Trip Diaries Day Nine: Just the Two of Us

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Another day of fun, although unfortunately one family member was really sick today and stayed at the room to sleep it off. It’s always a shame to be sick, but it’s always worst when you are sick on a holiday. So it was up to me and my son to enjoy the park with the two of us.

Epcot was the choice for today and again we made sure we would be there at the moment the rope dropped. Once inside we took the route everybody takes, straight to Soarin! First of all get some FastPasses and then queue for it. This time the queue was no longer then 10 minutes, something that would change very early during the day. The Soarin flight was great. We got seated in the middle “glider” in the middle row. Perfect. It does make a difference where you sit and the middle of the middle is the best place as you will (almost) see no black sides and you can focus on the screen only. There are some cracks and black spots on the film visible. That’s a real shame of course and one can only hope Disney will not wait too long to get that fixed. It does take away from the overall experience.

Once we got out of the attraction there was already a big queue. At least 45 minutes, if you would want to wait for it in the stand by queue. Just enough time for a small breakfast before we go on it again. Shared some strange sandwich with eggs, potato and meat in it. Not the best as we didn’t even finish it between the both of us. Or maybe we where to excited to fly again.

Here is the fun part on our second trip on Soarin; we got the exact same seats on our second run! All we did was switch places with each other. We also did the Living with the lands attraction before our second Soarin ride, but let’s be honest, this one isn’t that much of fun. There weren’t even any Mickey shaped pumpkins.

Today we also went on the Kuka robotic arm at Epcot’s Sum of All Thrills attraction. These are great fun. We created a jet plane attraction and it was intense. However it was also very smooth. Great experience and one that already gave us some sort of indication what to expect when going to Islands of Adventure later in the holiday. We got some more time to kill and after trenching our thirst at the cool station (no, no Beverly) we walked over to Test Track. (We did get a fastPass before).

After lunch we took the boat to Hollywood Studios where we wanted to see the Comedy Warehouse again. But we came in a little late as the performance was already completely full. We got there 20 minutes before it started and they already had to turn down guest because of a full house. Hello Disney… bring it back (in some form). As most attractions had long queues already we opted to see some shows. (We don’t queue!) Indiana was first and we got an alternate show because of the bad weather (Heavy rain). The second part was split into two parts and we got some more funny elements. The plane part was completely cut. A shame, but the little extra funny stuff was nice to see too. (however if you haven’t seen the original it is a loss). After the show we got to see the Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special. We got there early enough this time, about 40 minutes early! But it was worth it. So funny, with laughs from beginning to end.

After that we went to see the stunt show. This being a Disneyland Paris original I expected to see the same but I was surprised how much differences there are in both shows. The US version seems a little faster (probably because they don’t have the language barrier as we have in France), but also because some of the rearrangement of the stunts. They did some good improvements and it was also nice to see the water jet in action again. Great fun. After the show we had a little time left and we went to see a cartoon in a movie theatre (sorry, lost the name of the location). First time I see this place open. We got to see the Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice short. Fun movie to see once, but that’s it. Would see it again.

Now it was time to go to one of my favourite eating places. Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Luckily we where back to three, although still not feeling 100%, my lovely wife didn’t want to miss it (or maybe she missed her boys way to much and wanted to see us). Jiko is an amazing place. The food is fantastic. If you go there make sure to order the Mack & Cheese as a side order. It’s the best one in the resort.

Trip Diaries Day Eight: How I Miss the Comedy Warehouse

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

This is the third day I force myself to get out of the room early so I could be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by the time it opens. Opening time was 7am and we got there by 6:50am. Our goal was to get to see all the different star Tour movies on this trip and after 4 rides today we seen all the different movies. No, not all 54 variations, but all short films. Our favourites are the Pod Race and the Bounty Bunter Boba Fett (with the Death Star) scenes. Before we tried to see all of them we did get another fastPass for Toy Story Mania. With Holiday crowds this is the only way to do it as lines go well over an hour, even early in the morning.

Now here is something I could not miss. The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special at the Sounds Dangerous stage. I always loved the Comedy Warehouse at Pleasure Island and was not happy about its closure. Luckily Disney put this special (kid friendly version) inside the park and it was awesome. I just love the way they get some ideas out of the public and create a comedy sketch around it. Such a great talent! I hope Disney will bring this back in some form, not just during the holidays. It was a success as the room was packed to capacity.

Another show, not filled to capacity, we visited on this day was the Next American Idol Experience. I think we got to see the third show of 8 shows that day, but the room was only half full. The finals of the day might have been full, but with the attraction not being that old and the fully packed Hollywood Studios this attraction might already become a little bit of a failure. It was to be expected that this one couldn’t last that long. I might be wrong, but that’s the expression I got when I visited it. Still, it was fun to see the show,… once on the trip.

