The exciting life of Paul Gentry! All my ham radio escapades are over on www.k9pg.com

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 15 - Day 10 - Downtown Disney

10 long days with very little sleep on a bed that left my back twisted in about 12 different knots.

I was pretty much all packed up before I went to bed... but had to clean up a bit.  I did find out that the dish washer was leaking.  There were suds all over the place, just like in the Brady Bunch episode.  I cleaned up before taking this picture... but it was a foot high across half of the kitchen.

We decided to find out what all the signs saying "We buy your disney tickets" was all about... so we went in the first one we saw.  Apparently the tickets can be extended for $20 and re-used. I'm not sure how they get out of the finger print scanner thing... but I don't care.   I sold all 8 of our tickets for $90.  He first offered me $50.  All of these "cheap ticket" places buy tickets back.

Stopped by a gift shop on 192 on the way to Downtown Disney...the kids couldn't find one thing that they wanted.  Lots of funny shirts & signs & bumper stickers.

Got to Downtown Disney about 2:45.  For some reason, mommy decided to park all the way on the other side from where all the action is... she usually likes to find the absolute closest spot possible... even if it means waiting an extra few minutes for someone else to leave.    Went to a couple shops... including one shop that sold only magnets... nothing else... just magnets, all kinds of magnets... "Magnetron" was the name of the place.

Had lunch at an amazingly cool place called the T-Rex Cafe.  It's similar to the Rain Forest Cafe... but much better... with all kinds of dinosaurs all over the place... they all move.... very cool place.  The food was very good too... the ribs were surprisingly awesome.  It was somewhat expensive, but quite a neat experience and well worth it.

Quick stop in the Lego store, then off to the airport.  Mom got a call from Southwest saying that the departure was delayed 15 minutes... but when we got to the gate, the plane was already boarded... and because we were late, the plane didn't get an on time departure... by a few minutes... and we couldn't sit together.

Home safe and sound... and that brought a close to the Disney 2011 adventure.

Disney 2011 - Aug 14 - Day 9 - Hollywood Studios

Arrived around 10am.... went right to the Rock & Roll roller coaster.  It's an all indoor coaster with 3 or 4 loops that rocks out to Aerosmith during the ride.  I tried to video it... and the coaster was held up... someone came around telling me to put it away... and I said that it just fell out of my pocket onto the seat... so I'm just holding it.  It was too dark for video anyway.

Went to the Indiana Jones stunt show immediately after... arrived just after 11.... show started at 11:30.  Sat up close.... about the 5th row right side. I swear I thought I got picked as an extra... "you with the white baseball hat..." and it was some dude right behind me... talk about a HIGH than a LOW.  :-(

The American Idol experience is right outside Indy Jones... so we went there... and it was just "ok"... nothing memorable like the girl who sang Hearts "Alone" last year.... I wonder what happened to her.

Lights Motor Action... the extreme stunt show was next.  That always fills up fast...we were about 5 minutes late and got pretty crappy seats all the way to the side.  The show changed a bit from last year... the "half car" was no where to be seen.

Journey into Narnia - Prince Caspian was next.  No wait.... mildly interesting, but pretty lame if you've never seen Narnia before.  I'd pass on it next time.  Julio got a couple comments about his glow in the dark shirt while in there.

Next up was the street party.  It started raining... thought it might be cancelled.. but the rain let up.  Fun time.

We went through this "History of Disney" exhibit that has a movie at the end (didn't see the movie the first time around)... but I found out what EPCOT stands for... Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.  Lots of other interesting Disney facts in this exhibit.

More pix with the characters at the "Art of Animation - Character Meet & Greet"   Only waited in line for 3... Mickey, Pooh and The Incredibles.  Mrs Incredible left when we were next in line.... replaced by Frozone.   I had to get my pic taken with them :-)   Outside were a few other characters that I wasn't familiar with.

The Star Wars ride was next... I really didn't remember much about this at all... vaguely remember seeing C3PO while in line... that's about it.  It's a simulator ride about 5 min long... Marco was picked out as the secret spy on board and his pic got put up on the screen... but he didn't see it.

Pizza Planet was for dinner... it's not as outrageously expensive as you'd think... it's just like Chuckie Cheese with all the games and stuff... didn't have time for the games though.  I think Marco learned a lesson about "not giving up" here.  He had a pin fall off... but lost the back part of it and gave up looking for it very quickly. I told him to keep looking... he spent another 5 seconds looking and gave up again... "it's gone forever" he says.  I retraced his steps and pointed to it on the steps.... and said "Don't EVER give up...."

Right outside pizza planet were 2 of the cars from the movie CARS.... the little red speedster thing and the tow truck... had to get pix with them.

