There have been many updates and changes at Walt Disney World since my last visit in April of 2007, but by the time the Park Guys make their way back to Orlando in July of 2009 there will be four major additions to Walt's World that excite me.
14 out of the 18 times I've visited Disney, we've stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort. It really can't be touched in terms of atmosphere, and if I were only allowed to be one place the rest of my life it would be CBR. There had been talk about making a change the next time the Park Guys went down to Florida, but now that is out of the question. For the past six months the Caribbean has been doing a complete renovation of their pool area. It was already a fantastic pool with a great hot tub and unbelievable at. The new pictures of the finally finished pool look even better. The pool itself is much bigger, the deck is much bigger with many more loungers (although Big Tom and Karebear will still head down early to save chairs with towels and shoes), and there is a beuatiful walk in area. This upgrade should put the Caribbean's pool into second place, behind Yacht & Beach Club, in flat pool rankings. If you take into account that Y&B Pool closes at 10 and they actual stick to those rules, then it's obviously a landslide. Because the great thing about CBR nightlife is that the pool doesn't technically close until midnight, but it never closes.
It was either JJ or T-time that said MGM (or now Hollywood Studios) is the worst of the four parks at WDW now that Millionaire-Play It! has left the building. Although I never agreed, because Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Roller Coaster will always keep it above water, two major additions hopefully will change their minds. Toy Story Midway Mania opened at the Studios on May 31st. It is a ride on the same level as Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, in that you load a two person cart and shoot at targets throughout your dark ride. What I'm assuming will make a step up is that you wear 3-D glasses, you actually shoot things out of your gun (not just a laser) and supposedly the levels change depending on how good you are. I've always been a huge fan of Buzz Lightyear, even though I always get beat by JJ. It doesn't hurt him that he went to college in Orlando and found out where all of the high point targets are.
The next major addition to Hollywood Studios, coming in early 2009, is the American Idol Experience. Now although I don't see this as being up to par with Millionaire, it definitely has potential. I'm a big Idol fan in general and this show/attraction could be a great place to cause a raucus. So apparently Disney guests appear on each show during the day, but you have to pass two auditions before getting to go on stage before the live audience. The guests perform and the audience votes on who was the best, and then the winner from each show face off in the finale each night. The winner of the finale show each day gets a ticket to an audition for the real American Idol show with judges that may or may not be Simon, Paula and Randy. Speaking of these judges, this attraction could be made or broken by the judges that have at each show. P.S. this attraction being invented shot David Gearey to the top of the list for next year's trip.
So on all three of the Park Guys' trips we've engaged in two 'class it up' restaurant dinners. The first two years we went to Margaritaville and ESPN Club and the third year we got tired of ESPN Club so it was Margarita-
ville and Rain Forest Cafe. There is a new restaurant being built as we speak in Downtown Disney that will definitely replace Rain Forest Cafe and it is called T-Rex Cafe. It is a prehistoric family adventure. I'm not saying it's going to be amazing, but I'm gonna vote to give it a shot come July 2009.