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The Walt Disney World Adventure
-Day 3: Ewoks and Aerosmith collide!

Written : 06/07/04

FOREWORD: There will probably be many spelling errors. As much as I hate them, I'm way too lazy to go through and fix 'em all, so deal with 'em.

After that day in the Magic Kingdom, I wasn’t completely sure that I would ever be impressed by anything again. After all, Space Mountain had been the best ride I’d ever been on up to that point. There were a few that come close, but none could really match the intensity of being hurled around a track in a pitch black room. But you can probably tell by the first phrase that I’m leading up to something big here, and indeed I am. Our third day in Florida would prove to be one of the most exciting, as well as the day where I would make my best purchase throughout the whole trip.

It was an even longer night the night before, as I’d spent a lot of it playing GameBoy, and probably didn’t get to sleep until between 1:30 and 2:00. And after a day of adventuring, I was tired, but you know how it is when you get sucked into a game. But I did fall asleep eventually, and to my delight this little lack of sleep helped me come up with the perfect morning routine for this trip. You see, the morning before, I got up real early and had to shower and all before we went down to the breakfast buffet, but I developed a real good plan to evade all that hustle and bustle.

See, instead up getting up with everyone else and waiting for the shower and such, I just stayed in bed until they were leaving. I put in my order of stuff for them to bring me back, and they were gone. I let five minutes pass, and then I got up and had one of those horrible showers. By the time I was done and ready, they were back with my food so I could eat and we’d be off. It was the perfect plan that got rid of the getting up early, and also allowed me to be able to sing in the shower with no one around to bug me about it. I am quite the genius for coming up with it, and that was my routine every morning from then on.

Of course, my parents weren’t absolutely thrilled by the idea of letting me wake myself up when we had to leave at a certain time, or by the fact that I’d made them into a small scale version of room service, but I was happy. After gulping down my meal while watching the mildly retarded antics of the Looney Toons Babies, we were off once again. It was great having a hotel so close to the parks, because it gave us a good screw up buffer, because my dad managed to take a wrong turn, even though the signs will point you exactly where you want to go.

One again it was an easy park job, and to cover myself for the rest of the week, it’s always easy to park at Disney World. The system is just so efficient that even as thousands of people pour in, there’s never any traffic problems or spot-searching. So now that that’s officially out of the way, we parked in the “Film” lot, and I tried the “Itchy lot” line again. And much to my chagrin, for a second time that week, it was as if the tram was full of parrots. Does everyone watch the Simpson or what? So I decided then and there that I’d just give up on the joke, as hearing it more than once on one trip is kinda killing it as it is.

Up above, you can see a big fat party animal. Or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe by that flowery shirt he’s wearing. But aside from that, we’re at the gate to Disney-MGM Studios. And if it weren’t for that blasted Magic Kingdom being so awesome, I could confidently say that this is the best park in the whole of Walt Disney World. The studios have everything I love, from fear to speed to robots. Sure, the Kingdom and Epcot have those too, but MGM is kinda based around them, so it gets the full points. So after a short stop at a souvenir shop and a lot of whining on my part, we finally got to the in.

The two “eyecatches” of the Studios (Kingdom has the castle, Epcot has… Epcot, and the Animal Kingdom has the BFT{Big Freaking Tree}) the Mickey orb and the big hat stood tall and proud, seen from, uh, far away. I don’t know what they did with the water tower that used to symbolize the Studios, but I surely didn’t see it. Poor thing must have been outclassed by these fancier guys. As you can see by this here map, the Studios aren’t arranged in such a hub-style fashion as the Magic Kingdom was. You’ve gotta do a bit more maneuvering, staring in the yellow, moving to the northwest, following purple into pink, and then to the back area where you finish up. Of course, you can do it any way you want, but that’s the way I’ve done it. Twice.

Our first stop, as you may have guessed, was the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. We grabbed some passes and lucky for us, it was only a little while, so we went to browse the gift shop out back. While we were there, we saw these guys pass on by. It’s redundant to tell you that they’re the green army men from Toy Story, so I won’t. But they were marching along quite happily, declaring that this street would be used as a parade route later in the day. As they marched along, I knew I wanted to join the army. Not the Canadian Army, not even the American Army, but the Green Army. And my brother made it apparent that he was going to be on the hunt for green weaponry for the rest of the day.

