TPI trip report: Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Published: July 25, 2007 at 9:55 AM
If you've been reading the site for a while -- or even if you haven't -- you probably know it: When a park is busy, always get there first thing in the morning, before the park opens.
That's especially true for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the world's busiest theme park. And more so in July, its busiest month. And even more so on a Tuesday, it's busiest day of the week, when Magic Extra Hours fills the park with Disney hotel guests one hour before park opening.
So when did I roll up to the Transportation and Ticket Center?
Hey, I had my reasons: 1) I'd only been in town for two days, and hadn't made the internal switch from west coast time. 2) I hauled myself out of bed at 7 am east coast time (4 am my time) the day before, so I was especially tired. 3) I was flying into LAX later that day, arriving at 9:30 pm LA time, or 12:30 am Wednedsay Orlando time. If I wasn't gonna drop dead on my drive home from LAX, I needed to get up no earlier than 9 am Orlando time that morning.
[Before I go further, I should disclose that the reason I was in town, and got up at 7 am on Monday, was that I spent that day conducting training sessions on blogging and website editing for reporters and editors at the Orlando Sentinel. I frequently link to OrlandoSentinel.com because it often offers the best articles covering various aspects of the Central Florida theme park industry. But since I've now worked as a consultant for them, I felt that I needed to tell you that, in the interest of full disclosure.]
Turns out that I wasn't the only one making a late arrival to the Magic Kingdom. Thanks to some bone-headed planning by local highway workers, Interstate 4 was closed in both directions [um... see disclaimer above] at the U.S. 192 intersection all morning Tuesday. That's the main approach used by off-property visitors to the Magic Kingdom. The resulting traffic jam left both I-4 and 192 parking lots, choking access to the park.
Unless... you're staying in Celebration and making a straight shot into the park on the now wide-open World Drive. ;-)
But I paid for that karma when I arrived at the TTC, only to find the monorail line backed up into serpentine queue at the bottom of the ramp and only one ferryboat operating across the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Walt Disney World:
Where Dreams Come True. You Can't Get There from Here.
Fortunately, for me at least, half the folks waiting for the ferryboat bailed for the now-impossible monorail queue just before a new ferryboat came on line, whisking me and the rest of the patient crowd over to the park. From there, did my Robert's Theme Park Power WalkTM over to the Magic Kingdom's newest attraction, and the only one I'd hadn't seen: The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.
What a charming show! Disney's re-done the old TimeKeeper/CircleVision theater as a kid-friendly comedy club, with three movie screen built into a stage set, facing a rows of new seats, with a wide center aisle. Monsters Inc. characters appear on the screen, in a show that's supposed to elicit enough laughs from us to generate Monstropolis' electric power supply.
Interactivity distinguishes this show. In the queue, overhead screens invite you to text-message jokes, for use in the show. And it appears that there's an unseen voice actor somewhere, who's dubbing the on-screen characters so they can
interact with pick on selected members of the audience. Other Disney cast members swoop in with a stick mike for whomever in the audience is the current object of the MC's attention.
It's all very gentle, with the Dads and granddads in the audience taking the most kidding. The audience jokes tend toward groaners, but it's fun when someone you know pops up on screen.
No, it's not worth waiting much more than the half-hour I spent on line. But with the high level of audience participation, every show's a little bit different. I have no idea what this show is doing in Tomorrowland, save for this is where Disney had an available theater, but I'd highly recommend this show one of the MK's better mid-day, sit-down-and-get-out-of-the heat options.