May the 4th ….. be with you !!. I was going to need as much energy as I could muster for an ‘ole timer, as I had a double-dip day ahead, as well as an anticipated mid 90’s Orlando day to contend with. So, here we go ………….
I was so excited to get my booking for the passholder preview of the Velocicoaster, that I completely forgot I had a day reserved at DHS for May 4th … ah well, I needed the exercise. As is the norm these days when I visit UO, I start my day with a slow walk along the garden path to the Portofino Bay hotel to enjoy a Starbucks coffee, and a blueberry muffin. Damn, it’s good to be finally retired :) After a nice ½ hour break, I wandered into USF, to get my passholder button for the month of May, and then did a lap around the park before heading into IOA. The short cut was closed today, so around the outside it would have to be. Perfect timing as it turned out, as I arrived at the entrance just after 1pm. My allotted ‘slot’ was 1:00 to 1:30pm. Excitement mounted as we slowly moved into the queue area and started to get a feel for what this experience was going to be all about. I’d read a few reviews that raved about the queue being “the best ever” “awesome” etc etc …. but these people had obviously never been thru the queue of MFSR. Not even close. There’s a lot of flashing colored lights, stirring music, and Mr DNA, but I wouldn’t call it a great queue experience. In fact, the best and greatest thing about the queue line is the awesome way the lockers work at the end. You put your stuff in the locker from one side, ride the ride, and then go to the other side of the ‘locker wall’ and retrieve your items. Your bar code lets you in and out of the lockers, so if your memory is a little hazy like mine, you only have 4 banks of lockers to try before one of them has a door that magically opens. Oh yeah … built with us oldies in mind, but what a great simple concept. The lockers are a decent size, but backpacks have to be stored at the Discovery center. There’s a warning message in the queue line that if somehow you are carrying too much to go in the locker, then you’ll get booted from the line, and it’s start at square one again. Only bad thing about the lockers …. I must have left my button in there :( Ah well, I’m more into magnets than buttons.
And so, on to the ride. After passing thru the metal detector we quickly came to the station. I decided to spend an extra 1/2 – 3/4 of an hour in the line for the front seat. All other seats were a walk on, including the back seat, but I like the front, so I waited a bit longer than most. At no time were the 2 trains running ever sent off full. In fact I’d say most of the time only half the seats actually had people in them. We could have easily had a couple of rides each !!! Excitement was to the fore, and every time a train left, or arrived, everyone burst into a spontaneous round of cheering and clapping. It was a great atmosphere. Finally it was my turn, so I took my place in the front seat and pulled down the lap bar. I left it one click up, but the team member came round and made sure it hit that last click, so I was well and truly nailed in.
Away we went …… Maverick is the closest I can think of, but some of the elements had a Cheetah Hunt and/or I305 feel to them. So mix them all up, and basically you have the Velocicoaster. I don’t want to give any rave, or not, reviews on a one time ride, but I have to admit I was clapping and smiling as we came back into the station. It is a great coaster. I don’t give a crap for theming, all I concern myself with is the actually coaster, and it may have a chance of making my top 10, but rides in the back and middle will decide that for me. You just don’t have the time to see the theming as you zip along the track. Maybe after the 10th go ?? who knows, but as a pure roller coaster, it’s a good one. Is it worth AJ coming over from CA just to ride it, No I don't think so, but once Gwazi is open, then I’d say it’ll be worth the trip. Ice Breaker should be up and running as well, so a nice trio of new rides to add to the list. I have a feeling Gwazi will be the one that “knocks my socks off” but who knows when that will ever open.
It’s a smooth ride, and all the hysteria about the lap bars being unsafe is total fantasy. I wonder what those people would think about riding one of the RMC’s ?? Best part …. the 1-2 second sustained upside down element after the top hat. Loved that :)
And so, even though I was dripping with sweat, and it was 94deg, I headed for Hollywood Studios. Everyone was leaving, and no one was going in when I arrived around 2:30. I headed for stage 1, to get myself in a virtual line to enter the May-the-4th store. I was guest #990 !?!?! Yep, there were 989 people in front of me … LOL. I would not stay long enough to get into the store. In fact, I was home, had a shower and dinner before I got the text. About 4-1/2 hours after I signed into the queue. I did get a ride on MFSR though. Only a 30min wait, so it was time to see if I’d forgotten how to be the left pilot. But wait …. I’m on my own ??? Indeed, I flew the Falcon as a party of 1. A bit odd to be honest, but I was still up to the task, and made 8500 whatevers, owing Hondo very little. To the budding left seat Falcon pilots …. don’t forget to hit the brake after you grab the 1st container. Must do if you want to make a lot of money, and not owe Hondo much.
I’m going with my friend’s daughter in a couple of weeks, and she’s never been on Rise, so it’ll be back to setting the alarm for 6:55 to start refreshing a minute or so before 7am. I’ve been on Rise a few times over the past couple of weeks, mainly getting on using the easier time slot at 1pm. I’m beginning to get to like it a bit more, but give me a choice, and I’ll take MFSR every time.