Muppet Vision 3D is great... love that show.  Brings back all kinds of childhood memories watching The Muppet Show with dad.  Definitely have to see that if you go to Hollywood Studios.

While in line for Phineas & Ferb, I got talked out of trying Tower of Terror for good.  A lady told me that she can handle any roller coaster without a problem... but went on Tower of Terror and got sick... threw up 5 times and was still looking queezy.  No thank you.

A quick walk around the street sets... Amsterdam, San Fran and NYC for some pix... then the Toy Story ride... an animated game where you shoot plates & targets and accumulate points.  The kids take winning that game so seriously... so does mommy... so I had to make a miraculous comeback to beat her :-)  Right across the street was the line for Buzz & Woody.  That took about 45 minutes.

While in line for Toy Story, I thanked a Marine and gave him $10 to buy some ice cream for his kids.

Went on "The Great Movie Ride" next... really a very cool ride through the world of movies... starting in the 20s or 30s... to modern days.   Another must if you go.

Went on the Rock & Roll Roller Coaster once more before heading to Fantasmic.   Sat in the front row for that... I think that was too close.

I'm pretty sure we were the last ones to leave the park... I think that made the 3rd time that we were the last ones to leave during the trip.  

This closed out the Disney 2011 adventure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 13 - Day 8 - Aquatica

After a 16 hour day at Magic Kingdom, we slept in today and got to Aquatica around 3.   Spent 3 of the 6 hours on the lazy rivers.... the rest eating and on the big slides. Didn't get to them all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 12 - Day 7 - Magic Kingdom

Got a little late start again.... Arrived at the gate at 11am

Street parade first... lots of fun!

First stop was Monsters Inc Laugh Factory.  Quite humorous interactive show where the Monsters talk to the audience & joke around.... the voices behind the characters are quite good.

Stitch's Great Escape was next.... right across the street from Monsters Inc.  Not a bad show.... wouldn't be heartbroken if I missed it next time I go.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.... laser target shooting... there are some targets worth big points... gotta find what they are.  If you get 999,999 points, you get a special button.  If you hit the right targets, it can be done.

People Mover was next... quick tram type ride that shows you around the park

Carousel of Progress is a show that takes you through the last 100 years of technology.... with this song that you won't be able to get out of your head... "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow....."   Kind of annoying... but good way to cool off on a hot day

Took some pix with Chip & Dale again... along with Buzz.... autographs too

Snow White's Scary Adventures was ok.... good for kids

Space Mountain is pretty cool.... blind indoor roller coaster ride... really don't see anything coming..... got a fast pass for this.

Quick stop at the hall of presidents on the way to The Haunted Mansion.  Very cool haunted house with all kinds of cool effects.... and there's a cemetery outside with headstones that say stuff like "here lies Fred...a big old rock fell on his head"    A definite MUST for any Magic Kingdom visitor

Pirates of the Caribbean ride was next.  Quick stop outside the ride for a "how to be a pirate" show.  It was right in the son or we'd probably have stayed for the whole thing.... left half way through it to go on the ride.  Very entertaining ride.... you kinda have to see the movies first or you may be lost.

Jungle Cruise is ok... depends on the guide you get.  We got a girl named Sam... funny girl... dry humor, made it worthwhile.

Food at Pinocchio's Village Haus.... if you eat there, sit by the windows overlooking the "It's A Small World" ride... and ask the wait staff for the sign that says "Do The Chicken Dance" on one side and "Make A Wish" on the other... and watch the people below do the chicken dance.  Food is OK there... but overpriced as they all are.

Mickey's PhilharMagic is a cool 3d movie........... gotta see that.

Went to It's A Small World next..... once you go through this ride, you won't be able to get "It's A Small World After All....." out of your head for hours.  Fun little tour through a dozen or so cultures.  Disappointed to see that the "Do The Chicken Dance" sign was not being used.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was next... I seem to remember it being a better ride... was just an average roller coaster at best.

Don't expect to get soaked, or even wet on Splash Mountain... it's a comical tour of various cartoon characters... you don't get much water on you at all even on the big drop where the pics are taken.

Wishes was next... the fireworks show at 10pm.  Apparently there's a cool light/laser show on the castle around 9:30 or so... caught the last 5 minutes of it.

Quick run over to the Pooh ride.... mom wanted to see it.... good for the kids.  It was a 50 min wait... but I asked the guy at the entrance if we could have a fast pass.... and he gave us one.... I think Nate was his name.... thanks bud!

Main St Electrical Parade is something that must be seen.... doesn't matter which show... just see it.

Another quick run over to Peter Pan to use our last fast passes... kind of a neat ride in flying coconuts or something.

That was about it.... took some pix at the Castle and Main Street.... then left at around 12:45am.

