|Day 8 Friday, October 25, 2002
This was a day that we spent entirely at MGM.
We had a very late start today, not getting to MGM until about 10:30, even though it was an early opening day.
We went straight to the backlot (tram) tour. I do enjoy this tour, it’s fun to see the outdoor facades and the boneyard, and I always seem to pick up a tidbit. I found it interesting that the costume shop here is the largest working costume shop in the entertainment business.
We enjoyed cruising down residential street, but were surprise to find out that they were already
|putting up the Christmas
decorations (Osbourne lights). It was a bit distracting, as this
was before Halloween. It is a huge job, though, getting all of those
lights up (we saw them on our last trip). I thought that I heard
the tour guide say they start this project in August, but Debbie start she
heard October. There are going to be over 4 million lights this year.
Looking at the vehicles and large props in the boneyard is a lot of fun. It is interesting to admire the artistry, and to remember the impact these had in their films. It was fun seeing the vehicles from Indiana Jones, and various spaceships. There were certainly a lot of Pearl Harbor props there at this time.
CGI is going to make the boneyard less and less populated, though, as a lot of the shots previously
|| done with miniatures
or even full sized vehicles can be done much more effectively now with CGI.
The little Harbor Attack demonstration is done on the way to the trams on this tour. They now bring some CGI into the final cut of the demo film that they show. It is another thing that is a lot of fun. I really do wish I had volunteered this time (I have said this before). But, this time it would have been cool to have it on our vacation tape.
At the end of the tram tour, the American Film Institute had a display set up in the terminal building dedicated to film villains. This is a morbidly fascinating subject. They also picked a nice set of
Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Two Face, Darth Vader, Cruella Deville, Apes from The
Planet, the dragons from Reign Of Fire....The best, though, may have been
the Alien prop from the original movie (which was a classic, so much better
than its descendants). Overall, there was a nice treatment here, with
dark, eerie displays.
We fooled around a little in the inevitable gift shop that you pass through after the display area. There was a very patient CM (a young girl) working the photographic/computer superimposing machine there. This was a kick to watch, and Nick had a turn posing, though we didn’t end up buying any shots. She was patient and skillful at getting the composite shots to look awfully good.
| They had such a cute idea in the
gift shops--baseball jerseys with the names Who (number 1), What (number
2), and I Dont Know (number 3). We would have bought a set, but the
sizes were far too small. So, Nick came home with Who, that is all
we could do.
We also picked up a very necessary James Bond Encyclopedia. We arranged for our packages to be picked up at the front gate of MGM, which is not as nice as sending them to the hotel, but it was getting late in the trip. This went very smoothly, though. You do have to lug them on the bus, but at least you are not carrying them around the park.
|Of course, there is
no longer a backstage pass walking tour. I do kind of miss it.
We got to Backlot Catering a little before they were open. This time, we were fully aware that we were just going to have popcorn, churos, and pop. But, it gave us a much needed boost.
Sadly, we found out that Nick is no longer thrilled with the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground. He really used to love this place. This was really melancholy for me. He has no business getting older.
We walked around to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. I may be slow, but I don’t quite get
||how FastPass helps out for this show.
The next show wasn’t at a great time, considering when our PS was at the
Prime Time. The show following that seemed like it would work out for
So, we headed into the Sounds Dangerous show. I always get a chuckle at the people who you know haven’t heard the show before. There is some good comedy n this show, good effects, and a fun ending. We all enjoyed it.
But, Nick and Debbie really ate up the post show. This is in that room that you file out into, which has all of the interactive displays. Debbie was getting a big kick out of trying to add voices to the old film clips, and Nick was enjoying the machines where you add foley and electronic effects to action
|sequences. I got
a kick out of the way they have kind of a foley museum of old gadgets hanging
on the walls above your heads. This room is a blast.
It was coming close to time for our PS at the Prime Time, so we walked on over. Our waitress was a great waitress, but only a mediocre actress. So, the service was good, but the show was not as good as some we have had here. Of course, your CM makes or breaks your experience here. The CM waiting on the table next to us was a real ham, and we got to enjoy some of his hijinx.
