All posts by parrishjc

My new quest

I have been hinting at a new quest for a while now and I am finally ready to reveal it in the form of a new hashtag:


My goal is to drive from Knoxville to Orlando, visit all 4 Disney parks and both Universal parks all in one day (riding at least 2 rides in each), and drive back home.  And to do it in under 36 hours.  By far my most ambitious solo adventure yet.  There are a couple of keys in my mind to making it happen.

  • Epcot or Hollywood Studios needs to be first, since their biggest rides back up almost immediately after opening.
  • Staying onsite to take advantage of morning Extra Magic hours.

With that in mind, I have picked a day with Extra Magic hours at Epcot starting at 8 am and will be staying at the Pop Century resort.  This allow me to ride both Soarin’ and Test Track and make it to Hollywood Studios just in time for opening if I hustle.   Those two will be followed by Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom, and finally the two Universal parks (not sure about the order of them yet)

I will be keeping everybody updated via Twitter throughout the day as to how it is going and where I am at.  I will provide more details and discuss ride choices at each park in the next couple of weeks prior to my trip.  I welcome any tips or suggestions that anyone has.  Talk to everybody soon!

The End of a Wonderful 2013

So as 2014 begins, I wanted to get back on here and reflect about the year and look forward to what promises to be a great 2014.  I was able to make 5 separate trips to different parks (2 solo) and visited 7 different parks total.

A quick summary of the trips:

Jan – A solo trip to Orlando to hit Universal Studios Florida and Islands Of Adventure.  By getting to the parks early, I was able to ride 9 different rides a total of 10 times in 3 hours and 40 minutes.  Made the entire trip in 31 hours.

June – A 5 day trip covering over 2000 miles.  Kaswell (my eldest daughter and partner in fun) and I left very early on a Wednesday in order to be able to spend the afternoon at Universal.  Was at USF by 6:15 am for the opening of the Transformers ride.  There was a great show put on for the opening and we ending up spending all day at the park, finally leaving the park just after 9.  Friday brought a drive to Richmond, VA, and KIng’s Dominion.  We arrived at the park just after 5pm and managed to ride all the rides we wanted, including riding the Dominator 3 times.  A quick drive to Williamsburg after that put us right next to Busch Gardens for the weekend.  If you have never been, I highly suggest going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  The park has great theming and landscaping combined with world class roller coasters, including Apollo’s Chariot and Alpengeist.  The food and wine festival was also well done.  We spent 2 days and was able to ride all of the roller coasters at least twice.  These five days equaled a great and exhausting trip.

August – After flying into Tampa to pick up a car for Sean (my stepson), I drove to Orlando and spent the night so I could get in another solo trip at Universal.  Thanks to Universal’s early admission for passholders at 8 am with onsite guests, I was able to be the first person to ride Forbidden Journey followed by breakfast at the Three Broomsticks.  Between 8 and 9:30 am,  I rode 6 rides (Forbidden Journey, the Dragons, Hulk, Dr. Doom and Spiderman).  After the quick walk over to USF, I rode the rides I wanted (Rip Ride Rockit, Mummy, Transformers and MIB) and had a great lunch from Krusty Burger.  After hitting my favorites one more time (Mummy and Transformers), I headed out with another successful solo trip behind me.

October – In what is becoming an annual tradition, Julie and I went to both Halloween Horror Nights and Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween along with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  The details of the trip have been covered here so I will just say it is a tradition I look forward to continuing.

November – Some of the details have already been posted here so I will fill in the rest.  The day at Epcot was better than expected.  The Candlelight Processional was even better than expected and walking from country to country listening to the presentations on Christmas traditions was an unexpected surprise and a great learning experience.  Sunday brought the Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Christmas party.  We arrived early to see the Welcome show and ride a couple of rides early.  This also put us in a great spot to eat at Be Our Guest, which we managed to do before the line formed.  The restaurant was very well done and the food was good, only wish we had been able to try the Grey Stuff 🙂 (only available at dinner, when you have a special occasion).   After taking a break, we went back for the party.  The Jingle Cruise was a great change from the normal ride and show and the cookies and hot chocolate make most anything better.  The Tommorowland dance party with Stitch/Sully and Mike Wazouski was quite cute as well.  The parade and fireworks were well done but the Halloween versions are still my favorite.

As you can see, it was a wonderful year filled with theme park trips and good times.  Plans for 2014 are still forming with two on the calendar so far.  I have a solo trip planned for January, which I will be revealing details for in the next few days, and Julie and I are taking a trip in March.  There are many more ideas and possibilities and I look forward to sharing them with everyone.  Have a Happy New Year!!

Standing in good lines on Black Friday

Thanks to this wonderful trip, we avoided all the shopping lines for deals on Black Friday and stood in my favorite types of lines, the ones that end in a ride 🙂  First was a quick stop at Universal after the drive down from Knoxville.  Thanks to a post earlier in the week for @OrlandoInformer, I used a single rider line I didn’t even know existed .. The one for Dr. Doom.  The wait time was 25 minutes but I was standing outside a door to get on about 2 minutes after I walked up.  Thanks @OrlandoInformer!!  Also tried out the Red Oven Pizza Bakery, which was quite good.  Generous pours of beer and gourmet pizza always make for a excellent meal.

Last night was the start of three straight days of Disney holiday celebrations, beginning with the Osborne Family Lights (check out the picture I posted last night .. more to follow)  The lights were great and, according to what we saw, included over a 1 million lights and 35 miles of cabling.  We also squeezed in Star Tours (first time to see Kashyyk on the ride) and the Rock and Roller Coaster.  We ended the night with one of the things that is always a must at Disney, the turkey leg.  Also tried a pork shank, which I had never seen before at Disney.  While it was good, the turkey leg will always be king on a Disney trip.  It was a great way to end a long day of driving and fun.  On to Epcot today for the Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World.  Gotta go and start the fun!!

The Thanksgiving Trip is on!

So it was decided several days ago that we are going to head to Disney on the Friday after Thanksgiving!!  Julie and I are both very excited as neither one of us have been to the Christmas festivities at Disney before.  We are getting to do both Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (complete with the newly added Jingle Cruise) and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.  Also on the agenda is seeing the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom one more time before they move to their new theater, which is rumored to be taking place sometime after the beginning of the year.  We welcome any tips or suggestions for the Christmas festivities and I will be sure to post anything that we learn while we are down there.  I also plan on doing some scouting for my next big solo adventure that I have tentatively scheduled for the end of January.  This trip is going to involve hitting the six major parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure) all in one day.  Previous solo trips have involved just the Universal parks in the same day and I still need to post details about those trips.  Look forward to lots of details and pictures about the trip coming up starting on Friday.  Happy Thanksgiving!!