But back to the gift shop. There were a lot of Indiana Jones themed doodads and whatnots there. Of course you had the toys, shirts, fake snakes, animal shaped canes, and all that good stuff. There were even some guys peddling ”precious stones”, which were clearly not as precious as one would be led to believe. But the pièce de résistance, the crème de la crème, was the official Indiana Jones hats. Yes, it put me back 40 bucks, but it’s a damn nice hat. And nearly everyone who’s seen it has voiced such an opinion. It’s the hat to end all… hatlessness. Yes, I’ve finally found a hat I can wear. I can now die happy.

Now that we were done browsing, and I had secured my very own fedora, it was time to hit the show. Only, there was no show. At least not at the moment. It seemed that they were having some trouble moving the set, so it was – dun dun duunnn - delayed. What were we to do while we waited? You know, it’s funny how easy it is to solve problems when the answer is blasting you with water cannons.

Yeah, it was a life sized AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport, for you who aren’t Star Wars nerds). How I’d wanted to ride in that thing since the first time I’d seen it. But alas, it was impossible, as the thing was just for show. I did touch it though. And it was a moment to remember. Also up in there is a forest. Do you know which forest? If you answered “The forest on Endor’s forest moon” or something to that effect, you would be correct. It is indeed the famous Endor forest moon, and it’s complete with a tiny representation of an Ewok village. Not that it’s physically tiny , but you know what I mean.

We continued on to get our Fast Passes, and then traveled over to this gift shop, which didn’t seem like it was galaxies away from the forest, (Endor and Tatooine are more than likely not nearly this close to each other, but I’ll let it slide for now) but I’ll appreciate the nice short trip. Now this was my kind of store. From top to bottom, wall to wall, and even in between, this place was (clearly) covered in all sorts of Star Wars crap. Lego, plushies, clothing, books, video games, you name it. They even had some beautifully crafted weapon replicas, including a bunch of lightsabers and the Emperor’s cane. But they were all $300+, so I certainly didn’t get one. I could have left with the cane (which was the one I wanted), but it would have cost every penny I had. So since I’d already spent a little, I opted not to. Maybe next time…

Firstly, you’ll have to excuse the blurry on this one. My camera is good and all, but anywhere past 2X zoom and it gets very angry and blurrified. So after making our purchases at the Star Wars shop (I’ll detail the stuff I bought in another article), we headed on back to the stunt show. It was ready this time, and we just barely made it, too. Our seats weren’t bad, and would have proven quite excellent if I were a thief. This is one of my favorite attractions down at the Disney World, and it just happens to star none other than Harrison Ford’s stunt double himself! Here are a few pics I took. Mainly, the ones that worked out.

They’re all taken near the end of the show, just incase you’re curious as to why they’re all so similar. But it’s a rather lengthy show, and totally worth it. I’m not going to spoil it, but if you’ve seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, you’ll probably have a good idea of what’s gonna happen. They even grab a bunch of people from the audience to go and participate as extras, which adds a small kick towards the end of the show. Like I said, I personally love this show, and I totally recommend it. There’s no way that you should skip this one if you’re ever down in Disney World. No way in Hell. Awesome show.

Next up: Star Tours. As you can see in the picture above, I was able to sneak into the extra-restricted zone and snap a picture of some top-secret plans for some sort of machine that will help whoever runs this thing to take over the world. Actually, it’s just the blueprints for the Starspeeder 3000 “tour shuttle” that you ride in during this ride. Which is a bit of a strong word for this one. Star Tours is a simulation, to be precise. What it does, is it puts you in a room with a big screen in the front. As things happen on the screen, the room moves a bit and you feel as if you’re really – in this case – flying through the Death Star battle. If you’ve never been on a ride like this before, I highly recommend it; it’s a kind of experience that you’d never see anywhere else.

After that ride, we were off to who knows where with nothing more than a map and my prior experience (which doesn’t count for much). After investigating the area a bit, we found some sort of sound show starring Drew Carey, but the line was far too long, and we decided that if would be a better idea to come back later, after we’d done all of the important things. We never got back to Drew, and I’ll always regret not finding out what was in there. He’s a funny guy when he’s got good material to work with, and Disney doesn’t skimp on its material. Except for that river cruise. That was awful.

Who could say no to the Muppets? They’re easily the greatest puppets ever created, and there was no way I was going to miss any of the 3-D shows. 3-D shows are awesome, and each one just seems to get better. After getting a little pre-show in the waiting room, we were shoveled into the theater, where we were shocked (you know, like made us jump a little. Not literally), squirted, and subjected to various other great 3-D effects. The Muppets, as usual, made it an enjoyable show to watch, and all the cool effects added to the wonder of “Who was the genius who thought this stuff up?”

After we escaped the Muppet theater (and the subsequent gift shop), if was past high noon, and there was a rumbly in my tumbly. It was time for a little smackerel of pizza. And what better a place to get it than Pizza Planet. Clearly a Toy Story-type franchise thing going on here, just to make sure. So we went in, and I’m sure it was bigger this time that it had been 8 years ago. The big problem with the Pizza Planet? Only 3 types of pizza; cheese, pepperoni, and deluxe. Fortunately, I will eat two of the three. Let it be know that there is a blood feud between me and the green peppers, and I won’t go anywhere near the things. Oh, and you remember the Olive Garden incident from the last part of this series, right? Well, my brothers and dad just didn’t learn, and ordered iced tea again. I, on the other hand, learn from my mistakes of the past and got me a root beer.

You’ve all seen Toy Story. You all know that aside from the pizza, this place is an arcade. And oh baby, it was an arcade. I hopped in the seat of a podracer again and let that and Ms. Pac-Man eat up my tokens. When I was down to my last few, there was only one thing to do. When I went to Disney World, I lost my DDR virginity. And let me tell you, if you haven’t played Dance Dance Revolution, or at least not on a dance pad, you have to try it at least once. I played three rounds. The first two were on easy, and after the tutorial showed me the basics, I owned. But I got cocky after that and played my last round in normal. I didn’t get owned. No. I got pwned. The learning curve here is more like a very, very steep and straight line.

I left humiliated and hurt, but my awesome hat made me feel better, and I really felt better after I saw some chick strolling around in a Strong Bad shirt. I pointed it out, but my parents decided to ignore me again, and by the time I got their attention it was long gone. I’ll never get that shirt… So we strolled around some more, saw some stuff. In particular, more army men. But this time they were just on a regular patrol, so they were able to take a little time out to sign autographs. And I’ll tell you now, the guys were all over the damn park. Seriously, if you want a green soldier’s autograph, you have no worries. Goofy might be rare, and Jiminy Cricket likes to stay out of sight, but there are at least six green army men walking this park at all times. Just thought I’d clue you in.

Also worthy of noting, but not worthy of an entire paragraph, were the big coke bottles. One sprayed water every few seconds and so on, so kids and such could cool off. They’re probably an offshoot of the Honey I Shrunk the kids play area, which is really cool, but we skipped by altogether. Play areas are no fun when only on of a party of six can truly enjoy them.

My arch rival has returned to smite me, in amusement park attraction form. I never got on the “Millionaire” bandwagon (might explain why I’m poor?), and I wasn’t exactly thrilled by this one, but my mom loved the show back in its heyday, so in we went. As much as I didn’t like it on TV, I have to admit that “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” is a lot more entertaining when you’re in the audience. There’s even a little switchboard on each seat that lets you answer the questions if you want. And the best part is, that the top scorers get to go up into the “hot seat” to try to win. You only win crap like a cap and shirt if you get less that the million, but if you do win, you get a cruise! Needless to say, I didn’t even get on the leader board. Of course, it’s just cause I wanted to give the others a chance. Had I tried, I’d have won everything. I do know everything after all.

