to get a table and pointed out there were 3 free tables just sitting there outside. Another woman literally freaked out when they were seated outside and wanted to be inside, and the lovely girl tried to explain nicely that the inside was full and if they wanted to sit inside they would have to wait longer. Then the woman just lost it after hearing the word “wait”. There’s no pleasing some people is there.
This time we didn’t head back to the resort to have a nap. We felt pretty good and weren’t overly tired so we stuck it out. We went and checked out Spaceship Earth which is right inside the Epcot ball. IT was a 16 minute ride that takes you through human history and into the future. It was enjoyable.
A weird thing that we saw was a sky writer that wrote “U + GOD = :)” in the sky. Apparently this guy does it all the time. The guy must have a lot of money and nothing better to do with his time. The message doesn’t bother me at all.
Another thing we checked out was the Coke store that allowed you to sample (for free) soft drinks from around the world. These are the same ones you can try out in Las Vegas. It was enjoyable watching unknowing people try the Beverley drink from Italy!
Then we went and checked out the China Circle Vision movie which was really neat! The movie was projected all around the room so you can see everything in a 360 view. It went through China’s landmarks and other important parts of the beautiful country. For supper we decided that we wanted to have Chinese, so that’s what we had.
After we just walked around taking more photos of all the lovely Disney Characters that were made of flowers. Then we grabbed a spot near the Italy pavilion for the Illuminations show. The area we were in got really crowded quickly and this guy that was standing in this corner left and the crowd just naturally filled in the spot to make room for others. I happened to fill that empty spot and the guy comes back a good 20minutes later and rudely says to me “Do you mind? I didn’t leave.” I found that to be a bit rude but whatever I could still see the show perfectly.
The show was great and what made it even better is we had this 5 year old boy be the commentary for the entire show. Guess what? We have it all on video too! Listen carefully to the background and you can hear him. The video is in two parts!
We left Epcot at around 10:00pm and we were more then done! It was a really long day but very enjoyable. Sadly Jacob wasn’t there to greet us from our adventure. But at least our decorated window was welcoming!
The next day is Hollywood Studios so check back for that! Hope you all are enjoying my trip report!
May 6th, 2010 – Another early morning for us, but this time we got a wake up call from Mickey and his rude friend Stitch. Had to make sure we were up and ready to make it to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop at 8am. Picked up some breakfast in the food court at our resort and we were off!
Thankfully this time our bus driver was able to get to the right park and in a timely manner. The bus was packed, but we made it there just before rope drop! This was the only rope drop we actually made throughout the entire trip. I’d have to say this one was very impressive! After watching the opening that was the first time I fully realized that I’m in Walt Disney World, it was a great feeling. Instead of using a wall of text to explain it to you, I’ll just show you a video! Everyone loves a video.
After watching Mickey and his friends dance around, the park was officially opened for the day! We were using the same tactic as the day before. Get all the major attractions out of the way with minimal wait times and get fast passes for the attractions we want to do again. First up on the list was Space Mountain in Tomorrowland! I wasn’t expecting the ride to be completely in the dark, but it was. I was told that they recently refurbished the attraction and added a video game for people to play while they are waiting in line. Seeing as there was next to no line we didn’t get a chance to play it. Looked like a game where you collected trash and tried to get as much as you can before the timer went out. We enjoyed the ride so much that we walked right back onto it, with no wait. After the second ride we grabbed a fast pass since they were already handing them out for 11am.
After going through space a couple of times we checked out the rest of Tomorrowland. Walking through all the shops and also checked out Stitch’s Great Escape. We walked down to Fantasyland to check out the attractions there. Many of them were for smaller children, so we skipped over them. I’m also not a big fan of rides that spin in fast small circles, which is what the Tea Cups were.
Being my first time to the park I wasn’t aware that Adventureland and Frontierland weren’t open until 9am. A Cast Member kindly told us that after we tried to walk through the castle and we were stopped because they were filming a TV show. So we headed back through Fantasyland then to Tomorrowland and went to see what they were filming. We figured it was just a commercial for the resort since what they were recording looked very generic and no Zac Efron was to be seen, but I could be wrong.
By the time we did all that it was now 9am and the rest of the park was opened! Headed over to Frontierland and checked out the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The theming of the ride was outstanding! It really felt like you were there. The ride was enjoyable and if you liked the movies I’d recommend going here. After we wanted to check out Splash Mountain, but low and behold they were filming yet again! We ended up going to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while we waited for Splash Mountain to reopen. When we were done with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad we headed to Splash Mountain and it was reopened! They were still doing some filming but it was of people going down the final drop on the attraction. When we finally got to the final drop I made sure to wave to the cameras! I also got soaking wet, which was to be expected. Next we went to the house of the most famous mouse in the world….
