Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
We arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios by 8:15 AM and waited at the turnstiles. We were let in at 8:40 AM and went straight to Toy Story Mania. There was a 10 minute wait posted, while nobody in line for FastPass for a return time of 9:50 AM. Thinking about it, I thought if we went straight into the ride, it's more than likely less than the 10 minute standby wait. However, wanting to get 3 more rides at DHS in by around 10:15 AM, we took the FastPasses.
We went straight to the Rock "n" Roller Coaster, only to see it wasn't open yet at 8:50 AM. We went to the Tower of Terror, and same thing. So, we just decided to wait there until they opened the gates at ToT at 8:57 AM. We hopped on the first elevator on the far left with only 4 other guests and took a trip into the Twilight Zone. This was the first time my buddy rode the Tower and it was fantastic riding it with him. Screaming, grabbing my arm, etc, lol.
We went over to Aerosmith and waited about 5 minutes including the pre-show and got right onto the coaster. Always a great time.
We went over to Star Tours and only waited 5 minutes there, and none of us were the Rebel Spy this time.
We looked at the time, 9:48 AM... perfect timing. We went straight to Toy Story Mania, waited about 8 minutes, and got on. I finished in 2nd place of our 4.
We went to the Magic Kingdom and got in at 10:55 AM due to having to wait for a 3rd monorail at the TTA.
We went to go get FastPasses for Space Mountain. Unfortunately, New Fantasyland was cast member preview only this day. We rode Buzz Lightyear with a 5 minute wait and I got my 999,999.
We went to get lunch at Columbia Harbour House and I tried the Broccoli Peppercorn Salad. I tried the Peppercorn dressing on the side, which I wasn't too fond of, didn't think it would be too ranch like which I do not like. So, I also had a side of Italian dressing and it was very good, also a pretty deep salad, only finished about 3/4 of it and I was hungry.
Next, we got FastPasses for Splash Mountain and went across the park to ride Space Mountain with our FastPasses and got right on.
We next rode the Haunted Mansion with about a 10 minute wait.
Went to ride Splash Mountain with our FastPasses, always a fantastic journey. We then got FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
We went to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, however there seemed to be a pretty steep wait, more than the 20 minute posted time. So, we got some Dole Whip Floats and relaxed. Checked again, seemed deeper wait, no mermaid viewing in Pirates for me.
We rode Big Thunder and then went back to Tomorrowland to ride the Stitch's Great Escape (lol, just wanted to show my friends who have never been) and then the TTA. We were done at Disney at 3:35 PM.
We went to Universal Orlando and we went to NBA City to do the 3 point shootout (only got 2 out of 15, ugh), and waited inside Hard Rock for 5 minutes while heavy rain came, making our minds a bit worried about a rainy HHN, but it quickly passed. We got into line for HHN at 5:15 PM.
We were let in by 5:45 PM. We have express passes, so we went straight to Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem to try out the new 3D ride. I really liked it, it's on the same level as the Simpsons with a more emotional overtone.
We then went into Silent Hill as our first house, which probably was one of the two worst in my opinion. Nothing too special here.
We walked by Hollywood: Rip, Ride, Rockit and saw a 5 minute wait... but we were too excited for more houses and decided to skip it.
Next was Gothic, which was the best house by far, possibly the best house I've been in the past 4 years I've been. I legitimately got scared speechless at one moment, not too easily done. Gargoyles flying above your head, I'm watching, gazing... then turn around to walk into a hand reaching down at me, I duck and try to scream/laugh, but speechless. Fantastic scare right there. Also, the illusion of looking down at a church was amazing, no idea how that was done. And finally, the spot where your walking straight, a gargoyle flying you can see, however he's flying right at you, well done again. Amazing house.
Dead End was next and another great house.
We rode Revenge of the Mummy and this is always one of my favorite rides.
The Walking Dead was next and this was the longest wait I've ever endured at HHN with Express pass. Probably 25 minutes, I've never had to wait longer than 10 in all my years going. And this was probably the worst or 2nd worst with Silent Hill, really disappointing. I heard reviews of potential claustrophobia, which didn't happen. Saw that the Don't Open Dead Inside door was awesome, it wasn't. Didn't even move while we were in there. A bit disappointing for a new fan of the series.
We then rode Men in Black: Alien Attack, which I finished first of our 4.
Then, Penn & Teller 3D Newk'd Las Vegas, actually made me laugh, which the previous year's comedy houses really didn't make me before. The vomiting man and Elvis got me chuckling.
House of Horrors was fantastic, great use of lighting and scares with the timing. My 2nd favorite house.
Finally, we did Alice Cooper, which I was least excited for going in, however I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My ranks of the houses:
2. House of Horrors
3. Dead End
4. Alice Cooper
5. Penn & Teller
6. The Walking Dead
7. Silent Hill
Overall, a fantastic and epic theme park day. We left the parking lot by 10 PM and headed home.
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort