MousePlanet Trip Report Editor
Chris Barrette - WDW (July, 1995) - All Star Sports Resort
- Time of Year: Summer
- Travel Method: Unknown
- Resort: All Star Sports Resort
- Accommodations: Standard Room
- Ages Represented in Group: Adult
- WDW Experience Represented in Group: Infrequent
- Comments: From the very beginning of Chris's report, the emphasis is on sharing what he learned during his visit to WDW. He stayed at the All Star Sports Resort and really sweated the details as he prepared for the trip...and his free sharing of that information is very helpful.
It had been about 5 years since my last trip to Disney World, so after about a year of planning I made up my mind to go visit again. One of the things that you will want to do is plan ahead. If you plan on visiting in the busy seasons, you will want to make reservations anywhere from a six months to a year in advance. This way you will be sure to get the exact room that you want. If you are the kind of person that really doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a hotel room (seeing all you will be doing is sleeping in it) your best bet will be the All Star Sports Resort. That is where my friend Walter and I decided to stay. While there we learned many helpful tips for the next time that we would be visiting Disney World. If you decide to stay in the All Star Sports Resort, you might want to follow these tips to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
When you make reservations in advance, ask for a room in either the "Surf" themed hotel, or the "Football" themed hotel. In both of these resorts access to the pool is just a step outside your door. If you are not the person who really cares about the pool, another advantage to these buildings is that they are the closest to the check-in area, arcade, merchandise shop and food courts are. In front of the main lobby is where the bus stops are also. You might want to request a room on the first floor. The hotels do have elevators but they are in the middle of the hotel. If you have one of the last rooms on the floor, there is quite a walk from the elevator to your room. The last thing that you will want to do after a long day at one of the parks is walk anymore.
While making reservations you should request a smoking or non-smoking room. The Disney castmembers will be more than happy to accomodate you and your needs. One of the downfalls to Walt Disney World is that the food and drinks are expensive. On your first day at the All Star Sports Resort, one of the first things that you will want to obtain is one of the All Star Sports refillable mugs. You can purchase them in the food court. They cost about three or four dollars, but you can refill them as many times as you want during your stay. This saves a lot of money in the long run.
An advantage to staying in a Disney hotel is that you get access to certain parks an hour early. Sometimes in the summer they will let you in two hours early. The only thing is that not all of the rides are opened at that time. You can take your time going to the Studios or Epcot on early access days because chances are that there will be no lines at all to get in. When the Magic Kingdom opens up, if the pamphlet say's that it opens up at 7:00am, you might want to arrive somewhere around 6:30am or earlier. Any later and you will spend most of your early access time waiting in line to get in because they don't open all the ticket turnstiles. Only one or two are opened so you can guess how slow the line goes.
If you are like everybody else the first ride you will head for during your early access time is Splash Mountain. Unfortunately it does not begin operating until the rest of the park is open to the general public. There are three places to wait at while waiting for the rest of the park to open. The Skyway to Tomorrowland, the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Each one has it's advantages and disadvantages.
- At the Skyway To Tomorrowland one of the advantages to waiting here is that you can get onto the Peter Pan ride, or the Snow White ride while waiting. The disadvantage to this waiting area is that when the rope does drop you have to run all the way around the perimeter of the River of America which can eat up precious time.
- Another waiting place is by the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree. There are no rides to go on while waiting here, but you don't have to run all around the River of America like the other line does.
- The best place to wait is by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The advantage to this is you can get onto the Pirates ride and have no wait at all. You might be able to even go twice if nobody else is in line. This is also the shortest distance to travel when the ropes do drop. It is just a straight line run from where you are. The one thing to remember is that when the ropes do drop at any of the waiting areas, you better run real fast if you don't you will get trampled by the other frantic people running behind you. If you are at the Pirates waiting area, you really don't have to run at all, just walk fast. You will still beat the other people that are running from the other waiting areas.
Like the waiting areas of the Magic Kingdom, each ride has it's helpful tips also. Seeing that there are so many tips to each ride, I will just name some of the best tips on the most popular rides. First of all, Splash Mountain.
