Walt Disney World 2000 Day 4: Disney/MGM, Boarwalk, EPCOT

Monday September 11, 2000
Late start today. I was glad for it too because I was really socked out by yesterday. We made it over to the MGM Studios by 1:30 and made a b-line for lunch. After a quick lunch it was over to Muppet-vision 4D – a unique movie experience that I remember being my favorite attraction from WDW when I was last here. It has held up pretty well, but will face some stiff competition when the final tallies are in at the end of the trip. From there it was off to the Great movie ride. Boy – I remember being impressed by this ride as well, but man this time it was disappointing. This attraction hasn’t aged well over 11 years, and I was glad to hear that plans are in the works to update/replace it. We next ventured over to the Animation Tour. Overall it was a good presentation, but I kept feeling rush, and didn’t have time to linger around where you can see the animators working. I saw lots of items from “The Emperor’s New Groove”, but nothing from “Atlantis” or anything else that was in the future. I am sure items were there, but I am also sure Disney is protecting their secrets. We then headed over to the Studios Backlot Tour which is a VERY blatant rip-off of Universal and unlike CityWalk, this one pales in comparison to Universal. It is short and not very informative or entertaining – a definite skip. Roger did enjoy seeing props from one of his favorite movies “Hocus Pocus” but alas the pics were out of Focus – hopefully we will go back and get more pics later in the trip. We then headed off to the ABC Sound Studio for an impressive entertaining demonstration of 360 degree sound with effects. Roger didn’t care for the bees though. A short hop away was Star Tours – which has better exterior themeing but essentially the same ride inside.
By this point it was late in the day and I procured a visor to ease the strain on my eyes from the sun. After a bit of shopping, we decided to take the Boat Cruise down to Disney’s Boardwalk. I like the presentation of the Boardwalk. It is not as gaudy as Downtown Disney’s West Side yet was still full of shops and restaurants. The ESPN bar was hopping in anticipation of the Jets-Patriots NFL game that was getting ready to start. We sauntered through the Boardwalk, taking a minute to browse the models of Disney’s Vacation Club – which Disney is pushing like crazy. I am a fan of Timeshares, but there is no way I’d ever be able to afford one. C’mon Disney – how about something like this for the rest of us??
After a brief walk, we found ourselves at EPCOT once again. I was finally able to try the Fish & Chips at the UK pavilion. A bit price at 6.50 for two pieces and fries, but it was very good. (The Sprite was out of syrup and by the time we drank from the sodas we were too far to go back.) We then headed over to Test Track to get a ride in before the park closed. We noticed a long line, so we grabbed Fastpasses and headed over to the single-rider line. We ended up just ahead of where the regular line was, but managed to get through the ride and the exit and then get back into line with our Fastpasses. This time through the ride, the cast members let us ride twice in a row because it was the end of the day. I think this is a great ride and had a blast riding it three times in 30 minutes.
It was then time to call it a day. We had some dessert at the hotel and headed off to bed. We want to get an early start tomorrow for the Animal Kingdom, and maybe some Magic Kingdom.
Some end of the day notes: It seems the Studios are blaring music like crazy. I still don’t care for this practice and the mind boggles at what they do at the Animal Kingdom. Also- while some cast members are fun and greet you and talk to you with warm, there are definitely a few that need attitude adjustments. Some are just downright rude. Maybe we had a few too many in a row, but it seems that WDW is not as friendly a place as Disneyland. Could just be me though. But whatever you do, don’t ask questions to the lady selling Nestle Crunch Ice Cream bars outside the Great Movie Ride as she is tallying up her bars. Instead, go talk to the cast members in Mouse Works after the park has closed and the shop is jammed with tired tourists – they are helpful, professional, and courteous – everything I have come to expect from the Walt Disney Company.