The chocolate shakes here are wonderful. The cheese appetizer we shared was also quite good. My fried chicken, which I always have here, was
|fantastic. Perfect for the
setting, too. The mashed potatoes were a great accompaniment.
Debbie thinks that there are some new clips on the video loop.
Nick got a red ice cube here to match the green one he got at Sci Fi a few days ago. Funny, he got both of these cubes at MGM.
Overall, it was still a positive experience, and we will be back again. Sometimes, you draw an Ace, and our next CM may be great (we’ve had some that had us in tears by the time we left).
After Prime Time, we headed over to Indy. We waited in line a little bit before they let people in, but
|when the doors open,
we went straight to our seats. We had some pretty good seats, about
row four to the left of center.
We have not seen this show for a few years, and it was great. I was not too tempted to volunteer here, I think that volunteering on the backlot tour would be more fun.
This is a fast moving little show, filled with rolling boulders, traps, explosions, fight scenes, fast driving, and a bunch of thrilling little surprises. The sets are pretty cool as well. We all had a great time here, this show was worth seeing.
Debbie wanted to wait for the parade now, which we had missed earlier in the week (and had not seen on
||our last trip). But, instead
of Nick sitting with us, he went back into the Sounds Dangerous post show!
The parade was very good, but I thought the warm up was lukewarm and kind of unnecessary. The car/character combo theme was a neat idea, and executed well. The villains, of course, were great, and we also enjoyed Hercules, Hades, Meg, Pain, and Panic. The guy who did Sully on the Monsters Inc car was quite animated, and he costume was outstanding. The Aladdin car was great also, and the Mary Poppins car came with Mary and Bert, and a cute little penguin parade.
The Snow White car was, of course, a lot of fun. But, what was really interesting was the announcer telling a little history of Snow White, how the analysts all
|said that Walt was making
a huge mistake by putting everything he had into this crazy project.
But, of course, not only was the movie a big hit, it spawned a genre and
secured his empire. Right now, especially in this economy, this is
the kind of risk taking we really need.
This certainly was a good parade, but thinking of good parades made it sink in a little bit more how truly special the parade at MNSSHP was.
Nick and I hit the Great Movie Ride again. And we loved it all over again. The actors were OK, the gangster not being as good as the last couple of times. We were in a great position to see the Alien popping out of the wall. I do just really love the
|finale of this ride--what a magnificent
little film tribute.
Voyage Of The Little Mermaid, which we have not seen for a while, is an outstanding show. It is loaded with special touches--lasers, water curtains overhead, bubbles, great puppetry, movie clips, and great music. It’s just a really neat show, and we enjoyed it more than we had remembered.
We headed down towards Fantasmic! now. We caught the Streetmosphere performers doing a little concert in front of the villains store. They were very funny. The songs and acting were cute. This was a nice little bit of serendipity.
| So, being near the
Villains store, I had to stop in and do a little bit of shopping.
We were indeed an evil family today, with all three of us wearing our new t shirts from our last villains shopping trip. I wore Hades, Nick Chernabog, and Debbie Malificent. We did get some comments from CMs and other guests.
We had a good meal at Catalina Eddies (right across the street from the Tower Of Terror). Nick had pizza (surprise!), and Debbie and I had a couple of burgers and fries. I am glad we had this planned, because I did not see any food for sale in the auditorium.
We got into the theater at about 6 for the 7:30 show. We got terrific seats up front, albeit off center. But, I
||have to say that the place was filling
up. I don’t think you want to be there much later than 90 minutes
I hardly know what to say about what is definitely one of the best shows on property (I do get a huge kick out of Illuminations as well). Fantasmic! is hard to match. Having been to IOA this week, I have to say there is nothing like this there.
I am stunned by the way the movies on the water curtain lead to splashes in the moat. You have to be stunned by the giant snakes and towering dragons. And the fire, which is lit and snuffed perfectly on queue. And the Disney music. And the electric
|lights. All you
can you say is wow. What a show, what a show.
Our trip home was pretty smooth. It was time for (frozen) pizza and pop and hot tubs. Man, I like this huge room.
Return To Obrins At WDW, October 2002
Return To Obrins At Walt Disney World
Return To Joe Obrin's Home Page