For most people the hardest part of the Splash Mountain ride is finding the entrance. If you go to the Splash Mountain Store, you have gone too far. The easiest way to find the entrance is to walk up towards Splash Mountain like you are going to walk into the huge briar patch at the end of the ride. Once you are there you will come up to a wooden fence. Follow the fence toward Thunder Mountain. You will eventually come up to two huge rock walls on the left of you with roots growing out of them. This is the entrance to the ride. If the line of people to go on the ride starts somewhere in the stone area, I would advise you to come back at another time. You will wait about an hour to an hour and a half to go on from that point. Another thing to keep in mind is if you go in the summer, there are trees all around the waiting area to keep you cool. There is only one area with a water fountain in the whole line though. You might want to bring a recloseable water bottle with you to put water in. Trust me, if it is very hot out you will be happy that you brought it.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
After a hot day of waiting in lines and sweating up a storm, if you want to cool off and take it easy, you might want to try the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. When you get to the entrance of this ride and you can see the line of people, my suggestion is to go wait in line. The waiting area is all air conditioned and once you get into the cement dungeon part of the waiting area it is very dark and there are no windows. An excellent way to cool off after a hot day. You will be happy that there is a long line here.
The Haunted Mansion is another one of those rides where the lines can get real long. If you arrive and the lines extend out past the big black gates at the entrace, you should proabably come back later. The best time to go is when the line starts at the awning in the waiting area. From there, the line is probably only a twenty minute wait at the most. There is no single file line for this ride so it is easy to slowly push your way through and get in front of the few people that aren't paying attention to the line. Your best bet in this line is to stay towards the right side of the line. It is the same theory as a race track. The runners on the inside track get a little bit of a jump on the others and don't have to go as far. Once inside the Mansion Lobby immediately look on the left wall above the fire place. There is a picture of an old man. If you don't pay attention you won't get to see the old man change right before your eyes from an old man to an old decrepid dead person. Most people don't look in time and don't get to see him change. It is a great effect, one not to be missed. When you get inside the expanding room walk toward the picture of the lady with the umbrella. That is where you will want to be standing when the room starts to expand because that is where the door will open when the room is finished expanding. You will get a jump in line on the others in the room.
Space Mountain is another one of those rides where no matter how long the line is, it isn't really that bad because there are many things to look at including the oval shaped picture of the universe that no matter how hard you try you can't focus in on it. It also moves with you. When entering Space Mountain there is a chance that the line could extend past the water fountains outside but don't worry, the lines aren't as long as they look. There is a right side line and a left side line on Space Mountain. Depending on which side of the line you are in you will go on a totally different coaster. There are two coasters inside the Space Mountain dome. If you want fast speed with lots of drops then you will want to be in the right line. If you want a more tamer ride with lots of turns and only one big drop then you want the line that is on the left.
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD
If it is really hot out and you want to cool off then you don't want to go on the Thunder Mountain ride. If the line extrnds outside the little cabin on top of the hill, then you will be better off going on at a later time when the sun isn't out. Once inside you will be shaded from the sun but the wood the cabin is made of just traps the heat inside like an oven. You really don't get a chance to cool off until you go into the basement area where you get onto the trains.
Of the major rides at the Magic Kingdom those are the most helpful tips. Here are a few helpful tips and other fun things to know about the rest of the park.
- If you are at the Splash Mountain side of the park and want to get to the Tomorrowland side, your best bet would be to take the train. It is a nice way to relax and you don't have to fight your way through the crowds.
- When the park opens to the general public, most people go in a clockwise motion and go on rides starting at the Jungle Cruise. Try going in a counter clockwise motion starting at the Haunted Mansion and then to Thunder Mountain and so on.
- Every ride at Disney World has a sign that tells how long the wait is from that point. On every ride they were almost exactly right give or take five minutes.
- Bring a hip pack with you to carry your belongings in. You might want to put a recloseable water bottle in there also. You will really need it on hot summer days.
- If you want to sit in the front seat of a ride all you have to do is ask one of the cast members and they will be more than happy to let you. They may ask you to step aside and wait for the next car.
- Instead of going to the park with the early access time, go to one of the other parks that opens at normal time. Most people will be at the park opening early and the other parks will be almost empty.
- Florida is known for it's rainy days. You might want to buy a small poncho before you leave for Walt Disney World. You can find them at any discount store for under a dollar. You can find them inside Walt Disney World but you will pay about five dollars each.
- While riding the monorail ask to sit with the driver. If there is nobody sitting with them, one of the cast members will escort you to your front row seat. The drivers are super nice and are happy to tell you anything you want to know from how they make the monorails work to other secret tips that they know about the parks.
- Dress comfortably. You might want to bring a hat and sun glasses. Suntan lotion is a must also. The Florida sun can be very brutal and the last thing you want to do on your vacation is suffer from sun burnt skin. It can make your trip very uncomfortable.
If you keep in mind everything that I have said, I guarantee that your trip will be much more enjoyable for you and your family. Remember you are going on a vacation and the last thing that you want to do is worry about something. Remember have fun in the sun and enjoy yourself!
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02-07-2006 11:01 AM