Week Fifteen - Grand Slam

January 10, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well and settling into the New Year.  This week my daughter and I took on the challenge of what is known as the "Disney Grand Slam", visiting all four Disney parks in one day.  We got to see some new things and It was a lot of fun.

 

Our strategy was to start with Animal Kingdom because it had the shortest operating hours that day and it's the furthest from the other parks.  It was a rough start since we arrived to a steady drizzle which would stay with us for much of our visit.  We opted to ride "Dinosaur" since it is the one ride we hadn't risen since we moved here and , more importantly, it is in doors.

Dinosaur Line queue Beginning of Dinosaur ride Expedition Everest Queue Yeti! - Expedition Everest Tree of Life - One park down, three to go

After Dinosaur, we headed over to Expedition Everest since the drizzle subsided a bit.  After Expedition Everest we wandered over to Africa and then decided to head to the next park - Hollywood Studios

 

We opted to drive to Hollywood Studios to save us some time.  Since the weather finally cleared up, we could have used Disney transportation to get to all of the parks, but it would eat up at least an hour for each park and since time was important to us, we were better off driving.

Hollywood studios is going through a bit of a transformation, but there were still a few things we wanted to experience.  One was the Start Tours ride.  We have risen  this countless times, but now they changed it up a bit to include elements of the new Star Wars movie.  After Start Tours, we stopped at the Writers Studio (which is basically a coffee shop) and enjoyed a quick snack.  I had their signature carrot cake cookie (my favorite) and my daughter had the "Red Shorts Shortbread Cookie.  We then visited the new Star Wars Launch Bay.  This has a couple of "Meet and Greets" (We visited Chewbacca) along with various memorabilia from the series and the obligatory gift shop.  We also rode the "Great Movie Ride" since my daughter had never ridden it before.  The ride is a bit dated in my opinion, but its lines are usually short and its a good way to get out of the weather.  The wait time for "Rockin Rollercoaster" was too long, so it was time to head on to Epcot.

 

Chinese Theater Lobby - Great Movie Ride Great Movie Ride Begins Entrance to Star Tours C3P0 - Star Tours Queue Ready for Star Tours Red Shorts Shortbread Cookie Chewy Meet and Greet Hollywood Studios - Halfway there

Once again, we opted to drive to Epcot.  I figured it was quicker, easier, and would allow us an easy exit when we were done for the day.   We started with a ride on "Spaceship Earth".  This is a dark ride that takes you inside the "ball" and takes you through the history of communication.  There are plenty of animatronics and what not to keep you interested.  You also get to be in your own cartoon using a photo they take of you in the beginning of the ride.  

We then proceeded to walk through the World Showcase.  We stopped for a beer at the United Kingdom area and watched a performance by a folk music group.   We walked by the other pavilions, but always seem to end up walking through the store in the Japanese pavilion and this time was no different.  I watched the Pearl Woman do her demonstration and looked at all the strange goods the Japanese have to offer.  This time we also walked through an exhibit called "Kawaii - Japans Cute Culture"  This takes you through a Japanese teens room and shows highlights from the Kawaii fascination.  

We were growing hungry, so we stopped at the Mexico pavilion and enjoyed the loaded nachos and sangria.  We then headed to "Mission Space", a ride I vowed to never ride again.  Mission Space is hosted by Gary Sinise and simulates a space mission to Mars.  Each rider is assigned a task and you are to perform your task during the ride by pushing certain buttons when they are lit.  The original ride put you in some sort of centrifuge to simulate being in the zero gravity of space, but all it did was make some people incredibly ill and even killed some people!  Though you can still ride this with all the spinning and what not, they now give you the option to ride with no spinning.  I hadn't tried this before and wanted to try it.  MUCH BETTER!!!  The ride is not only tolerable, but I really enjoyed it.

We finished Epcot and was now time to head to the final park - The Magic Kingdom

Our Cartoon - Spaceship Earth Ride Japanese Pearl Woman Kawaii Cute Stuff Kawaii Teens Bedroom Epcot Japan Pavillion Nachos and Sangria Mission Space Queue Preparing for Space Spaceship Earth - Dusk Epcot - Three parks down, one to go

We took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.  It's easy and fast which was important to us.  It was starting to get dark and my feet were beginning to hurt, but we pressed on!  

The Magic Kingdom is almost always the busiest and this time was no different.  The crowd levels were not too bad, but after being in the other parks, we could see the difference here.  We decided to ride our favorites and see how we felt after that, so we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We then walked the through all the lands and people watched at the Incredibles Dance Party.  It was now almost eight pm and we were weary!  So we mutually decided it was time to go home, but WE DID IT!!! 

Our ride to the Magic Kingdom Florida Sunset on the way to the Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle Liberty Belle Docked for the Night Four Parks - Mission Accomplished!!!!

That was our Disney Grand Slam!!!  A few things I thought should be accomplished (these are NOT rules) to be considered a true "visit" to each park are: We should walk the perimeter of the entire park visiting as many areas as possible, and riding at least two rides in each park.  Simple enough!  Of course living here makes it tremendously easier and knowing the parks layout, crowd levels, and popular rides helps a ton as well.  I will add that there is no way I would attempt this in the summer heat!!!  The parks are open longer, but it would be truly exhausting!!!

That was the highlight of the week!  Hope your enjoyed it and if you did, let me know!  I love getting feedback!!  Also, if you have any suggestions or questions, shoot those to me as well.

-Tom

 

P.S.  I couldn't help but include this photo I took of this tiny Asian princess we came across at Hollywood Studios - 

 

Tiny Asian Princess


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