Two words for you: Mickey’s House!
Apparently I have very good tastes in t-shirts because throughout the day I got about 5 questions/compliments about the t-shirt I was wearing. It had a picture of Gizmo from the Gremlin’s movies. I had Cast Members and random people give me thumbs up and high fives because of my shirt. Or maybe everyone was just being nice, who knows. Either way I got a lot of attention that’s for sure.
After our adventure on Splash Mountain we headed to the Haunted Mansion. I really love how the Cast Members really get into their roles. The butler for this attraction kept telling us to “move your bodies alllll the way to the end. If you can fit a body in between yourself and the person in front of you, you can put your body there!”. It was another attraction where you sit in a cart and it just pulls you through and shows you some neat things. The one part that was my favorite is how they made the ghosts look like they were actually there. It’s a bit creepy that they are able to do that but oh so cool. I was saddened that there wasn’t a huge gift shop after the attraction but there was a small cart that had plenty of items for me to spend my money on. I bought a nice Haunted Mansion keychain and a Baby Jack plush (from The Nightmare Before Christmas). The Cast Member working there was asking me if I was going to move into the Mansion (be the 1000th ghost) and talking to me about the Bride. I found it cool how in character they get!
Disney World is not complete until you do It’s A Small World, which is what we did. Yes it was cute but I can see how it could get annoying quickly. Thankfully it’s not overly long. But now I can say that I have done it, and it was enjoyable for what it was.
We headed back to Tomorrowland and got to see the talking trash can. It’s exactly what you are thinking. It’s a trash can that rolls around and talks to guests. It doesn’t have preset phrases there is someone actually doing the voice. It was absolutely hilarious. It was talking to this girl, who had to be about 12 years old, and she was holding her little brother’s hand. The trash can asked her “is this your boyfriend?” she responds with “No, this is my brother”. Then the trash can asks “Now why would you be dating your brother!?”. Oh man I could not stop laughing. Once we were finished with the trash can we checked out the Buzz Lightyear attraction and went to Space Mountain once more before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.
Before heading back to our Resort the skies opened up and poured. We thought we could wait it out but after waiting half an hour we decided to just suffer through the rain to walk to our bus stop. Which is exactly what we did and were soaking wet. But we were already soaked once that day so what’s once more?
After a good hour nap at the resort we decided we wanted to head to Epcot just to walk through it once and eat at one of the pavilions. We decided on eating at the Japanese Pavilion and I got to have Japanese Curry! I haven’t had proper curry since I lived in Japan back in 2003 and it was absolutely delicious! Now since we were going to come back to Epcot we didn’t do any attractions and just walked through the pavilions. Once that was done we headed back to the Magic Kingdom to catch Spectro Magic and Wishes!
Found ourselves a nice spot right at the end of Mainstreet USA near the Castle. Spector Magic was first and it was very cute and very bright! All the characters were wearing lights on them and there were no other lights on in the park. It’s something I highly recommend if are at the Magic Kingdom on the right night! We got a little bit of video so here it is! It’s a playlist so the next video will play.
Once that was done there wasn’t much time until Wishes start so we just stayed where we were since we had a very good view of Cinderella’s Castle. The fireworks were done to music and it was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve seen (the fireworks show done back home are very impressive too). The music fit the show perfectly and I over head a little girl say to her mother “Look mom! Magic IS REAL!”. That was by far the cutest thing I’ve heard any child say. Again another playlist and all the videos will play in order.
What an amazing day! We didn’t get back to our Resort until probably 12:30am and we were up since 6am that morning. It was worth the sore feet and soaked clothing. My favorite part of the day was Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Spectro Magic, and Wishes. So much to see and do!! The next day is a full day at Epcot! Lots of adventures there! Check back for my blog post on that day!
I leave you with our little friend that lives near our resort hotel room. His name is Jacob the Rabbit. Isn’t he the cutest?
We arrived in Orlando on May 4th at 11pm and got to our Pop Century Resort shortly after midnight. We went to bed right away since we were getting up at 7am to head to the Animal Kingdom for 9am.
Our wakeup call came way too early, and sadly it wasn’t Mickey that was on the phone. But either way we started off our day very early. Went and had breakfast in the food court on the resort and lined up for the bus to the Animal Kingdom!