We also got ourselves some FastPasses for Tower of Terror today and we got to see Belle and the Beast. Nice sweet show, but Tower wins this round. It’s one of the best attractions out there and I could ride it again and again (and so could my son).

With the park being full and queue-ing not an option (I don’t queue… well, most of the time), it was time to do something different. So we took the bus over to the Wilderness Lodge to check out the hotel. I love this location, especially around the pool. We had a good look around before taking the boat over to the busses at the Magic Kingdom so we could make it back to our own hotel. It’s always nice to visit another resort and many people forget about this. Those places are also part of the Disney magic and they give you the chance to relax a little, away from the busy parks, while still being at a magical place.

Trip Diaries Day Three: No Camera!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Our plan! Get up early and hit a park to do some rides and avoid the early Christmas crowds. We were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:20am, ready for the 9am opening. A big queue got formed early and they did open a little early. Straight over to Star Tours to check out what all the fuss was about. It was a walk on (as most people dashed for Toy Story Many). We could even pick our seats. With about 10 people in the attraction we started our first journey. My son was lucky enough to be the spy on this first trip. That was a great little bonus. With no queue we had to go for a second run. We got in our Star Tour cruiser but the droids messed it up and we had to leave it and board another one. Our second trip was a complete new experience. Love the new Star Tours! A great new version.

We finished our two trips on Star Tours way before 10am, and that’s with park opening at 9am. Not too bad. We even had some extra time to do the Movie Ride before we had to go over the Toy Story Mania with our fastpass. Toy Story Mania was busy and people in the queue for a fastpass already had a time slot well in the afternoon. Busy times. Once we got that out our way we went for some iced coffee and a chocolate chip cookie and wait for the first Indiana Jones Show. The show was fun, as it always is. Even if you’ve seen it multiple times before, it’s a must do.

Our game plan worked well and now the park is pretty crowded. It was time to get out for a little lunch and a midday swim. In the late afternoon we went over to visit Downtown Disney. Not a lot of time to explore it all as we had dinner reservations with Susan and Simon Veness at the Big River Grill & Brewing Works on the Boardwalk. We did get to see the new Lego Store and enjoyed the great collection of new pins before catching the bus.

We had a great meal at the Big River Grill and a great chat with Susan, Simon and their family. Great evening talking Disney and more (thanX guys). To end a perfect day we headed into Epcot, just in time for Illuminations, my all-time favourite Disney experience. Unfortunately I was forced to find a new location to view the show as they use my previous space for a dinner packet private spot.

Today I left my camera in the hotel room (for most of the day). I deliberately left it there as my son isn’t too happy when I stop every minute to take 10 pictures. I guess there will be enough other moments where I’ll have the chance to take some great shots… (Like the next day)

Walt Disney World

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It has been a while… Well it has been way to long, but we are still here. Let’s just say it has been a hectic time where posting on the blog came to a stop. But what better time to revise the blog with some live updates from Walt Disney World itself. We are not there yet, but a trip is very close. It’s actually so close I can taste it. Well, maybe not taste it, but surely feel some butterflies in my tummy. In a couple of days we will be in Orlando and a couple of days later we will be at Walt Disney World. So what’s the plan! Live picture updates from the parks!!! Well, not 100% live of course. Updates will come at the evening, after we had fun in and around the Disney parks. So add us to your favorites and make sure to come and visit us a lot in the coming weeks and celebrate Christmas and New Year in Disney style.

Make sure to ad our twitter account and our facebook account to your favorites too

Zombies Invading Walt Disney Studios

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Because it’s something you don’t see a lot in any Disneyland park I wanted to share some special Halloween event that will take place in the Walt Disney Studios in Disneyland Paris. Zombies, that’s right, ZOMBIES will take over… Want to know more check out our sister site DLP.Info with all the juicy details…

More Disneyland Paris Sand…

Friday, June 10th, 2011

After adding a first collection of pictures of yesterdays incredible Sand Sculptures Festival opening event I wanted to share another lot of pictures with you today.

So here they are, more Disneyland Paris and Disney Characters made out of sand from the Sand Sculpture Festival in Blankenberge.

Some more Disneyland Paris scenes including a view on Main Street U.S.A., Pixar characters from Monster Inc and Cars, and more

For more info  and more pictures on the event visit our previous blog entry about the event.

Enjoy the pictures…

Star Tours II everywhere

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

There is a lot of Star Tours II write ups, photo reports and even onride videos on the web. Here is a short collection of some of the best on the web. On the Theme Park Review forum you’ll find a big collection of pictures from the opening celebration and the attraction. Some of the pictures are real fun, especially those about the baggage scanning. Some aliens and droids don’t know what can and can’t be in a travel bag.

Inside the Magic also has a great report about the grand opening event in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, including an awesome video from the ceremony including George Lucas appearance. Well worth watching.