So we left, I was bored, and awaiting the last two big things at the park. Unfortunately, there was a lot of other crap to sort through before we would get to the dynamic duo of the Rock N’ Rollercoaster and the Tower of Terror. These things included a lot of autograph stops (including a very short Mickey Mouse line), a lot of gift shops, and one particularly terrible ride. They call it the Great Movie Ride, but it’s not that great. I suppose it’s not that bad, but the line is always about an hour long, and the end product wouldn’t be worth it, except for a really cool sort of “movie collage” right at the end, which in my opinion was excellent. Out of all the things I saw from the Millionaire show to the Tower of Terror, this is the one thing I deemed worthy of being on my site.

Yeah, it’s just a picture, but you know how I’m an artsy kinda guy, so I was happy when we encountered a small sort of production art museum with a bunch of concept art from various Disney movies. All it lead up to was an autograph line for Lilo and Stitch, which made my youngest brother ecstatic, but not much else. There was supposed to be a ride or something else around there, but we were getting close to the big two, and nobody wanted to fool around with the pithy little crap rides. We wanted the big stuff. And that’s precisely where we headed.

Ach! Eet eez so very blurreh! I’ll have you know two very important things: 1.We went on the Tower of Terror before nightfall, I just didn’t get a good enough (and considering this is the best one…) picture during the afternoon., and 2.The Tower of Terror is all hype. It was marginally fun, but in the end I was disappointed with the results. Why? Firstly, the line was forever and the Fast Pass machine was closed down. Secondly, the damn thing was broken and only one of the two elevators was working. It was a decent ride, but not at all what I had hoped. Oh well, at least I got the chance to chat with a couple hot girls on the way in. I guess moms are good for something after all. Cause, you know I wouldn’t start a conversation.

Before all else, BEST. RIDE. EVAR. It might have been the 0 to 60, it might have been the kickass music blasting into my head, it might have been the fact that rollercoasters rule, I’m not sure, but I am sure that if I could go on one ride again, it would be the Rock N’ Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith. It seems to be a love/hate deal when it comes to Aerosmith, but damned if anyone could not enjoy this ride. I think myself jaded (ha!) a little, due to my indifference to most rides, but this one kicked my ass and left me thoroughly impressed. I was considering something to commemorate the event, but decided that I don’t have room for any more aesthetic crap in my room, so I left with only a “backstage pass”, which I think is pretty neat. It says I’m a bodyguard. Couldn’t be further from the truth, but irony is sometimes funny.

And after that ride, the day was as good as done. I think I speak for the whole tribe when I say we wanted to go see the Fantasmic! show, but it was way too lat already and chances of getting seats were little to none. Again, we hoped that we could come back another night to watch it, but that never got around, so I’ve got more than one reason to return to Disney World before I die.

Again, it’s blurry. It just gets worse the later it gets, it seems. But you wouldn’t be able to tell. For some strange reason, my camera likes to light up the night sky and make it seem as if it’s daytime. It’s not so bad, but the big hat looked really cool against the dark sky. But the lights were blinking and moving and such, so it’s really a video or be there experience anyway. At the end of our day, we trekked all the way back to the Star Wars shop to pick up a few last-minute items and then we booked. It was much later than the previous night, and we didn’t get much time to shop, so straight home it was.

As the night drew on, I found The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy on the Cartoon Network, a show which is either spun-off of Grim and Evil, or the basis for it. If you need a better idea, it’s Grim and Evil without the Evil. After that it was Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which my dad finds incredibly stupid. I tend to agree, but it’s great if you just wanna sit there and brainlessly absorb stuff. So after that was done I booted up the ol’ GBA, due to an influx of anime on the TV. I can’t stand most of that stuff. So I played that into the night again, and finally passed out at far too late o’ clock.

Next time on Ryan’s Disney World Adventure: Dinosaurs! Disco! A big freaking tree, too many animals, and more! Be sure not to miss the exciting visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Some Ryan-time, same Ryan-website!

OK, that was unnecessary, but I thought it would be funny. As always, be sure to check back regularly for updates, and maybe, just maybe I’ll get part four out the door at a decent time from now. These ones are just so damn long and full of crap that it takes me hours to write ‘em. And how is writing supposed to compete with Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life? See? I knew you’d understand. Until then, my friends.

E-Mail: Mr_Hotshot64v2@hotmail.com