The first thing we did when we got out of our cars at Hollywood Studios was have Nathan take The Most Important Photo of the Day.
We waited for the tram. We didn’t wait long. When the tram arrived, we got on it. I probably bonked my head. I don’t remember what order we sat in, but no doubt Jensey was in the middle of us, cuz she’s a hot commodity. The tram started moving. It went, oh, about 500 yards (I’m not good with distance – it might have been hectares…) and then made a U-turn toward the front gates. The tram proceeded toward the front gates. Above us, the tram speaker buzzed as a bored teen recited the park hours in a monotone drowned out by the roar of the smelly diesel engine. (Is this installment stretchy-out-y enough for ya?)
You can pretty much guess what happened next: We went into the park!
Since we had time to kill, we decided to try for what I think is the favorite DHS ride of all three of us, Rockin’ Rollercoaster. But I could be way off base – Nathan & Jensey may be more partial to the thrills of the scarily un-lifelike busts of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza.
I didn’t think we had nearly enough Tower of Terror photos yet, so I asked if the Roots could get even more photos as we waited in line…
The only thing I like about watching the pre-show is the recording engineer, who is played by one of the members of my all-time fave comedy troupe, The State. You’re prolly too young to remember them, but you may have enjoyed the more recent fruits of their labor, such as Reno 911 and the scripts to such instaclassics as Herbie: Fully Loaded, The Pacifier, and Balls of Fury. Oh, and Night at the Museum I & II. And, in researching this paragraph, I have discovered that on July 14th, fourteen long years after their MTV show was cancelled, they will finally be releasing the entire thing on one DVD. Whohoo!
Nathan & Jensey ended up several rows behind me in the car (because apparently I looked like I wanted to babysit a solo tween). When we got to the takeoff point in front of the tunnel, the anticipation of that first blast-off lasted a little longer than it should have. And then a few more seconds passed and we still hadn’t moved. Then a few more… certain people who may or may not have been me started to worry that there might’ve been a malfunction of some kind and that once again they were nearly going to miss their flight.
Little did I know that the reason for the delay was actually NATHAN standing up in his seat to take pictures or shoot video or impress Jensey or something! … Even worse, none of it was captured on film for me to show you – boooo!
Finally Nathan was forced into his seat by a giant robot arm, the countdown started, and off we went.
Since I don’t have shots of being on the ride, I give you with a few more gratuitous shots of Tower of Terror….
OK, lessee…. where were we? Ah yes – dragging out the story of my last few hours at Walt Disney World! So after we rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster, we decided to give the Great Movie Ride another try. I mean, I think Nathan & Jensey were just being nice, but I was hoping that this oh-so-cool-sounding ride, which had turned out to be oh-so-lame when Patrick and I rode it on our honeymoon, had somehow morphed into the ride I’d hoped it could be.
What we saw along the way:
And again, this time in DoggieVision:
OK, doesn’t this ride look like it’s gonna be cool? It looks so COOL!
But then, you get Snoozy Suzy for a guide, and it’s all downhill from there.
I think our guide may have learned the script phonetically, because she delivered it in a monotone that stressed all the wrong words and would make the “Please wait a moment” voicemail lady sound like Jerry Lewis!
Here’s the thing – this position needs to be staffed by entertainment cast members who have acting experience. If they have to pay them more than rank-and-file ride operators, so be it. Half of what they do is acting, and the other half could stand to be spiced up with a few zingers. At the very least, this job should be a coveted ride-op position like Jungle Cruise skipper. Get the kids to compete with each other to come up with the funniest gags (I may be misremembering the creativity of MK Jungle Cruise skippers here… ). The way it is now is just embarrassingly hokey and a real bore!
Anyway… off we went…. As we creaked around the first corner, we passed Busby Berkeley’s chorus girls and then spotted Gene Kelly singin’ in the rain.
Another thing that bugs me about this ride is that I don’t think the star’s likenesses are very good.
I mean, this looks OK in black and white….
But in color it’s like a horror show – what’s with all the scary wrinkles?!
Julie Andrews and my Fantasy Grandpa, Dick Van Dyke fare a little better. At least they don’t look like they are wearing Richard Nixon masks.
(OK, I couldn’t resist throwing that one in there…)
I’d started to nod off when something finally piqued my interest:
Thus energized, I was extremely relieved to discover our ride vehicle being hijacked by a gangster. Surely this guy would inject a little life into the proceedings. Or at least bump off our tour guide…
No such luck. In fact, the gangster was only a marginally better actor than Snoozy Suzy, if by “marginally better” you mean “waved his arms more.”
After that we saw some other stuff, but I don’t have any pictures cuz Nathan was curled up next to Jensey, snoring softly and clutching his camera like a teddy bear.
But this guy sure woke him up!!!
When we got to the Egyptian tomb and our relief guide was unconvincingly turned into a fake skeleton, we all cheered! Little did we know that this meant we would get Snoozy Suzy back…
I like the Tarzan room – I wish you spent more time in it! Nathan got a shot there that was apparently a photographic coup, but I didn’t quite understand what he told Jensey about it because they were speaking “ProTographer.” I think it might have been that he was able to track Tarzan with the camera as he swung by, but it sounded more like “I Drobo-ed the starboard aerotooter to 20,000 jigglewatts!”
Then we got to see Sam Spade arrest a glowing alien babe trying to sneak past Intergalactic Immigration at the airport …
Oh wait – my bad! It was the last scene of Casablanca.
We got to the Wizard of Oz scene while the car in front of us was still there, so we saw the end of the witch scene, had to wait for the munchkins to reset themselves, and then got to see the beginning of the witch scene. I could tell this was a terrible blunder by the way Snoozy Suzy blinked one eye…
As we exited the ride, I began loudly asking former cast member Jensey my questions about whether Great Movie Ride CMs had to have any talent or acting experience to get the tour guide job and how someone as terrible as Snoozy Suzy could slip through the cracks. She looked down and tried to walk a little ahead of me so no one would know we were together.
OK, so I know this update was only about two rides, but one is a reeeeally LONG ride… and it took forever to think up a way to make it vaguely interesting… and… and… HEY WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE?! IT LOOKS LIKE AN AMAZING ROOT PHOTO!!!
[Sounds of running, door slam, squealing tires…]