One thing that was noticed is that the Mickey & Mini House.... and a smaller roller coaster seem to be gone now.  FantasyLand will be ready in 2012 sometime.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 11 - Day 6 Epcot

Arrived around 10....pix with Stitch & Daisy.....then character pix at the big character spot....then Chip & Dale outside there

Next was Nemo & Friends.... Lots of cool fish including Nemo. Very cool interactive show with Crush....lots of fun and the guy doing the voice was very funny..... DDUUDDEEEEE

The Land was next.... Circle of life followed by Living With The Land and then Soarin.  Stuck around the same place and ate....found a hidden Mickey.

Next up was journey into imagination with figment followed by Captain EO featuring Michael Jackson younger years .... Ellen's (Degeneres) Energy Adventure with a cameo by Kramer

Test track was pretty cool...65mph

I took a pass on Mission Space ... I got a little queasy last year.

Last was Spaceship Earth. Seeing as how the big ball is the main symbol of Epcot, you would think that the ride inside of it would be world class.  It's kind of neat but that's about it.

Finished of the night with the illuminations fireworks show

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 10 - Day 5 - Universal & Island of Adventure

Arrived around 9.. did Hulk first.... in the rain, no line... then Spiderman... it had some technical difficulties, we got kicked off and went back on 10 min later.

Then we did all 3 water rides....the popeye one, dudley doo right and Jurasick Park...got totally soaked, then it stopped raining around noon

did some Dr Suess ride... Suess Landing...  and got yelled at for recording & taking pictures... that seemed to have technical difficulties too

saw the 8th Voyage of Sinbad.... pretty cool show.... kids CRACKED up!!

Then did the Dragon Challenge roller coaster... red side first, front row.... very cool

Left for for Universal around 2:30

ate first at Monster Cafe
saw a Blues Brothers show from across the street while waiting for The Mummy

Mummy is a great ride!!!

Jimmy Neutron and Shrek were next.... I sat out of Jimmy because of the motion

Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue absolutely sucked.... walked out after 10 minutes.  Somewhat funny beginning... but playing rock & roll classics while dancing dressed up as frankenstein & some cheerleaders and such... didn't jive well.... just a poor show all around.

Disaster.... very cool show where we made a trailer to a fictitious movie... fun way to spend 20 minutes!

Men in black was next... mommy won

Simpson's ride.... didn't go on it because of the motion

stayed in line for 30 minutes at the new coaster RipRide Rocket.... technical difficulties made us leave at 8:30....

went back to Island of Adventure and did the blue side of Dragons... then did the Harry Potter ride.... very cool effects, but the motion kind of got to me.

Then went back to Dragon twice... last ride of the night... did the red side in the front row and were the last car before closing down at 10am.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 9 - Day 4. Animal Kingdom

Another late start...arrived around 1045 ...parked in giraffe 39.  Got all of our lanyards taken care of ...and went to see it's tough to be a bug... the theater is inside the Tree Of Life

Spent lots of time getting pix with characters

Saw the Nemo show... it was different than last year.... fun show

Dinosaur ride was cool

Flights of Wonder... lots of cool birds including a 41 year old parrot named Pogo that did all kinds of tricks & was trained very well

Best ride here is Expedition Everest

Pix with Minnie around 6:30... got in line for pix with Mickey then left it because we wanted to go on the safari.... and the last safari truck/bus left at 7.... got there with 2 min to spare.

Didn't stop raining all day....steady rain with no letting up til we left... stopped near the end and the sun came out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 8 - Day 3 Sea World

Late start...on the road at 1145
First thing is that sea lion pirate comedy show...same one we saw last year. 
Show put on hold til the storm passes
Took 15 min to start up & finish.
Next up was One Ocean at Shamu stadium.
Allure at Nautilis theater....cool acrobatics.
Shark encounter
Pets ahoy at the Seaport theater 4:45
Kraken in the front row and Atlantis once
Dinner at the pizza & pasta buffet
Shamu Rocks
Went on a ride we missed the past 2 years ....Arctic something...polar bears and walruses
then we saw a reflections at the end  and called it a day

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 7 - Day 2 Busch Gardens

Got there at 11ish... 2 hours late.  Saw 3 shows....some new Cirque show with acrobats...a pirate 4d movie with Leslie Nielson...w/ a cameo at the end by Rodney Dangerfield... And Dance to the music for lunch.    4 coaster...Shiekra, Month, Kumba and Cheetah Hunt....two water rides that were somewhat disappointing...tons of animal pix...Julio got picked to help a show and did the limbo.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Disney 2011 - Aug 6 - Day 1 Wet & Wild

it rained like crazy starting about 7 pm at wet n wild , we decided to leave around 9 pm because the rain did not stop