|Day 5, Tuesday, October 22, 2002
This was a day that we spent entirely at MGM.
We were off to a really late start today. This was an early opening day at MGM, so we could have been there at 8, but we didn't get there until 10. We had dinner at 6, and did not do Fantasmic!, as it was planned for later in the week. After dinner, we headed for the hotel. So, this was really a rather short day.
The weather was gorgeous again today. We had a shower for maybe 15 minutes in the afternoon, but the rest of the day was clear, warm, and dry. We couldn't have asked for better weather.
We headed straight for RockNRoller Coaster. We pulled a FastPass for RnRC, and got in the queue for the Tower of Terror. The TOT queue is a lot more
|fun. The queue for
TOT was about 45 minutes, the posted wait was 20 minutes for RnRC.
Generally, this a good philosophy, to FastPass one of these while queuing
for the other. But, the standby lines were kind of short for this now.
Nick decided not to ride on the tower at all this year, which made it one of the very few rides he didn't do this trip (I think Triceratops Spin may have been the only other). I think the atmosphere of the ride gets to him a bit, I know the drop doesn't really bother him.
The atmosphere here is indeed spooky. We started out in the gardens, and spent most of our queue there. We spent very little time in the boiler room. This is certainly better, the gardens are far more fun. They may adjust this depending on the weather, because it was a gorgeous day today.
||They really had the misters running
out in the garden. It certainly deepened the atmosphere. The buildup
is tremendous, starting in the eerie gardens, into the quiet decrepency of
the lobby, the dramatic introduction in the library, and the disquieting
decay of the boiler room. And, of course, the crescendo comes with
the ride through that bizarre hallway. I really think I'm more apprehensive
there than when
the drops begin.
This is a wonderful, chilling, inventive ride, and not just some pick um up and drop um. Another example of Disney doing things with a flair that no one else matches.
I got some pretty good photos in the outside queue. I also used the backlight setting (Sony) with no flash
|in the hotel lobby, and
got some decent results there as well.
I also think Rock N Roller Coaster is a great coaster, dripping with creativity. It's a lot more fun than some steel monster.
Strangely enough, I wasn't really nervous boarding RnRC this time. Nick and I were in the very front row, with Debbie in the row behind us. The photo was so good that we bought it, opting for the CD jewel case as a frame.
I just need to mention that the CM at the counter when we bought the photo was a doll. She was patient, courteous, and friendly. A great CM can really add to your day.
We stopped at the Villains store, which I just love. But, the shirt that I really wanted wasn't available in a decent size, so I settled for a Hades T Shirt instead. And, of course, we picked up various evil nick nacks.
We then foolishly tried to have lunch at the Backlot Catering Company. Of course, they only have snacks there, popcorn, churros and the like. I should have known that.
So, after stopping there briefly, we headed over to Pizza Planet, which is at least close by. In fact, the food here (pizza and soft drinks) was really quite good, but the place was extremely crowded. The salad dressing was OK, but seemed to set my stomach on edge a tiny bit.
|After standing in a rather
long line inside the building, we actually ate at one of the tables outside.
We marveled at the incredible weather to which we were being treated.
We were also attacked by these strange tiny lizards that I saw running around
a lot on this trip. Well, OK, not attacked, but they did help themselves
to the empty chair at our table.
I had to take a few pictures of the decor, with that giant mural of the "real" Pizza Planet from Toy Story (the outside of the building and the delivery truck). And the giant alien figures hanging from the ceiling. They put a lot into the themeing for a little pizza joint. I don't think we've eaten here before, and it was really enjoyable.
||Nick and I arcaded for a while.
This is certainly no Disney Quest, but we had fun. Nick was determined
to win something, and he walked away with some candy. Debbie joined
us later, and managed to snag a stuffed dog out of the skill crane!
Since we were in the neighborhood, we went straight to Muppet Vision 4D. I always laugh at this show, it still hasn't gotten old for me.
Coming out of Muppet Vision, Nick just missed an autograph signing in front of Al's Toy Barn. Oh well, there were green army men everywhere today, and he had gotten one of them on our way into MGM.
|Nick and I went on Star
Tours right after Muppet Vision. I pretty much have the ride and the
queue memorized at this point, but I still get a big kick out of it.
The ride was pretty much a walk on.
We skipped the afternoon parade, hoping to catch it on Friday (which we did). We went on the GMR instead.
I had forgotten how much I like this ride. Not just the movies are great, but the ride itself. Eavesdropping on the people in the queue, you have the impression that people don't realize that every movie in that trailer loop in the queue is depicted in the ride, and vice versa. You need to note the trailers in the queue, because they are, indeed, the coming attractions.
|Our initial guide was so so, but our
gangster was great. I'm not quite sure if he was trying to do a Rodney
It was time now for an ice cream snack, and the rain started coming down. At least it was only a fifteen minute shower. We kind of hid out in the hat, with Nick messing with the 100 years of magic kiosks. He reported that they weren't letting you play all the way through now, just a couple of questions then it kicked you off.
We had some fun as the rain let up looking at the footsteps in the concrete in front of GMR, and taking pictures of this as well as the GMR courtyard. I think this is one of those things that people could easily miss.
|There was no line whatsoever
at GMR now (we had waited about 20 minutes for our ride), so we did it again!
I don't think they were even running the cowboy switch, we didn't get it either day, and it seemed like they were only launching one tram at a time. Debbie said that it seemed like a number of rides were only running half capacity. But, at least things weren't closed down (as we saw later at Universal).
Still, we had another great ride, with a different mediocre guide, and the same terrific gangster.
It was closing on our PS time now, so we went over to the Sci Fi a little early. I really think they didn't
||call us until our PS time, though.
So, maybe next time we just show up the suggested 10 minutes before.
We actually asked for the picnic table, which we had gotten last time here because they were so crowded. It was not available, and we ended up in the very front row. This was great for taking still shots of the screen with the Sony (no flash, of course). The shots I tried of the drive in itself were kind of lame, even with the backlight setting.
I tried the ribs here, which were exceptionally good. I mean, they were marvelous. We also had the spinach dip, which was OK. Nick had pasta. I was so surprised. Debbie even had a beer. The waitress
|was terrific, friendly
and efficient. The bill came in at over $80, but the meal was perfect,
and the service was stellar.
Nick insisted on a drink served with a glowing green ice cube. The cube, it turns out, is actually plastic, and you take it home. He can still get it to come on a couple of months later.
After dinner, and a short but wonderful day, we headed back to the room. We had enough time to do some laundry and enjoy the in-room jacuzzi. I thought I might work on my trip report, but ended up watching the Disney travel channel instead. But, I was banging out notes at about 1 a.m.
Return To Obrins At WDW, October 2002
Return To Obrins At Walt Disney World
Return To Joe Obrin's Home Page