Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. And sadly, yes, the title is true. This will be my last Best Week Ever article! 🙁 Remember that day job that keeps me from posting photos of myself? Well, I’ve been given an incredible promotion that will involve much more travel. While I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity, it will make it impossible to keep up with my weekly updates.
I’m so thankful to all of you that have read over the last year. I’ll still be helping out on the Touring Plans instagram account, so if you miss me you can find me there. (I know I’ll miss you!) And they’ve told me I can still stop by and post when I have time. So it isn’t really goodbye. 🙂 But that’s enough sad stuff, let’s get going with all the theme park goodness from last week!
As you can tell from the photo above, I started this week at Universal Orlando. We don’t make it out that way nearly enough, but we love the parks. Arriving just after opening meant there were no crowds! It was great! I think we enjoyed the quiet morning walk as much as the park itself.
So where did we head to next? Why don’t you click to find out? 🙂
Our first ride just a few minutes after opening was E.T. Adventure. There were only two other people in the preshow area with us and they even snuck us through a backdoor in the queue that lead directly to the loading area. If you’ve never ridden, at the end E.T. says your name. It’s been a bit of a joke that E.T. can’t really say those names in the amount of time when the ride vehicles breeze by. Ironically, when there are only four people riding he does a great job!
Next stop on the walking tour was Springfield. The Simpsons ride didn’t have any wait at all, but it makes my hubby motion sick so we passed on it. This area is so well themed that I could poke around for ages looking at all the little details. They also have great Simpsons themed merchandise!
Our entire reason for starting the morning at Universal Studios was to ride the Hogwarts Express – King’s Cross Station. We’d ridden the train from the other park several times, but heard it was different going the other way. That turned out to be true! I think the effects are better on this stretch of the railroad. Of course, I think the details in the train station is cooler than the ride itself! Not to mention the air conditioning is amazing in this place!
At the other end of the tracks you exit right into Hogsmeade! I can’t even remember what it was like before they added the train. It’s such a great addition to the parks! While I stopped to take this cool photo Hogsmeade we opted to go the opposite direction.
In The Lost Continent I finally made time to see one of my favorite attractions in the Universal parks; Poseidon’s Fury is an indoor walking tour through an epic battle. You venture through the attraction with a live tour guide, so they can really make or break the experience. Our guide was awesome, though! Pro Tip: the wait time always says a minimum of 25 minutes, but we were heading inside after just 10 minutes. Don’t let the wait time scare you off.
Over in Seuss Landing it was still just a 5 minute wait for the The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! If you’ve passed by this ride thinking it’s only for kids, then think again. This ride has the most epic views of Seuss Landing. Especially when the skies are so pretty and blue it’s just breathtaking up there!
It isn’t just Suess Landing that looks great up there, either! Take a look at this photo of The Incredible Hulk Coaster. This little ride gives lovely views from all over the park. If you visit, be sure not to count it out! What do you think? Have you ridden this ride? What’s your favorite part?
Next I stopped by Star Wars Weekends for a quick visit. I have to be honest, I’m not much of a Star Wars fan and it’s tough to get excited about this event. But as you can see below, I’m very much in the minority! Hours before the fireworks a huge crowd was gathered in front of the event stage. Also, Star Tours had a 30 minute wait thanks to this crowd!
Taking one quick detour from the Star Wars event, you can see in Animation Courtyard that Inside Out banners have gone up. Construction is still continuing back by the Animation gift shop. I wonder what they’re doing back there??
So, if you can believe it all these people are waiting to meet Darth Vader! It must have been a 45 minute wait. All of the main characters from the Star Wars films were posted in various spots inside the park and all of them had lines like this one. It was the most crowded I’ve seen the Studios since last year! Despite the crowds and heat everyone seemed to be having a great time. I wish I could get more into it, the fandom seems so nice and fun!
There were also characters floating around in the walkways attracting crowds. There were not any lines established for them, but rather the characters seemed to pick who was next for a photo. This is how nearly all character meet and greets work in Japan, so I was surprised to see the system here. So who is this character? Can anyone let me know in the comments below? She seemed to really intimidate people!
Our last stop this week is Epcot where Innoventions is taking its last, dying breath. It’s basically just an air conditioned walkway. The only things left are the Chase Disney Character Greeting area, video game consoles, and some benches. I’m really confused why they are keeping this open for limited hours during the renovation. I hope they’re building something good behind those walls!
Next we cashed in out FastPass+ for Living with the Land. I have to say, after all the trauma we went through with the new system it’s working great for us now! We even scored sitting in the front row. 🙂
Next we visited The Seas with Nemo & Friends right next door. For those who haven’t visited (or watched it on YouTube) this ride is very similar to the Nemo Subs out in Disneyland. However, I think our ride is much better done. At the end Pearl is in a small window begging for you to take her with you because she’s sick of the ride soundtrack. This always cracks me up!
Last week Dawn had asked to see some photos of the latest tote bags in the parks. Below are the ones I found. All below are $39.99 except the navy one below left which was $24.99. Lots of pink going on these days!
One more tote bag is below, but I wanted to show all the other stuff that went with it too. I love this new, funky beach motif. All the stuff is so cute and well made. Of course, maybe that’s just because my favorite color is orange. Again, the tote here is $39.99.
After shopping we popped into Mexico and noticed it was much, much brighter in there! I noticed while we were still in the entry way that more light was streaming out. It’s nice to be able to see clearly in there, but it does lose a little bit of charm. I can’t decide which way I like it better. The ride remains unchanged.
Our last stop is Spaceship Earth since Cleo was nice enough to ask me to visit. I finally got a good photo of the sleeping monk! That one has been on my bucket list for a while. The current version of this ride isn’t my favorite, but Spaceship Earth is a classic and I seldom visit the park without stopping by to thank the Phoenicians. What’s your favorite ride in Epcot?
That’s everything for this week! Do you know a frequent visitor to Disney that might want to fill my crazy shoes? Please let me know in the comments below. Of course, thanks so much for reading. I love you guys!