It's Early Entry in the MK this morning so we're on the motor coach bright and early and without a breakfast. We have a cunning new plan to have a lovely relaxing breakfast on Main street. Its a bit of a gamble because we don't actually know if the words "relaxing" and "breakfast at Main Street" are compatible but the parks have been that quiet it should not be a problem. The Main Street Bakery soon fixes our hunger needs with a breakfast croissant for myself and a slab (slab being the operative word, there's enough cake in this portion to last a week) of hot cinnamon cake for Jackie. The cake in three words is de-lic-ious.
The Halloween decorations are looking very lovely in the bright sunshine. Now I have to admit this park does slightly disappoint me for various reasons. Main Street is looking bright and beautiful, having a slightly grander scale than its counterparts around the globe. However from then on it all seems to go a bit wrong. The 'Lands' seem to lack the careful transitions and theming that the other parks have. I have always put it down to it being the second park built; perhaps there was more of a rush and a sense of let's just make a vague copy of the original rather than the careful Imagineering that developed over time originally in Anaheim and then in the wonderful (spend whatever you want) planning stage at Paris.
I can't help looking for those mysterious hidden streets of New Orleans from Anaheim, or the secret paths and bazaars of Paris with its storytelling theming in the lands themselves. And I can never get over why Fantasy land looks like $10 was spent on the exterior building's theming and it looks like it's just dumped on a car park.
My biggest gripe has to be: What happened to the classic rides, has someone stolen the other 3/4 of Pirates of the Caribbean? It seems wrong to me that the most popular MK in the world only has a half baked version of one of Walt's favourite creations and a Haunted Mansion where a silly design issue in the planning stage means you don't enter through the front door.
Oh dear I sound a grump and a half. But I still walk around with a smile on my face despite all this. Especially after a quick FP ride on the River Cruise, a ride that sends you into familiar territory as you say the script in your head before the CM actually says it, but it's all part of the charm. Anyway the sun#s shining, all the CM are smiling and the good news is in a few years time it should all be fixed up, well Fantasyland should be anyway, Here's a rendering of Eric's Castle from the new Little Mermaid section.
Fantasyland does contain one of my all time favourite attractions though, Philharmagic. So far it exists in Hong Kong and Florida but it is such a classic piece it really should be in all the Parks. I personally think it's the best use of the 3D system combined with that wonderful theatre whose screen eventually envelopes you without you even realising it. Simple but with such beautiful musical pieces and well executed 3D effects it's a beautiful showcase of both the art of animation and the modern 3D technology.
Before lunch we have ridden the Jungle Cruise and traded my head for two of his, got wet on Splash mountain and dried off on Big Thunder Mountain. Flown across London with Peter Pan and fled from the Wicked Witch in my fave dark ghost ride "Snow White". We have then been moved by Philharmagic, missed the Tiki Show (grrrr, I love this) and started to think about lunch itself.
Lunch today is at The Wave in the Contemporary Hotel and consists of a sharing a huge Crab Cake (thanks to Dirk and Jim for the recommendation) lovely and crisp on the outside and full of 100% wonderful juicy meat inside, perfectly spiced and seasoned it's washed down nicely with a crisp Marlborough Sauvignon our server, Michelle, is rather excited about serving. My main is a simple Tuna salad which again is nice and spicy on crisp leaves. Jackie takes a nice fillet of Salmon with a salad. The Wave is a much better experience for lunch than previous offerings in the Contemporary and the decoration, theming etc and attention to detail from the napkins to the cutlery is classy, just a pity it has no windows at all. The dinner menu looks nice as well, definitely one to try in the future.
The afternoon is spent back in the MK which is still rather quite, I don't think I have ever walked onto Autopia before with such a small queue. We take a car each and Jackie is given a driving licence by the CM which she will no doubt mix up with her real one. Space Mountain is closed for a refurb which reminds me that I have not mentioned Haunted Mansion's refurb. We love it, the staircase is a superb addition as is the new attic section and everything just seems to look and sound one hell of a lot better.
Tommorow land's latest addition "Monsters Inc Laugh Floor" is a bit of a disappointment. Using the same technology as Stitch Live, Turtle Talk ec etc.. its all a bit flat; the biggest problem being it relies on what I would call minor characters from the film, and the premise that it's going to be funny... It wasn't. I suppose it still needs some fine tuning and really depends on the audience but it's a pity they couldn't have squeezed in the Monsters Inc Dark ride from California Adventure .
Eventually its time to head back after riding everything but it's a Small World, please don't make me get that tune stuck in my head. Tonight we have dinner arranged at Bistro de Paris, World Showcase, Epcot. Mmmm.