The bus ride took a bit longer then anticipated because our bus driver was in training and took a wrong turn and we ended up at the Magic Kingdom. It was a great way to start off the trip!
Finally arrived at the park at around 9:30am. Our first thought was to get the major attractions out of the way. So we headed over to Asia and tackled Expedition Everest with a 5 minute wait. It was my favorite ride throughout the entire trip. After the first ride we decided to grab a fast pass so we could enjoy the other attractions and not chance having to wait in line.
Next we hit up the Kali River. As we were walking up to the river a cast member greeted us with “You picked a perfect time to visit, the water is nice and wet!”. That’s just the beginning of the great things we’ve seen and heard from Cast Members. Again the wait time for the ride was only 5 minutes. The ride was much shorter then I anticipated but was still fun none the less. Luckily I was one of the few people that didn’t get soaked on the ride. We ran into this very interesting creature walking about in the forest. She moved ever so elegantly. You can see for yourself … she’s called DeVine.
After we decided to walk around the park and check out the Tree of Life and all the carvings around it. The detail of the carvings was stunning. I couldn’t believe the amount of detail that went into each and every carving. Since A Bug’s Life show was inside the Tree of Life that was our next stop. The show was incredibly cute and enjoyable despite the little girl that was beside me screaming the entire time because she was scared. The spiders and cockroaches were a bit scary so I completely understand why she was scared. No one likes cockroaches running under their bum.
Once the show was done we walked to Dinoland and checked out the Dinosaur ride. Again another 5 minute wait. It was an amusing ride and the animatronics were good. We wanted to check out Finding Nemo The Musical but the show wasn’t for another hour and a half. Instead checked out The Lion King. It was a live musical with a lot of dancing, fire, and acrobats. Lion King is one of my favorite Disney animations so I really enjoyed the show a lot.
For lunch we did counter service at the Yak & Yeti in Asia. The food wasn’t overly terrific and I had a long disgusting hair in my rice bowl. For dessert I had my very first Mickey Ice Cream Bar and it was fantastic! I had to eat it quickly since it was melting pretty quickly. After lunch we went to the Safari which was relaxing and enjoyable.
Our last stop at in the Animal Kingdom was meeting Mickey! We stood in line with the 5 year olds and finally got our photo taken with him. I’ve always wanted to meet Mickey and now I can say I have!
It was around 4pm when we left the Animal Kingdom and headed back to our resort for a nap. We didn’t get much sleep the night before and were up since 6am. Had an hour nap and showered up to head out for supper in Downtown Disney. I really wanted Mickey ears so I decided to get myself a special pair in Downtown Disney. Got my name on the back.
After supper we headed to Hollywood Studios to check out Fantasmic since it only plays twice a week and this would be our only chance to see it. Got there and the first show was already full to capacity so we waited around for the last show of the evening. While we waited we went to the Hollywood Tower of Terror. It wasn’t as BAD as I thought it was but I freaked myself out pretty good. Having nothing to really hold onto when you are dropping makes it worse. I love and hate the feeling of falling at the same time. It’s a love/hate relationship. There was a woman on the ride that was screaming “SAVE ME JESUS” each time we would drop. She also made it very clear that she didn’t like small dark rooms “OH HELL NO, HELL NO!”. At least there was someone else on the ride that was just as freaked out as me.
The line for the Tower of Terror wasn’t very long so we had an hour and a half before the next showing of Fantasmic. Thought we should probably stand in line very early to ensure we got into the show. This was one of the longest waits we had throughout the entire trip but it was absolutely worth it. The show was in an amphitheater and it was a mix of fireworks, pyrotechnics, and water. Instead of explaining it I’ll let you watch it! It’s broken up into three videos which is altogether 27 minutes long.
The show was amazing and I highly recommend it. It was well worth the wait. Make sure that’s on your list of MUST DOs when you visit.
After the fantastic show we caught a bus back to the hotel and before going into our room there were two ducks sitting right outside our door. They were quacking very loudly. I thought that was extremely cute. Never did get a chance to get a photo since they fly away pretty quickly when they saw us.
My first day in Walt Disney World was so much fun, I couldn’t believe that I had 6 more days of this! The next day was an early one again since we were going to the Magic Kingdom for Early Magic Hours at 8am. Also before I forget, here’s my 1st Visit button and all it’s glory! Check back in the next few days for my 2nd day in Walt Disney World!