There is a also great video online from the Disneyland attraction. You will get to see some of the queue area and fun things that happen there, but it also has 1 of the 54 different onride shows. Beware, big spoiler alert: you will get to see a full version taken with a camera pointed to the 3D screen but without being able to enjoy the 3D effects. If you don’t want to see the ride before your next visit don’t follow the links. If you can’t wait enjoy the video.

These are only three example of what you can find about the new Star Tours the Adventure Continues attraction.

Star Tours 3D Official Commercial

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Enjoy the official commercial for the new Star Tours attraction in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

54 Different Experiences for Star Tours II

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Not only will Star Tours become a new and improved version, you will have to ride it at least 54 times to be able to see every variation possible. The new version was already going to make sure many guest would come and ride the attraction, but with a possible 54 different and randomized experiences the former “walk on” attraction will be turned into a revised attraction with very long queues. No worries though because not only the attraction is great but the pre-show is also filled with scenes never shown before, taped especially for the attraction.

Anthony Daniels, the man who is C-3PO, gave a great interview on his involvement on the attraction. He was very happy when they asked him to not only return as C-3PO but play a main role in Star Tours II.

“Threepio is the pilot, and it’s huge for me,” (full interview here)


Star Tours II: the Planets

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Coruscant and Tatooine where already revealed as planets guest will visit during the new Star Tours experience, but according to a 8 pin set that will be released for the new attraction there might be some more locations on the trip. From the Episode II movie guest might get to visit Geonosis where Boba Fett could be chasing you in his Slave I vehicle. Darth Vader will be on the look out for you on his Death Star. Chewbacca was already rumored to be part of the new movie, so it’s no surprise his home planet Kashyyk is on the list. You’ll be encountering some beast on the planet Hoth too. Another location might be Bespin, the cloud city from Episode V. Last but not lease could be Queen Amidala’s home planet Naboo.

These are not confirmed at the time, but because they appear on the pin set could be a good indication that they will be in the movie.

Will Disney Buy Out Universal?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The moment Disney bought Marvel people started to speculate what would happen with the Marvel Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Now a rumor is floating around that Disney is looking at offering Universal a buy out on the franchise use rights. Disney already bought back the rights of some of the franchise from Paramount and with it the distribution rights of Avengers and Iron Man 3. It’s a rumor at the moment, but it would make sense and I see this happening in the future. Universal could well agree on this as they might want to break anything that binds them to Disney and avoid to pay royalties for the use of the Marvel name in their park. While I would hate to see the Marvel part leave Island of Adventures, I would welcome a complete Marvel park made on Disney domain. I know there are people that would not like this but if you like it or not, Disney is a company and a complete Marvel park would bring in a lot of people (if not done on the cheap with A+ E-ticket rides) and make them money. (more…)

Harry Potter is Moving back to London

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

It looks like Harry Potter is moving back to London, England where the movies where taped. According to the news the film studios in Leavesden will be transformed to a real haven for the Harry Potter fan. No need to fly accross the ocean to visit Harry Potter in the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Studios Orlando anymore. Although the attractions will not be the same and the castle in the sunny Orlando weather might just look that “little bit” nicer too.

Warner Brothers will invest 82 million Euro for the new attractions. Work on the attraction could start this year. The rumors has been there before but according to the Daily Mail the project is now been given the green light. It was Rupert Grint, who played the character Ron Weasly in the movies, that spilled the news during a greet and meet event.

The Horror Revealed

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

If there is one thing that might tickle my senses almost as much as Disney itself it’s Halloween! So combining Disney and Halloween is always a fun thing. To nobodies surprise I am a big fan of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I love it! But I can’t stop there as there is to much Halloween fun in Florida to go unnoticed.

One of these events is Halloween Horror Nights over at Universal Studios. This year is a special celebration year. 20 years of Halloween Horror Nights! 8 haunted Houses, several scare zones and multiple show have been revealed for this special event and it looks… awesome!


Paris or Disneyland Paris

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

That’s been the question on my mind when I was in Paris this weekend. We had a trip planned to Paris without a visit to Disneyland. Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower was big priority, also a visit on top of the Arce du Triomphe was on the list. A visit to  Montmartre, a walk next to the river Seine and a stroll down Champs-Élysées was also on the program. I could even visit a couple of comic book stores at the Latin Quarter. But I couldn’t help myself, Disneyland Paris was so close and it was on my mind. Toy Story Playland just opened and I would not go and visit it? How could I do this… Well, it looks like I couldn’t. Come Sunday I was on the RER and hopped over to visit my beloved park.


Toy Story Playland Coverage

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Make sure to visit our Disneyland Resort Paris project DLP.Info to see what is going on behind the blue fences of the new Toy Story Playland in the Walt Disney Studios in Paris. You’re invited to see the finished work of the area and the new rides. All the info and a lot of great pictures of the area and the attractions. (Thanks to Dirk and the great work on the reports).