13 1/2 Hour Theme Park Gauntlet from Walt Disney World to Halloween Horror Nights XXIRecapping yesterday's day from the world of Mickey to the world of Lady Luck.
From Nick DakuginowOn Wednesday, I had written out a plan that included 18 attractions at all 4 parks at Walt Disney World, and then going to Halloween Horror Nights XXI at Universal Studios Florida. How did it go?
Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:16 AM
I had went to sleep at 9:30 PM EST on Wednesday night, and woke up at 2:15 AM EST as my babygirl yorkie had used my face as her pillow.
I left the house at 5:45 AM EST and began my car trip to the World. I arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios parking entrance at 8:20 AM EST and got through the turnstiles around 8:35 AM and was at the front of the pack at the rope halfway up Hollywood Boulevard. I am waiting for my friend to get there and meet me, and I'm starting to get nervous that he isn't going to make it for the 9 am rope drop mad dash to Toy Story Mania's fastpass running of the bulls. He calls me at 8:51 AM EST saying he's running from his car to the entrance. At 8:57 AM, he gets inside the Studios and has a huge gathering of people in front of him. I tell him to try and get me his ticket so I can get the FP. At 8:59 AM EST, he somehow is allowed and makes it through the people and meets me at the front of the pack and a minute later, the mad dash begins. We were led by Cast Members to Toy Story Mania and got our FPs for a return time of 10:10 AM EST.
We walked over to Sunset Boulevard and got right on the Rock "n" Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith, what a great ride, I have it ranked as my 2nd favorite attraction at WDW.
We then got right onto the Tower of Terror and that's always a good time. We walked over across the park to Star Tours 2 and waited about 5 minutes for it. My friend is a huge Star Wars fan so he had an amazing time with it. I told him once we get on the ride, don't put your glasses on and look around, for the 2nd time I was on the ride with a friend, that person has been chosen as the Rebel Spy to have their picture included during our ride. He loved it.
We got off of Star Tours at 10:07 AM EST, and walked right over to Toy Story Mania for our FP return window. We waited about 10 minutes still inside, he beat me by decent sized margin and our arms/forearms/hands/wrists were definitely worked out from the pull string action.
We left Disney's Hollywood Studios at 10:25 AM EST and arrived at Epcot at 10:45 AM EST.
We immediately went to The Land and got our FPs for Soarin', return window of 12:06 PM EST. Headed over to Future World and got into the Single Rider Line for Test Track, a walk on, compared to 30 minute wait standby. Yeesh!
Went to Maelstrom and it was his 1st time on the ride, he's never seen it before, lol. We were laughing on the ride as it's completely random, trolls, polar bears, one eyed trees, fun small ride.
As we left World Showcase, we noticed there were some booths open for Food and Wine Festival 2011, which opened today, September 30th. I had Feijoada from Brasil, a black bean and pork stew soup, and my buddy had a beef skewer from Argentina. Not the best, as I was told on Twitter the chefs usually aren't up to par until the 2nd week of the festival as their just experimenting with what is the most tasty.
Then, we went to Innoventions East for the Sum of All Thrills, probably our longest wait of the entire day, 20 minutes we waited. We designed our jet, made it as insane as possible, and boarded our Kuka Arm Robot and went for some loops, cobra rolls, speedy drops and climbs, fun technological attraction.
We went to Soarin' with our FPs and waited about 5 minutes, I do enjoy the ride, but if we had to wait about 30 minutes even, I don't see how it's worth waiting for. It's Epcot's Toy Story Mania as it's the family ride all can enjoy.
We left Epcot at 1:00 PM EST and got to the Magic Kingdom using the monorails at 1:35 PM EST.
We immediately got FPs for Splash Mountain as that was a 65 minute wait, due to the heat. I grabbed a Dole Whip Float and went to Space Mountain and waited about 10 minutes for that. Afterwards, we shot straight to Buzz Lightyear, waited about 5 minutes, and I avenged my loss in Toy Story and defeated him in Buzz... and our vehicle was broke, couldn't stop spinning... and my gun was faulty for the first part of the ride!
We got some food at Pinnochio Village Haus, not the best recommendation at all, but we were just hungry. I had chicken nuggets, he had pizza... yeah, not the best recommendation.
We rode Splash Mountain and then rode Pirates of the Caribbean, both walked right on, one from FP, other from no wait.
We took our time walking more in this park to each attraction as we were feeling the exhaustion hitting us already, we left the Magic Kingdom at 4:15 PM EST and got back to the Epcot parking lot at 4:45 PM EST and we both headed over to Universal Studios Florida.
Walt Disney World Recap:
We arrived at Universal Studios Florida parking lot at 5:15 PM EST and waited by the car as I was charging my phone for the 2nd half of the day. His friend met us there and we walked to the park at 5:35 PM EST. We went to Moes for his friend to grab a quick bite, then they grabbed some margaritas at MargaritaVille, and we waited in front of Universal Studios Florida sitting down, waiting for our other friends to meet us there for HHN21.
Our friends showed up at 6:28 PM EST, they already began letting people in at 6:10 PM EST, 20 minutes early, and we got in at 6:30 PM EST. We had Express Passes, so it was time to do some houses!
We took a right immediately inside of the park and by 10:30 PM EST, went through all scarezones, we did all of the houses, we did Revenge of the Mummy twice, we did Men in Black, we did the Simpsons Ride, we played some carnival games, I won a Men in Black Pug in a Basketball game, my one friend won the hammer strength game and won a huge Minion, and I decided it was time for me to leave at 10:30 PM EST after one final ride on Revenge of the Mummy. We had wanted to do Hollywood, Rip, Rode, and Rockit, but it was a 45 minute wait when we tried to go on, and I was feeling super apprehensive for some reason. Maybe I was just zombified and saw the huge coaster in the dark, imagining myself going down the drop after the big climb, I don't know. I'll go on it eventually, I'm not the type to feel that feeling at Disney or Universal, but at that time, 13 1/2 hours later, I wasn't up to it, or the wait.
I said goodbye to my friends and began my ride back home, got on the road at 10:50 PM EST and got home at 12:50 AM EST.
Home Sweet Home.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Nick MarkhamWow, talk about a great day. I could only dream of having such a day! Thanks for the report!
Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM
From Mark FairleighThat is one awesome day! You are the man! Very impressed. :)
Posted October 1, 2011 at 6:26 AM
From Nick DakuginowThanks fellas, feet and legs were brutal on Friday and Saturday, woke up today just fine!
Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:52 AM
From Tracy BatesI just got back from a California vacation where I did 8 theme parks in 10 days. It made for a tiring trip, but it was a blast.
Posted October 4, 2011 at 9:20 AM
From Rodney McNeill2 words....BEAST MODE
Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM
From N BWhen I first read this, I thought 13.5 hours sounded crazy until I realized we woke up a 5:30 AM to get into WWOHP early four days in a row. We closed the parks on each one of those days with a break for lunch and dinner, but 5:30 AM to 10 PM means we were out and about for roughly 16 hours.
Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:12 PM
We would hit the pool around 10:30 for cocktails and appetizers and stay until they booted us out.
y kids kept up with the insanity, but my wife needed a vacation from our vacation after we returned home.
That is still an impressive feat, my hat goes off to people that are crazier than me when it comes to theme parks....
From Amanda JenkinsAwesome! Now that is the way to do a day at the parks. I would love to try that on a trip, but unfortunately my husand likes to take it easy and take breaks throughout the day. Now, if I travel with my mom or best friend, we would so do this.
Posted October 5, 2011 at 5:49 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive