Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
By Edwardo
I love Disney World. I had plans. Grand plans. And a 5 day pass (Well, a 3 day pass with 2 extra days thrown in). I ended up not going but 3 days and i never got to Animal Kingdom (Still missed that safari, darn it!!!). But, well, that’s what happens when you have family with you on vacation. But I’m not complaining one bit, as I got to spend some great time with parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. Oh, and Friends. And lastly, our Mouse Overlord.

Monday morning my nephew dropped me off on his way to work. i walked over and traded my ticket for a card/ticket. I was going to ride the monorail over, but the boat was going over, which I’ve never done, and the sun was still rising, and it was a beautiful morning for a beautiful ride to the Magic Kingdom in the distance. I really enjoyed it.

I was at the park just after 8am. After a few pix (Yes, and a selfie or 2 by the castle), I headed to the one ride that has escaped me on both coasts. I had a not very needed fast pass, but there was no one in this area of the park, so I excitedly walked right on to…

Splash Mountain: Finally! Every time I’ve been to a Disney park, it’s been closed. But it was lots of fun. It’s a dark ride, a flume, and it’s themed to Song of the South. Now, I know all about the racial undertones that Disney would love you to forget, but in context, I actually enjoyed seeing the movie as a kid with my dad the last time they released it in theaters, and I’ve always wanted to ride this. Now I have. It was worth it.

I had a fast pass for Seven Dwarves Mine Ride, but I was early, so I went to the other mountain near by.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: I still love this. First coaster of the year. I could ride it over and over. It’s a great ride, and so well themed. I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said (and if you need more feel free to look up my last TR on the subject).

I walked over to see what the line for Seven Dwarves was, and it was 70 minutes. I had about 20 minutes before my fast pass, so I went and did Pooh instead. Its fun, but, I mean, it’s another Disney Dark ride (which is still better than most other park’s dark rides). Then it was time to Fast Pass Seven Dwarves.

Seven Dwarves Mine Ride: It looks like it’s been there for a long time. I liked it, and the coaster element was a lot of fun. The drips were cool, the swinging was very well done, and the dark ride parts were all very nice. I’d love to see Disney do a more thrill centric version of this kind of mountain in the future. This, however was definitely needed.

So I went over to ride my favorite ride in Magic Kingdom, found in Tomorrowland…No, not that one, I love Carousel of Progress. Love that ride! Space Mountain was a really long wait and I had a fast pass for later.

So I went back over and did another favorite, Haunted Mansion. I like the new part of the queue, that was not finished on my last visit. Then I walked over and did Ariel’s new ride (One of my favorite Disney movies is Little Mermaid. I loved it as a kid). Then I did the Parade and lunch.

Next it was time for something that I’d missed the last visit, and was unimpressed with, Hall of Presidents. I really thought all of the presidents would interact. They didn’t. Oh well.

No next I went and hopped on a monorail and went over to Epcot for a few hours. Of course, I first rode my favorite ride there, Spaceship Earth. Then I walked around for a bit. Thru the butterfly pavilion set up for the spring event, then watched the Japanese drummers, and then the Chinese acrobats. I wanted to ride Universe of Energy, but it’s wait ws too long. So I rode The Land, since I hadn’t ever ridden. It was neat. Following that I rode the 3 Callabro ride in the Mexican pavilion, and then Mission Space. I can only do that one once per visit.

Then I went back over to Magic Kingdom as Epcot got a little bit crowded. Back at Magic Kingdom, I did finally do Space Mountain. And I may have done Carousel of Progress again. And I did the People Mover and watched the dance party, which was fun. I also did Haunted Mansion again. At nite.

Of course, then I did Big Thunder again at nite, which is always wonderful. and watched the Electrical Parade. Then the magic started. I watched the projector show at Magic Kingdom. Sadly my phone and camera died, so no pictures, but that was amazing! And afterwards I stayed for Wishes. By this point it was 11pm, and I was tired, seeing that i was coming back the next morning. Yeah. I was there all day.
By Edwardo
So my second full Disney day was a day to spend at the Studios park. I’ve never spent the entire day there. But this time I’d get it all crammed in. Who says it isn’t a full day park? I paid my money to park and took the tram to the front of the park. Once inside, I did what I meant to do the day before, and picked up a Magic Band, which was really nifty. One of the first things I did was to head to Star Tours, which was down last time as they changed over to the current version. It was about a 30 minute wait.

Star Tours: I did the original version of the ride at Disneyland in 2005. I’m really not into most motion sims as they tend to make me sick. Mission Space the previous day did a number because it’s so intense, and even though it was very well done, Star Tours didn’t make me feel well. The 3D just doesn’t work that well for me, not sure if it’s because I’ve had Lazik or what, but overall it is still a solid attraction. Just not one that I’ll be re-riding. Even with the random changes. We got Hoth.

I couldn’t get a fast pass for Midway Mania, which is a shame as I love the ride, but I didn’t get to do it on this visit. I did, however, get to test out the slow motion capture on my iPhone 6 Plus at Lights, Motors, Action! This was the first time I’d seen the show. It was packed, and it was really well done. If current rumors hold true, I guess I’m glad I got to do this now.

Up next I went into the One Man’s Dream exhibit. It was nice, and I loved the miniature versions of many of the rides. The propaganda film at the end was interesting as well. But it *is* still propaganda, in my humble opinion. Next it was time for one of my favorites.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: I love this ride. I used to love the California version more because I felt it was more aggressive. I know the Studios version has randomly programmed falls, but I’d never gotten a good one before this trip. I waited about 40 minutes, even though I had a fast pass for later. I don’t mind standing in line, though, because it’s a beautiful courtyard, and the inside is really well done as well. This ride really lets you suspend disbelief just by looking like a real, old hotel. I really got some airtime on this one, and had a really good group sitting in the front. My new shtick is to make sure I turn to the person beside me and let them know I throw up easy just as the doors shut. It worked every time.

Next I went over and got in line for Rock N Rollercoaster. I got in the single rider line as the regular line was about 90 minutes. I think I may have waited 30-40 minutes.

Rock N Rollercoaster: This ride was a little bit shakier than I’d experienced in the past. It was still good, but it’s no Premier. The layout is really good. And for a Vekoma, it isn’t half bad. I just wish they’d go the Premier route and get rid of the OTSRs. Oh well, still worth a ride every time.

I walked around and took some pictures before having lunch. After lunch, I was close to the Star Tours area, so I watched the show with the young children learning to be Jedi. It’s neat. I Love how they have the make your own Lightsaber shop. It had a line. Then I went to the Great Movie Ride. Two things were better this time. First, no big goofy hat out front to block my photos of the Chinese Theater. Second, I had a much better crew. Last time the girl ‘gangster’ wasn’t very good. The guy we had this time was good.

The next thing I stumbled into was The Little Mermaid stage show. It was good, if very short. Then I headed back over for more rides on Tower of Terror before heading to the amphitheater to see Fantasmic. I had a fast pass for the later show, and it was still an hour early for this show, so I left and went back to ride more Tower of Terror, my first time in the dark. I rode about 4 times before wandering around the park some more. By this point, there wasn’t much of a line for anything. Well, except Midway Mania. Eventually I did head back over to Fantasmic.

How was Fantasmic? Meh. It has potential. I just felt they spent too much time showing clips of movies on the water projectors when there was so much more to be done. It was okay, but honestly, I could have left the park earlier and went and watched Wishes again.
By Edwardo
On Thursday I slept in a little and then headed back down to Orlando to Rob’s apartment for more Disney fun. Should have went to Animal Kingdom for a bit, but I was planning to go on Friday. Unfortunately I overslept Friday as I was going to have my nephew drop me off on his way to work, but oh well.

Our first stop today was Epcot. I wanted to try out some Coke so we went to the Club Cool pavilion to try everything out. I still love mezzo mix, and I still don’t hate Beverly. Up next was Test Track. This was my first time riding since they completely redid the inside of the ride. We got in the single rider line. That was all fine and dandy, but unfortunately a large group of obnoxious teens got in behind us. Normally I don’t complain, but these kids were obnoxious, spend the 30+ minutes in line bumping up against everyone else in line, among other things. It was annoying. Finally, Rob and I got to ride.

Test Track-I really like the changes they made, very modern, obviously very Tron-esq. I’m glad the ride didn’t make a huge change. I didn’t get to do any major customization because we were limited in the single rider line, but oh well, I’d rather not have waited the extra hour. The experience isn’t much different, but it does feel much more futuristic.

We walked around Futureworld for a bit before heading over to World Showcase. Epcot was all in bloom and as usual looks amazing. Our first stop was Mexico. Rob got a drink and we then headed inside to ride the boat ride and shop around. The thing about Epcot is that you can just walk around and not do much but still have a very good time.

I just love walking around. One day I’m just going to go to Epcot and eat and drink around the World Showcase. It’s so bustling with people and I really should take one day for each side of Epcot and explore. I know they have that game where you’re solving clues and such, I really should do that too. There’s just too much to do at Epcot! So we went to O! Canada! It’s the same as last time, but it’s really neat.

We left World Showcase and headed back to the front of the park, stopping by Spaceship Earth for a ride.

We drove over to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the evening. Our first stop was of course, Carousel of Progress. After that we went over and rode Buzz Lightyear’s shooter dark ride. It’s fun, but it’s no Midway Mania for sure. The clouds were coming in and we went over to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train. It wasn’t time to ride just yet, we had a little wait, so we went to Mickey’s Philarmagic instead first. I really like that show. But again, 3D doesn’t do well for me.

So it was sprinkling when we left back to Seven Dwarves. We went in the Hundred Acre Goods store to wait out the rain for our ride time. By the time we got on the ride, it was POURING. And dark. Which, even though I would have rather stayed dry, gave a really good ride.

After that we went over to the Jungle Cruise in the rain. The guy doing it really loved his job and did a great job. I had 2 much better guides on this visit to Disney than my last trip. And then, because we were already there, we went to Pirates. Another ride I love.

It stopped raining by this point. Fireworks in the rain behind the castle are really awesome. So is Haunted Mansion at nite, which we did as the rain stopped. I love that ride. I also love walking around at nite. We walked around a little more, but I honestly don’t remember if we rode anything. And then my Disney trips were over.

I love Disney parks. I say every time I go to Florida that I need to go to another set of parks, but I always end up with Disney. It’s like Magic…
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By MarkD
Sounds like a great time was had. I only get to go to Florida about every other year and never enough time to do all there is. I think it would take a good solid month to do everything Walt Disney has to offer, maybe longer.
You should try and make it to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. That is usually when I go as the food sampling is awesome. It is the one time I will allow my taste buds some diversity. :)
As far as going to other parks in Florida goes there is not enough vacation time for me in one year to do all the parks. Disney is my favorite so I usually end up going there for a week. I need to make an exception now to see the new Harry Potter world.

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