Quantcast Ft. Wilderness - Nov 1-8 - Part 5
 
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  1. #1
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    Default Ft. Wilderness - Nov 1-8 - Part 5

    November 5th? We went to Universal. I won't go into much detail on that here. It was nice, but... I'm struck by the significant difference between Universal and Disney. Disney is more... immersive in their park theming. There is a much greater level of detail, even in ride queues. Universal - there the rides and queues feel a lot more 'superficial', except for the 'Harry Potter'/Hogwarts area. It's really more of an amusement park with minor theming, while Disney is more of a theme park overall.

    Don't get me wrong - it was well done... but it just felt like a Six Flags sort of park. YMMV and all that. And yes, we'll go back at some point - but it's not the same sort of 'gotta go to' destination for us that Disney is.

    November 6th - Animal Kingdom.

    We just took our time - enjoying the morning and then going to the park well after the main rush. We stopped and watched while a family were inducted into the Wilderness Explorer program - and thought about it ourselves for a bit... but decided against it. Next time? Well, maybe? Don't think there's any age limit, lol...

    First over to Dinoland. We reminisced about when our son played in the Boneyard, then went through the queue for Dinosaur! I know the reasons the preshows are not operational, but I can't help but feel we're missing a LOT as far as the ride experience goes at this point.

    Then we wandered around for a bit and headed to Expedition Everest. My lovely bride had rediscovered her love of roller coasters at Universal, and laughed her way through it, especially at the hair scrunchies that decorated the slope at the peak. While going through the queue I noticed that a lot of the props in the line didn't just look 'worn', they were sun-rotted and needed to be replaced... but I tend to notice details like that. It didn't really take away from the overall ride, yet it's something I wish that they'd address. We had a late lunch reservation at Sanaa, and headed out for that - stopping at 'It's Tough to be a Bug!' - and laughing a lot at it. That's something which really hasn't changed since the last time we were there.

    Lunch at Sanaa was wonderful - we started with Nann platter. The various sauces were great. The 'spicy' ones weren't very, but there's a number of Indian places locally we favor so our tolerance may well have been shifted up a bit. As a Disney treat it was something we'd really looked forward to - and it didn't dissapoint at all!

    For appetizers, we had the Potjie selections - my lovely bride had the Butter Chicken while I had the Seafood Curry. Both were very tasty. For dessert we had the Serradura and the African Triople Chocolate Mousse.

    After almost two hours of eating and watching the animals wandering outside we headed back to Animal Kingdom - taking our time and wandering over to Pandora. The queue for 'Na'vi River Journey' was almost the slowest we'd seen so far - that honor was held by the Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios - but we whiled away the time watching other people and reading the occasional plaque. The ride itself... hmm. It started slow, and as your eyes adjusted you saw more and more... and more.. and more...

    It was a fantastically complex environment! I'd have liked to have gone through it again immediately, but that just wasn't possible at that point. Everything from the little light spinners to 'frogs' on the plant leaves overhead to the projected backgrounds... it was amazing and too short.

    This again hit on what I've noticed about Disney in general - it's the DETAIL they include in unexpected places that blows me away. From the appearance of the Rebel Base in Rise of the Resistance to the little 'bird's nest' of wiring in Smuggler's Run, to the interiors of Toy Story Mania, seems like everywhere you look there's something to see and this continues that in an incredible fashion. In this one the detail's all through the ride and it was almost impossible to see it all.

    As we left that, we saw the line for Flight of Passage was very short - so we got into the line and I was actually looking forward to going through the labs. However - the line was so short we practically ran through there into the waiting line for the ride itself. All that lovely detail in the preshows... wasted.

    The ride itself? Oh...

    Breathtaking's about the best way to describe it. Groundbreaking? Maybe not... it's similar to Soarin' - but so, SO much more visually. Again, this is one I'd gladly repeat three or four times... but we're going to wait until the next time we visit.

    It was starting to get dark as we exited the gift shop... where my pin addiction flared forth once again. (Okay, I MAY have a problem here, lol...) And as it got dark... it seemed everything lit. What's nondescript and odd during the day flares brilliantly at night. I saw the pathways glow into life, the plants illuminate their surroundings - and it was beautiful. We stayed there until it was full dark, and I would have loved to stay there for a while longer... but it'd been a long day and we still had a bit of the park to see.

    We wandered over to the Africa section, though it was late enough by then that it seemed like everything was closed. We loved the theming, though - as well as little touches like the tile geckos in the restrooms. With very few people there, it seemed quite late. (Winter days and low capacity... gotta love them.) Wandering back through Discovery Island we laughed at the Christmas ornament lights that were lining the roofs, then we headed out to the bus, and back to the campsite. And once again, we were very glad of the fact that we were on site and able to take advantage of the transportation.

    I'm going to close saying that Disney can do detail. Oh my GOD can they do detail. It's what really sets Disney apart from Universal and makes it such an experience.

    The next day was our last - and I'll put that up in a few days.
    July '66, Disneyland.
    Aug '73, Mar '82, Sep '97 - Before Mr. Boo..
    Feb '02 - With Mr. Boo, age 4
    Oct '03 - POR! Forget the sun, let it RAIN!
    In 2009? March for a day - EPCOT! July - Ft. Wilderness!
    In 2020? Ft. Wilderness, Nov. 1st through 8th.

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  4. #2
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    I'm greatly enjoying your descriptions and observations!!

    What a great meal you had at Sanaa!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  5. #3
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    I really enjoyed Sanaa also, and I love that you call her "My lovely bride".
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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  7. #4
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    Thank you! That came from early on in the marriage - I called her office and she didn't answer the phone, so I asked her co-worker if 'my lovely bride' was there. Heard the 'Awwws' clearly, so I've been calling her that for close to 28 years now.
    July '66, Disneyland.
    Aug '73, Mar '82, Sep '97 - Before Mr. Boo..
    Feb '02 - With Mr. Boo, age 4
    Oct '03 - POR! Forget the sun, let it RAIN!
    In 2009? March for a day - EPCOT! July - Ft. Wilderness!
    In 2020? Ft. Wilderness, Nov. 1st through 8th.

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  9. #5
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    Another great day! I love Animal Kingdom at night.
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

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